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About the book
  • Published: 1 May 2015
  • ISBN: 9781611801941
  • Imprint: Shambhala
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $37.00
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Nothing Holy About It


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Zen teachings—infused with elements of memoir—by a popular modern teacher who "grew up" at the feet of two of the great figures who brought Zen to America, Shunryu Suzuki and Dainin Katagiri. He employs his reminiscences of those two great masters as teaching anecdotes.

Tim Burkett was twenty when he met Suzuki Roshi, and it was love at first sight. He immediately quit pursuing the career in law to which his illustrious family of jurists inclined him, and became a serious Zen student. He went on to become a licensed psychotherapist and then followed Katagiri Roshi to Minneapolis to become a founder of the Zen scene there. He never left. Now that he's himself a revered Zen teacher, he's decided to articulate his own view of Zen. He structures the teaching according to five not-necessarily sequential levels on the road to enlightenment: (1) commitment to the path, (2) studying the self, (3) cultivating compassion and equanimity, (4) perseverance, and (5) emptiness. This is an introduction to Zen teaching that reads like an intriguing memoir, as the author discovers the teaching in the people, places, and experiences he encounters in the course of his practice.

  • Pub date: 1 May 2015
  • ISBN: 9781611801941
  • Imprint: Shambhala
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $37.00

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Praise for Nothing Holy About It

“"Amidst Tim Burkett's insights into Buddhism and life, there emerges a wonderful, intimate picture of Shunryu Suzuki. I learned a lot from this book."—David Chadwick, author of Crooked Cucumber: The Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki "Enjoy this wonderful, useful, profound yet modest book that expresses the true spirit of Zen. It and its warm-hearted author are blessings for the world, and I am honored and very pleased to introduce them to you."—from the foreword by Norman Fischer, author of Training in Compassion”


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