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Zen Is Right Here - reviews and comments

Zen Is Right Here home page

Praise for TO SHINE ONE CORNER OF THE WORLD: Moments With Shunryu Suzuki which applies equally of course to its re-release by Shambhala as Zen Is Right Here: Teaching Stories and Anecdotes of Shunryu Suzuki, Author of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

A few quotes from reviews – the ones I could find in my computer or on the Internet. There are others I have back home somewhere and which I don’t have. I think it was mentioned in some of the Buddhist magazines but I can’t find any of those. Also are seven Amazon.com reviews which I always find to be useful because people wrote those not for deadlines or at work, but because they were motivated. - DC

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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

Shunryu Suzuki said: "Life without zazen is like winding your clock without setting it. It works perfectly, but it doesn't tell time." These are the kind of wise quips that David Chadwick offers in To Shine One Corner of the World. Suzuki's biographer, Chadwick has never stopped looking for information about this always-entertaining and enlightening Zen master. In this collection of short remarks, Chadwick has continued the ancient tradition of recording a teacher's memorable quotes-- ones that are cute or puzzling the first time you hear them but that grow in profundity with time. With the publication of Suzuki's shining words here, his wisdom can illuminate many, many corners of the world. --Brian Bruya

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From Publishers Weekly - 2001

Shunryu Suzuki, author of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, was one of the most influential Buddhist leaders in America until his death in 1971. He is still lovingly remembered by his students at the San Francisco Zen Center, who share their memories of the Zen master in To Shine One Corner of the World: Moments with Shunryu Suzuki. The brief personal stories, which are contributed anonymously, offer a strong sense of the man, his teachings and his enduring sense of humor.

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Chosen as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2001

The Spirituality & Health Awards

Selected by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

We are pleased to announce our choices of the 50 most insightful and inspiring spiritual books of 2001.

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It has been said that when the student is ready, the master appears. To Shine One Corner of the World brings Suzuki Roshi to us through the gift of his students’ recollections as beautifully as if we suddenly turned the corner and he stood before us. The editor of this delightful book, David Chadwick, studied and was ordained by Suzuki Roshi 30 years ago. The success of this book lies in Chadwick’s ability to allow the essence of Suzuki Roshi to shine through each page without extraneous editorializing. The words are those of Suzuki Roshi’s students. The humor, the complexity, and the mischievous nature of this Zen master are evident from first page to last.

Kathryn Lanier in Innerchangemag.com book review

5/21/01

[see her entire review below in Amazon.com reviews]

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Bellingham Herald - review

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Like a temple bell that strikes through air to the heart of sound, these anecdotes and quotes offer humor, wisdom, enlightenment, brio, and a perfect example of a Zen life lived every day—that of Soto Zen priest Shunryu Suzuki who helped introduce thousands of Americans to Zen…. Flip through the book at random and you will find a gem on any given page. This book is an instruction manual for living your Zen outside the meditation hall. It also provides a vivid glimpse of the 1960s Bay Area Zen scene.

Reviewed by Leza Lowitz in the Japan Times – 2001

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Reading this book feels like sitting down for story time with your wise old grandfather on a Sunday afternoon. It's full of questions and full of answers to be excavated and then interpreted by the beholder. There's no dogma here - only stories and moments. If you read with a light heart you'll discover many pearls. Some of the stories will stick to you like honey...Through the sharing of these individual experiences with Suzuki, a teaching as well as a sweet story of an unusual man emerges. An added bonus is getting a peek into this spiritual side of San Francisco in the 1960's…I recommend this book to anyone seeking a little pleasure and understanding about everyday life. It's a book I'll keep on my nightstand for a bit of morning inspiration or as a last thought before drifting off at night. It's also a book I plan to share with friends.

 

Ruth in newvision-psychic.com/bookshelf

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Thankfully no explanation is offered for the terse comments or precision actions of Suzuki Roshi. The editor offers us a peach and does not remove the flesh of the peach before handing it to us, so that we may gain the full nourishment the peach provides. This book, rightly understood, is a bowl of peaches.

http://www.doyletics.com/arj/toshineo.htm

A Reader's Journal

Book Review by Bobby Matherne 2004

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This delightful, thought-provoking, and eminently wise collection of teachings from Shunryu Suzuki (1904-1971) has been gathered from his students and others involved with him at the San Francisco Zen Center and the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center.

