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Samurai Book Review/Preview:  禅、シンプル生活のすすめ or  Zen:  Suggestions for Simple Living by Shunnmyo Masuno

Half the fun/learning is just browsing. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized the book was Zen based. (I read everything but the biggest kanji on the cover.)

I am going back to the roots of Samurai Mind Online.   When I began this blog I was inspired by Japanese self-help writers as way to learn how to use my mind better while learning Japanese .  I was browsing through a Numazu bookstore and found a nice little pocket sized book.   It was until I got home that I actually noticed the biggest kanji on the cover and realized it was a Zen based book.  Samurai score!

I am enjoying just reading the chapter titles.   The chapters are bite-sized but I haven’t gotten around to reading the  innards.   There are some great hints for leading a powerful, simple life.  Here are a few of my faves.  As always, take my translations with a dash of soy sauce.   Use it for your life or for your sentence sampling if you are studying Japanese.

  1. 十五分、早起きしてみるーーTry waking up fifteen minutes earlier.
  2. 朝の空気をしっかり、味わうーーReally take in the morning air.
  3. 脱いだ靴を整えるーーWhen you take off your shoes, arrange them neatly
  4. いらない物を捨てるーーGet rid of things that you don’t need
  5. デスクの上整える^^Arrange your desk neatly (uh-oh)
  6. 一杯のコーヒ^を丁寧に淹れる–Serve Up Your Coffee Mindfully
  7. 食事をおろそかにしないーーDon’t neglect your meals
  8. 食事では、一口ごとに箸を置くTake Only One Bite-Full with Your Chopsticks
  9. 好きな言葉を探す^^Search for Words That You Really Like
  10. 持物を減らすーーReduce the Amount of Stuff You Carry Around
  11. ベランダに小さいな庭をつくるーーCreate a Small Garden on Your Veranda
  12. 自分の手で自然に触れるーーTouch Nature With Your Hands
  13. 寝る前は嫌いなことを考えないーーDon’t Think About Negative Things Before You Go to Sleep

    My Un-Zen desk at the Manga Cafe.

  14. 今できることを一生懸命にやるーーDo everything you are doing now with gusto
  15. ときには、考えるをやめてみるーーTry to Stop Thinking Every Now and Then
  16. 起こっていないことで悩みないーーDon’t Worry About Things That Haven’t  Happened Yet
  17. 仕事を楽しむーーEnjoy your work
  18. 悩むより動くーーMovement is better than worry
  19. 人と比べないーーDon’t Compare Yourself to (Other) People
  20. 平凡な一日こそ、感謝するーーBe Grateful for the Average, Every Day Things in Life

This book didn’t make my browsing cut but I like the message. I think the title is something like ‘Nothing is Pointless.’ More Buddhist self-help, please!

Of course, this all brings me to the question:  Is Zen Zen because its Japanese or are the Japanese Japanese because of Zen?  The answer is probably yes.

Will all of this help you?  I don’ know.  I do know my mother in-law is thrilled I neatly arranged the shoes.  🙂

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