Finding Zen in the Ordinary

26/02/21 | By Gavin Lee Davies, Mr
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Paulo Coelho

Finding Zen in the Ordinary

Stories and Reflections by Christopher Keevil

Taken from Finding Zen in the Ordinary /


Were there times when you had an important insight, or the dawning of a new awareness? Perhaps it happened when you were traveling or walking in nature. Maybe a stranger did something kind for you—or you suddenly realized what a dear friend had been dealing with for many years.

Do you have an interest in calming the mind and finding inner peace? Is meditation something that draws you? Perhaps you appreciate wisdom that has come down through the ages, stories on how to live a good life, or inspiration from those who have gone before.

Can you find yourself wondering about the meaning of life? Do you sometimes ask yourself: Why am I here? What should the purpose of my life be? There are tasks and errands every day that take my attention. But on a broader scale, how do I fit in?

Christopher Keevil shares responses to these inquiries, and others, in his book, Finding Zen in the Ordinary. He brings his reflections on deeply meaningful moments from his own life, with the hope that you, the reader, will be touched and given to. And perhaps you will reflect on moments that have been deeply meaningful in your own life, bringing inspiration and peace.

Christopher Keevil

Within the book, the inspiration is sometimes the call of a bird, or the sound of a bell. Other times it is the beauty that appears as someone faces hardship. Or again, it is dialogs with elders, discoveries with friends, moments of amazement.

Finding Zen in the Ordinary is grounded in Zen practice, but is not about Zen. It the Zen of life unfolding. It unfolds the mystery of a life being lived. The author has been practicing Zen for nearly three decades and is a recognized Zen priest and dharma teacher. But this book is not a teaching. It is more of a companion for the way.

Many books offer a “how to,” as a pathway to improvement. “You can achieve this if you do that.” Other books offer a direct experience: a deeply fascinating novel, or a book of pictures that amaze you into stillness. Finding Zen in the Ordinary is such an offering of direct experience, an engagement at the time of reading, not a preparation for a future state.

Readers have made comments such as, “Deeply honest, both passionate and humble;” “Beautifully written, with a clean, precise, evocative style;” and, “Like lapping waves on the shore of a lake on a crisp spring morning.” Forty-eight stories, reflections, and dialogs make up the book, investigating kindness, loss, enlightenment, adversity, clarity, and possibility. Poetic and spare, the text is an easy read, yet deceptively simple. For the interested, it evokes an investigation, a journey.


Consider what it’s like to look across a parking lot at a workman washing windows, and to suddenly realize that he is Buddha. Consider meditating in an early-morning hotel room with the sound of a trash truck outside only to realize all is perfect, just as it is. Consider realizing the power of an honest apology, or the roar of a fighter jet directly overhead opening the heavens. There are miracles in the subway and reminders in the dazzle of a red geranium on the kitchen table as the morning sun fills the air.

Walk with an invalid walking. Take courage in the face of war. Investigate the power of spiritual awareness. Experience who you truly are. Finding Zen in the Ordinary invites you to these places. Heartfelt and tangible, it is a gift.

About Chris Keevil

Christopher Keevil is an ordained Zen priest and senior dharma teacher in the Single Flower Sangha. He has been practicing Zen since 1991 and teaching since 1998 in the lineage of his teacher, Zen Master Bo Mun (George Bowman), who is a dharma heir of the Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn.

Christopher is also the Managing Director and founder of Wellspring Consulting, a national firm that helps non-profit leaders develop strategy for the future in areas such as education, health, social justice, and the environment. Previously he was a Partner at The Boston Consulting Group, an international management consultancy. Earlier he worked as a carpenter and house builder, and as a musician and dance caller in the Irish and New England folk traditions.

Finding Zen in the Ordinary is available from Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble and from wherever books are sold.



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