Spirituality and Health

Book Review by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

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Amazon Shine customer reviews

Shining one corner ... ten directions, three times, March 29, 2005

By baidarkas "Chris" (Washington, USA)

I keep on buying this book. It looks like I can't keep it. Each and every copy seems to find its way into other hands and perhaps minds. I enjoy the aliveness of these interactions, the awareness, being in the moment, beyond conditioning.

Be aware. Zazen. The living Zen of Suzuki Roshi!

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I keep coming back to this slim volume, July 20, 2004

By S. Moulder (Redmond, WA United States)

It has a directness and brevity that seem to cut through in a way that longer works do not. I will say that having read other books by Suzuki Roshi, I found extra meaning in some of the shorter quotes that may not be there for all readers.

I was concerned that the book's brevity would detract, but I've come to feel that this is it's real strength. If you are like me, you get more books on subjects like this than you can ever read. This one was so short and pleasant that I did read it. And finish it. And re-read it. Good for a quick dip into it's pages or to read cover to cover.

Highly recommended.

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Nice Daily Reminder Book, May 23, 2003

By Swing King (Cincinnati, OH USA)

This book's contents is approximately 123 pages long, on each page there is anywhere between 2 to 6 sentences. Very short, yet often insightful, tidbits of wisdom on each page. The way I would recommend reading this book, is to not read it all at once. Rather, pick the book up for those times of great doubts, select any page-and read. It's simplicity is it's best quality. Sometimes we can become so lost down the philosophical or intellectual road, that we need a book like this to say: the tree is a tree. But no, there is more to the book then that.

For anyone interested in further reading into Zen, I would recommend The Compass of Zen by Zen Master Seung Sahn. Seung Sahn delves right into the 3 schools, Hinayana, Mahayana, and Zen (the two latter being the same mostly). The reason why I mention Seung Sahn is because I have a lot of admiration for his teaching style-no one compares. But, that said, Shunryu Suzuki's books, especially Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind-are at the very least-insightful.

The following is an example of the sort of page you may come across in this book:

A student, filled with emotion and crying, implored,"Why is there so much suffering?"

Suzuki Roshi replied,"No reason."

Enjoy this book:)

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I love this book, September 7, 2001

By "natelevine" (Oakland, CA USA)

Yet another stunning book from David Chadwick. Though it resembles a classic koan collection, Chadwick deftly skirts the hazard of presenting a collection of "profound stories". Chadwick's own considerable personality is not in evidence, the tone of the book is always sweetly understated, and the reader is not obligated to grapple with worshipful pretensions to piety. What fun.....

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How to "be" the teaching, June 19, 2001

By Algernon D'Ammassa (Los Angeles, CA United States)

What a pleasure to read this at a time when bookstores are sporting larger and larger "Buddhism and Zen" sections, bursting with dharma-writing. In this slim, handsome volume (sporting the most beautiful photograph of Suzuki-roshi I have seen - like a sunbeam!) long-time students and practitioners recall moments with their teacher who showed, by example, that when you digest spiritual practice - so that how you hang your laundry is the teaching! - then THIS is the real teacher. When one student asks for a translation of one ancient Japanese chant, the roshi waves away an attendant who begins to locate a helpful book and says, "It means love!"

This is not wiseguy, shoot-from-the-hip Zen; nor is it a collection of erudite dharma speeches drawn from ancient scripture. This is a tribute to a true dharma friend and guide, a kind of friend we feel lonely for until we realize he was only showing us who we are.

Comment | Was this review helpful to you? YesNo (Report this)

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To Shine One Corner of the World, March 29, 2001

By Ruth Wynkoop (Berkeley, CA) - See all my reviews

Reading this book feels like sitting down for story time with your wise old grandfather on a Sunday afternoon. It's full of questions and full of answers to be excavated and then interpreted by the beholder. There's no dogma here - only stories and moments. If you read with a light heart you'll discover many pearls. Some of the stories will stick to you like honey.

David Chadwick's selection of anecdotes beautifully pieces together a portrait of Shunryu Suzuki, a Soto Zen priest who meant a lot of things to a lot of different people. Through the sharing of these individual experiences with Suzuki, a teaching as well as a sweet story of an unusual man emerges. An added bonus is getting a peek into this spiritual side of San Franciso in the 1960's.

