Zen: The Art of Simple Living – Shunmyo Masuno Book Summary

Zen: The Art of Simple Living – Shunmyo Masuno | Free Book Summary

Zen: The Art of Simple Living – Shunmyo Masuno

A thorough examination of the essence of eastern philosophy.

The Premise

Consumption is a defining feature of the Western world. The information age has arrived, and everything is readily available. Companies employ large teams to create advertisements that force us to accumulate. Their oxygen is our attention.

Zen practice goes against the grain. It means saying no to advertisers while saying yes to ourselves. Zen advises living a simple existence in all aspects of life, reducing everything to the essentials. Choose the definition that works best for you: simple, intentional, or purposeful. The idea is to have only what you consider to be sufficient.

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Zazen Meditation

  • It is necessary to make time to be alone with one’s thoughts and to sit quietly in nature.
  • Zazen is a Zen meditation practise that allows you to sweep the detritus from your mind.
  • Zazen is the practise of becoming aware of your thought patterns and achieving inner peace.

The Method:

First, we take the proper posture, then we concentrate on our breathing, and finally, we calm our minds. When we have all three of these things in place, we can begin to practise zazen.

Try zazen sitting: empty your mind and let your thoughts float up and then drift away.Free book, podcast summaries

The Three Poisons

Greed, anger, and ignorance are the three poisons in Buddhism. Buddhism regards them as the source of our suffering, preventing us from attaining enlightenment. Whether you are a Buddhist or not, we could all benefit from reducing these negative emotions.

Be Here And Now

Zen emphasizes becoming aware of one’s surroundings in the present moment. Using your breath as an anchor can assist in clarifying this concept, which may appear ambiguous at first. We can only physically live in the present moment as humans; allowing our minds to wander elsewhere is pointless.

Life Isn’t Black and White

Life is all about making personal choices. You miss out on the beauty of grey if you obsess over black and white.

Buddhists do not think in black-and-white terms. Some things are white, some are black, and some are various shades of grey in between. This open-minded spirit is at the heart of Buddhism, and it played a significant role in its spread in Japan.

Ordinary days are great

If you can find gratitude in your regular days, you’ll lead a happy life. You will lead a life of turmoil if you must pursue desires in order to experience joy.

Depending on how we arrange the little details of each day, our lives will either be glorious or miserable. We must arrange the details into a pleasing composition. Only then will we have meaning in our lives.

Sitting Quietly

Thinking is derived from the concept of sitting quietly. Humans are incapable of thinking while in motion. We only have one mind, and when it is focused on movement, it is difficult to engage in deep thought. Deep thought about absolute truth in the world or the meaning of life cannot be accomplished while in motion.

Boundaries and how to create them

When we wake up in the morning, we immediately turn on the computer and check our email, or we read the news on our phones and check the weather.

We live in an era when information is available at all times and from any location. But in such a world, we have even more reason to keep proper on and off switches in place.

Other ways to achieve zen

  • Think simple.
  • Don’t let things go to waste.
  • Give thanks for what you already have.
  • Clear your head.
  • Accept change.
  • Deepen your relationships.
  • Look for good qualities in others.
  • Don’t be rushed or too relaxed.
  • Don’t yield on to the constant insecurity of being liked by others.

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