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What do you think of when you hear the word Zen? Many Westerners may associate Zen with the counterculture of the 1960s and '70s, while others may associate it with today’s hipster culture. Many use the word to simply mean laid-back and relaxed. 

But what does Zen really mean? Zen is a school of Buddhism and a rigorous spiritual discipline. To understand what Zen is really about, it is vital not only to study its profound philosophical teachings, but also to engage in the practice of Zen. The word Zen means meditation, and Zen meditation is a practice of “clearing the heart-mind”. For Zen, an open mind entails an open heart, and this open heart-mind is the source of both creativity and compassion. 

Professor Bret W. Davis, professor of philosophy and the T. J. Higgins, SJ, chair in philosophy at Loyola University Maryland, has created a highly accessible introduction to the philosophical concept of Zen with Real Zen for Real Life. Bringing the academic purview of a philosophy professor, the view of an academic scholar, and the spiritual experience of a practitioner and teacher of Zen, this course reflects the push and pull between Eastern and Western traditions and cultures with the goal of making the study and practice of Zen more accessible and engaging to all viewers.

Over the course of 24 lessons, including the eight meditation checkups within lessons, you will learn both what Zen has traditionally meant for East Asians and what it can mean for contemporary Westerners. Prepare to be challenged as Professor Davis asks you to set aside your preconceptions in order to open yourselves to what Zen masters who lived in the past and in distant lands have to teach you. You will especially need to be open to the possibility that Zen may be able to teach you about yourself. This course aims to challenge and inspire you, both intellectually and personally. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 The Great Courses (P)2020 The Teaching Company, LLC

Ce que les auditeurs disent de Real Zen for Real Life

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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brandon
  • 2021-03-04

The trick: just sit down and be quiet. Trust me.

I started this lecture to help deepen my understanding of Zen for character research for a silly project I was working on, then something happened: Zen didn't seem so unapproachable and perplexing. This lecture is earnest in its demystification of Zen as some far away ancient thing from an exotic land. Prof. Davis does a wonderful job explaining how begin a practice and demonstrating the functionality of Zen 21st century life. In the information age of 24 hour news cycles, disinformation, vitriol, confusion and suffering: Zen is more applicable now more than ever. I'm an avid listener of The Great Courses, but this one literally changed my life.

19 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gardeneroh
  • 2021-01-24

Excellent teacher and material

This is a "don't miss" for those interested in the topic, Dr. Davis is an internationally known scholar and practitioner of Zen who nonetheless makes the material very accessible and enjoyable. He is clear, personal, and humorous, even while presenting the history, philosophy, and practice of Zen on a very high level. I am learning so much from the course, and being inspired in my own practice. Instead of only talking about Zen concepts and figures, he also teaches how to meditate effectively ("Zen" literally means meditation) so that one can have personal experience and insights. Highly recommended!

Contents:
1 What Is Zen? Recovering the Beginner’s Mind

2 The Zen Way to Know and Forget Thyself

3 Zen Meditation: Clearing the Heart-Mind

4 How to Practice Zen Meditation

5 The Middle Way of Knowing What Suffices

Meditation Checkup: The Middle Way of Meditation

6 Embracing the Impermanence of Life

7 The True Self Is Egoless

Meditation Checkup: Lead with the Body and Physical Stillness

8 Loving Others as Yourself

9 Taking Turns as the Center of the Universe

Meditation Checkup: From Mindless Reacting to Mindful Responding

10 Who or What Is the Buddha?

11 Mind Is Buddha: If You Meet Him, Kill Him!

Meditation Checkup: Dealing with Unavoidable Pain

12 Dying to Live: Buddhism and Christianity

13 Zen beyond Mysticism: Everyday Even Mind

14 Engaged Zen: From Inner to Outer Peace

Meditation Checkup: Dealing with Distractions

15 The Dharma of Karma: We Reap What We Sow

16 Zen Morality: Follow and Then Forget Rules

17 The Zone of Zen: The Freedom of No-Mind

18 Zen Lessons from Nature: The Giving Leaves

Meditation Checkup: Three Ways of Breathing In and Out

19 Zen Art: Cultivating Naturalness

20 Zen and Words: Between Silence and Speech

Meditation Checkup: Chanting as a Meditative Practice

21 Zen and Philosophy: The Kyoto School

22 Just Sitting and Working with Koans

Meditation Checkup: Walking Meditation

23 Death and Rebirth: Or, Nirvana Here and Now

24 Reviewing the Path of Zen: The Oxherding Pictures

Finding a Zen Community

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2021-04-21

Interesting but Focus is Also Christianity

I was enjoying the course but he spends way too much time comparing and contrasting Buddhism with Christianity. Why not compare it with other religions? Or why compare with other religions at all? Once or twice would make sense but Christian doctrine permeates this course.

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  • Dan H.
  • 2021-02-25

Great!

This course is Excellent. This is a perfect companion course to the other TGC classes on Buddhism.

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  • Marguerite
  • 2021-05-05

Highly recommend

I knew nothing about Zen so this lecture series was perfect. Clear, insightful and well organised in presentation of information. BUT also friendly and entertaining in performance. So rich with explanation, I will be listening to this series many times for years to come. Thank you Professor Davis, you have deepened by understanding and I have made some behavioural changes as a result :)

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