Finding Zen in the Ordinary
Honest and thought-provoking spiritual insights drawn from daily-life experiences and informed by the Zen tradition.
Honest and thought-provoking spiritual insights drawn from daily-life experiences and informed by the Zen tradition.
Finding Zen in the Ordinary offers honest and thought-provoking spiritual insights drawn from daily-life experiences. The book includes forty-eight brief stories, prose poems, dialogues between Zen student and teacher, and reflections on moments of spiritual awakening.
Written by Zen priest and teacher Christopher Keevil, this book presents readers with the chance to reflect on their own moments of spiritual insight and engenders in the reader an experience of clarity and presence.
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This is a wonderful bedside book consisting of 48 brief stories, prose poems, dialogues with a Zen teacher and moments of awakening where we see the extraordinary in the ordinary, sensing stillness beneath the surface noise: Little thoughts ripple Then subside. All is vast and quiet…. Wide open space. Aware. Simplicity, directness, healing, insight, sharing, light, peace, presence – highly recommended. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer
Great book! There were lots of little important things I picked up from this read. I learnt about topics I knew nothing about, it was educational but not in a boring way, I was engaged for the whole read! I found the information was not overwhelming and was instead bite sized and easily digestible. Would recommend. ~ Mia Ayton (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Our days are often filled with the mundane tasks we have to get done, from housework to actual work and little things in-between. When we appreciate each moment during these tasks without expecting it to be more we start to see the beauty in everything. This book is filled with little tidbits, insight and more on what one can see in the ordinary. I recommend it for anyone looking to find some Zen in their lives even if you're not familiar or not sure where to start. ~ Elizabeth Farrell (Media), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Finding Zen in the Ordinary by Christopher Keevil is one of those insightful little books that I will come back to time and time again. I found myself highlighting many of the pages and bookmarking short stories that really resonated with me. I highly recommend this to people new to Zen or those practicing for years. While I have taken other spiritual paths in life, I think we are all connected and can learn so much from each other if we only open our hearts and minds. ~ Connie Bisker (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Finding Zen in the Ordinary by Christopher Keevil is a book about finding zen in day-to-day life events. A few stories that touched me were a guy with no arm meeting somebody else in a worse situation, a father who lost his son being kind to others. The author also highlights the impermanence of life. A few pieces were simple like following an insect's routine but even the ordinary things can be enlightening. I was not able to understand a few Buddhist Zen stories and stories with dialogue. Other than these, the rest of the stories were interesting to read. The book also reminds us to slow down, not take life too seriously, and be helpful to others. This book would be of interest to people who like Buddhism, meditation, and mindfulness topics. ~ Soumya Gudiyella (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Some of the stories I have read elsewhere and some of them are fresh (for me). I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and would highly recommend this book to all, irrespective of your interest in Buddhism or meditation. The pure pleasure of the stories are well worth the time it takes to read the book. ~ Mukesh Gupta (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. This short book provides a window into the world of Zen through a series of 48 vignettes. What's so special about these vignettes is that they correspond with the 10 Principles of Zen by Zen Master Bo Mun, whom the author worked with. That is what makes this work a great resource for study groups or book clubs, because of the ability for serious study and reflection of the principles using the poems and short essays. The stories and concepts are very relatable and the writing is clean and concise. I found particularly moving #26. Kindness. The intricacies of the observations the author made when witnessing the kindness of another and the courageous question and answer to whether kindness was innate or learned was breathtaking. A beginner to Zen is in good hands with this work. ~ Kaytlin Sumner (Librarian), NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Finding Zen in the Ordinary by Christopher Keevil is a book which offers events which had happened in the authors life and the lessons he learnt and understood from it. My takeaway from this book is more to look at those everyday moments and reflect on my own actions and how to use the moment to learn and appreciate life. I believe this book is not just a guide but a companion to us urging us to understand and appreciate how to be fully present and enjoy the moment. ~ Saju K (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars: With everything that is going on with the world today, finding a book like this was a true treasure. It allows you to dissect things that are happening in little pieces, and makes you look at them in a way that will truly bring you more peace. I loved this book. ~ Tracee Gleichner (Librarian) , NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Finding Zen in the Ordinary by Christopher Keevil is a beautiful collection of work to deepen your spiritual frontier and inspired growth. It is the type of book that will you will want to behold with a cup of tea on a cloudy afternoon. ~ Eric Hannemann (Reviewer) , NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. If you enjoy reading Zen musings and about Buddhism