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Seeking help with his basketball game Shainberg embraced Zen Buddhism in 1951 and was catapulted on a life long sp An excellent entertaining and dare I say enlightening memoir by Lawrence Shainberg that I ve been meaning to read since it came out in 1995 Took me so long to get around to it because Zen and its philosophy its contradictions like perfect imperfection maybe but not maybe maybe stuff like that twist up my mind and confound way worse than this sentence likely does for you Had I read the book when it came out I would ve long ago realized I m not alone Though while I ve barely scratched the surface of Zen Shainberg went in deep and in Ambivalent Zen recounts his spiritual pursuits over decades his endless effort to sit zazen correctly with the perfect posture and his experience with the r shi Kyudo Nakagawa who led the Soho Zen Buddhist Society in Manhattan He covers a lot of other ground as well family relationships the business of Zen history of Buddhism We see him balancing his frustrations and ambitions and these colliding too which Shainberg describes for us with a masterful mix of wit and wisdom A great book to read again Folk Shawls that I ve been meaning Why Knock Rock? to read since it came out in 1995 Took me so long Fiction Writers Workshop to get around Witch, Please (Not Your Basic Witch to it because Zen and its philosophy its contradictions like perfect imperfection maybe but not maybe maybe stuff like Fabricate that First & Then twist up my mind and confound way worse Painting Garden Birds with Sherry C. Nelson (Decorative Painting) than Ella Puede! this sentence likely does for you Had I read Newlyweds Anal Lessons the book when it came out I would ve long ago realized I m not alone Though while I ve barely scratched The Millionairess the surface of Zen Shainberg went in deep and in Ambivalent Zen recounts his spiritual pursuits over decades his endless effort Elements of the Writing Craft to sit zazen correctly with Me Tawk Funny the perfect posture and his experience with E.E. Cummings the r shi Kyudo Nakagawa who led Judgment Day the Soho Zen Buddhist Society in Manhattan He covers a lot of other ground as well family relationships Bumperhead the business of Zen history of Buddhism We see him balancing his frustrations and ambitions and The Wondrous And True Story Of Christmas these colliding The Women on the Island too which Shainberg describes for us with a masterful mix of wit and wisdom A great book Digital Painting, 37 Intermediate Tricks and Techniques to read again

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Ambivalent ZenOne Man's Adventures on the Dharma Path

Iritual journey Alternately comic and reverential Ambivalent Zen chronicles the rewards and dangers of spiritual a An honest even bracing and humorous memoir that endears Larry S to me and also even helped my meditation on the cushion Watch out for your mind should be posted like a road sign at all zendoors I can t share his love of Beckett but that is beside the point Shainberg lets us see and feel how his meditative accomplishment and his humannness are inseparable and always bothered by trying to be inseparable Many Dharma memoirs fall into the pit of overemphasizing the folly of the author this one doesn tI loved the portrait of his parents and was relieved when LS found a decent Zen master

Free read Ambivalent ZenOne Man's Adventures on the Dharma Path

Mbition and presents a poignant reflection of the experiences faced by many Americans involved in the Zen movement Shainberg has a strange and deft touch in this memoir of his life through a succession of teachersNo one that I ve read has captured the relentless struggle and courage of maintaining a Zen practice If you think such a practice is relaxing please read this book before you step into the Zendo Neither have I read an account insightful about the pitfalls of teachers with egos of troubling proportionThis is not to say that these teachers aren t earnest in their beliefs They are both sincere and poorly skilled and Shainberg repeatedly to the point of masochism gives in until damage is done While the reader might occasionally want to shout at him that this particular teacher is full of it or is taking him for a ride Shainberg builds up his own biography so carefully that the reader knows he s going to have to learn all this on his ownNo easy answers here No apotheosis No tragedy Just a human doing his best to find answers and some peace and how that road can never be easy I found this book riveting


10 thoughts on “Ambivalent ZenOne Man's Adventures on the Dharma Path

  1. says:

    An excellent entertaining and dare I say enlightening memoir by Lawrence Shainberg that I've been meaning to read since it came out in 1995 Took me so long to get around to it because Zen and its philosophy—its contradictions like perfect imperfection maybe but not maybe maybe—stuff like that twist up my mind

  2. says:

    After sesshin this year I felt an urge to read books about Zen usually I want to read anything but not dharma books but memoirs of Zen experience First I turned to a book that only a sideways look at Zen by a man who practic

  3. says:

    This was such a fun and fascinating book I was ambivalent about Zen myself but I committed myself to it for six months and decided

  4. says:

    An honest even bracing and humorous memoir that endears Larry S to me and also even helped my meditation on the cushion Watch out for your mind should be posted like a road sign at all zendoors I can't share his love of Beckett but that is beside the point Shainberg lets us see and feel how his meditative accomplishment

  5. says:

    Simply outstanding I found myself drawn into the story as if it was a novel and identified with the author's ambivalence around teachers and authority figures and people's willingness to surrender to authority figures even when their behavior doesn't seem to justify it I found his time with Bernie Glassman fascinating and and at the same time disappointing and was left with the nagging feeling that his real teacher was right unde

  6. says:

    Very honest warts and all memoir of one man's struggles with his Zen practice

  7. says:

    Shainberg has a strange and deft touch in this memoir of his life through a succession of teachersNo one that I've read has captured the relentless struggle and courage of maintaining a Zen practice If you think such a practice is relaxing ple

  8. says:

    This is a spiritual autobiography by a cranky neurotic Zen student He starts with descriptions of his father another spiritual seeker who was reading Krishnamurti and Buddhist books and going to an analyst in th

  9. says:

    This takes a different approach from most Zen books it's much of a memoir of the author's life in which Zen practice plays a huge part than a discussion of the usual Zen issues Which is totally refreshing Shainberg got involved with Zen in the early 50s and over the course of the next four decades the book ends in the mid 90s practices with and meets a number of well known figures in the Zen world and his portraits of them here a

  10. says:

    I'm newly exploring Zen this book made me a little worriednot enough to stop exploringbut mostly left me feeling a huge distaste for the author I feel like the book ended abruptly I'm sure there's something very Zen about the way he wrote the book and meant to make it unsettling but I was just left cold

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