The simplicity of structure works well with this book. You can open up to any page and dig in. You needn't be a Buddhist or a former student of Suzuki's to appreciate what's between the covers. Chadwick's introduction provides enough information about Suzuki to whet your appetite for the stories he shares. He also includes a glossary of Buddhist terms in the back of the book which I found helpful. For those who did know Shunryu Suzuki and his teachings I can imagine this book would be a treasure to keep right next to your family photo albums and personal journals.

I recommend this book to anyone seeking a little pleasure and understanding about everyday life. It's a book I'll keep on my nightstand for a bit of morning inspiration or as a last thought before drifting off at night. It's also a book I plan to share with friends.

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Just one corner....., November 30, 2004

By Kathryn Lanier "Writer, Editor, Reviewer" (Colorado, USA)

To Shine One Corner of the World - Moments with Shunryu Suzuki
Stories of a Zen Master Told by His Students

"We say, to shine one corner of the world -- just one corner. If you shine one corner, then people around you will feel better."

Shunryu Suzuki

It has been said that when the student is ready, the master appears. To Shine One Corner of the World brings Suzuki Roshi to us through the gift of his students' recollections as beautifully as if we suddenly turned the corner and he stood before us. The editor of this delightful book, David Chadwick, studied and was ordained by Suzuki Roshi 30 years ago. The success of this small book lies in Chadwick's ability to allow the essence of Suzuki Roshi to shine through each page without extraneous editorializing. The words are those of Suzuki Roshi's students. The humor, the complexity, the mischievous nature of this Zen master is evident from first page to last.

Chadwick opens with a simple introduction of Suzuki Roshi's journey to the west coast of the United States from his native Japan and his mission to bring Zen Buddhism to the west. The introduction also includes a wonderful, straight forward explanation of the precepts of Zen Buddhism and Suzuki Roshi's teaching method, primarily silence. This leads us to a greater understanding of how, thirty years after his death, his students still recall his words. Chadwick presents these brief moments in time for us to interpret as the lessons appear for us.

Suzuki Roshi may not have spoken large quantities of words, but the words that he did speak were not limited to intensely serious profundity. From the student who received jelly beans after lamenting his snack habit to the student who was told "You get a gold star" when he sought the master's approval to putting a napkin on his head in a New York restaurant, we are shown that the master believed in levity as a powerful teaching tool. And yet, Chadwick also gives us a glance of the complexity of the master as Suzuki Roshi tells a group of students "When I say don't move, it doesn't mean you can't move."

To Shine One Corner of the World offers 122 moments experienced by students present during Suzuki Roshi's lifetime. Each vignette appears on an individual page leaving generous space for your own hand written thoughts as you contemplate the light of the master's words. The contributors to the book are listed in the back of the book so that there is no distraction from your experience of Suzuki Roshi within the pages. This small book shines with peace as the Suzuki Roshi's impish smile looks out from underneath shade trees in a photograph set within the lovely graphic design of a lotus blossom. David Chadwick has given us a jewel to be read again and again throughout all the days of our lives.

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Kathryn Lanier lives in Colorado with her nine year old twins. She is a freelance writer, editor, and review columnist educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the College of Charleston. She is an internationally published author and works world wide with clients from four continents! She can be contacted for services and workshop information through Innerchange Magazine online.

 

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Recommended by various sites such as

http://zencircle.org/books.html - Elberon Zen Circle

http://www.public.asu.edu/~millsap/buddha.html - A Buddhist Resource Page

http://www.coopertherapy.com/mindfulness.html

http://www.stupa.org.nz/stupa/books/nonasia.htm

http://www.carlosvalles.com/ningles/anteriores/150305ioc.htm

http://www.zenguide.com/discussions/bookreviews.cfm

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/bibliography07.htm

Buddha Dharma Education Association and Buddhanet

BOERNE (TX) PUBLIC LIBRARY NEWS

 

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BEING PRESENT

To Shine One Corner of the World: Moments with Shunryu Suzuki edited by David Chadwick (Broadway Books, hardcover)

This is a delightful, thought-provoking, and wise collection of teachings from the Buddhist founder of the San Francisco Zen Center.

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A stunning book! Though it resembles a classic koan collection, Chadwick deftly skirts the ...

www.angelsinc.com

That’s all I could find. And now that web site is gone. Darn. - DC


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