generally, then this is a great read. The fifth star (missing from me) should come from those that are quite knowledgeable on Zen specifically, and I believe also more informed about Koans than I. I have read many books on Buddhism and Zen ... and I think I have a slightly decent idea without any true deep understanding, but this book was thought provoking and entertaining. My opinion says ... that there are a lot of poetic vignettes and great stories shared. I'm sure I missed a lot of the lessons that were given, particularly if they resembled a Koan, but one section alone was worth the entire read to me about the "not good enough mind" and I felt like I also recognized some Kerouac pops in it, or maybe it was just my imagination. ~ Phil Card (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. As with so many 'Zen books', far more time needs to be dedicated to thinking as to reading. This book does not teach, but each of the 48 pieces provides ample context for your own exploration and contemplation. The best books of this type provide a spectrum of content: from the obvious, which immediately resonate with your inner understanding, through the challenging, which require study and inner enquiry, all the way to the elusory, which you may never understand, but nevertheless reward repeated investigation, For me, this book provides a good range of content with many pieces that I found challenging and just a few that I have not yet mastered. ~ Dave Graham (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. How frustrating is it to be told by all the different sources the things you must do to be successful in life? This book definitely does NOT do that. It instead takes an empathetic approach and gives bite size approaches and allows you to have kindness and patience with yourself when dealing with life. This is so necessary for everyone to read in life. ~ Mandy Hazen (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. The book is small stories and poems about experiencing life. The author compares dealing with life’s up and downs to that of a student pilot learning to fly. He asks the question, “can you keep your airspeed up to avoid a stall?” This sounds like a such a simple question yet when you think about life’s experiences, we need to be prepared for a “potential stall.” This book, although short, had valuable messages within the 48 vignettes. Surprising to me, I was most drawn to the cover of this book. The seeds on the bun seem so normal and ordinary but when you truly look at them, they are all unique and have a taste and smell to them. To me, that was a message not to take the ordinary for granted and there is value in all. If you are in need of a pick-me-up or just like up-lifting stories, you will enjoy this wonderful little book. ~ Dawn Thomas (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Having read a lot of books on Zen I found this one fascinating in the way it mixes mediums that make it an easy read. ~ Tony Stephens (Educator), NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. This is a beautiful read!! Poetic and thoughtful this book blends anecdotes and wisdom into stories. They're bite-sized bits of knowledge hidden in stories that don't feel like parables or heavy handed. They're relaxing and interesting and informative. There's also resources about Zen practices included in the books. I was drawn in by the cover and enjoyed reading simple stories that left me feeling lighter. ~ Alyssa McClure (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Loved this book, such amazing insight and very thought provoking. I would recommend this to any person interested in spirituality. ~ Stephanie Lugo (Reviewer), NetGalley
Christopher Keevil likens his book to an arbor of spiritual inquiry where forty-eight koan-like stories and moments of insight and enlightenment lie on its branches. He offers this arbor not as a guide but more as an inspiration for our own spiritual inquiry and longings. He's a wonderful companion to have at your side. ~ Sharon Salzberg, bestselling author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness
It is easy to say, "live in the moment." But what does this really mean? The beauty and the power of Christopher Keevil’s Finding Zen in the Ordinary is its ability to awaken in a reader the felt immediacy of what it is like to be fully present to the world, to ourselves, and to others. This deeply honest sharing by a seeker both passionate and humble will enrich the personal paths—both spiritual and worldly—of other seekers, as it has mine. ~ David I. Rome, author of Your Body Knows the Answer: Using Your Felt Sense to Solve Problems, Effect Change, and Liberate Creativity (Shambhala)
In Finding Zen in the Ordinary, Christopher Keevil reveals glimpses of the extraordinary that is the ordinary nature of the world, if our minds were just quiet enough to see it. With deeply honest reflections, koans and stories, he gives life to the three kayas: the plane of possibility; deep appreciation; and acting with wholeness with a voice that is uniquely his, revealing worlds within worlds ~ Jonathan F.P. Rose, author of The Well Tempered City (HarperOne); Co-Founder, Garrison Institute; Founder, Jonathan Rose Companies
Finding Zen in the Ordinary is an accessible, wise and winsome invitation to the philosophy and practice of Zen Buddhism, enriched with signposts for further exploration. Insightful, thought-provoking and delightful. ~ The Rev. Caroline M. Stacey, Rector, Church of St. Luke in the Fields, New York City
Finding Zen in the Ordinary is a rare encounter with the fruits of deep reflection and spiritual inquiry. In the immediacy, tenderness, and wisdom of his Zen stories and poems, Chris Keevil has captured the surprises, rewards, and challenges of a life committed to “just being with what is.” This book is a wonderfully fresh and clear-eyed sharing of life on and off the cushion, a companion for beginners and old practitioners alike. ~ Robyn Brentano, former Executive Director of The Tibet Fund and the Garrison Institute