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Synopsis

We can use whatever life presents, Ezra Bayda teaches, to strengthen our spiritual practice—including the turmoil of daily life. What we need is the willingness to just be with our experiences—whether they are painful or pleasing—opening ourselves to the reality of our lives without trying to fix or change anything. But doing this requires that we confront our most deeply rooted fears and assumptions in order to gradually become free of the constrictions and suffering they create. Then we can awaken to the loving-kindness that is at the heart of our being.

While many books aspire to bring meditation into everyday experience, Being Zen gives us practical ways to actually do it, introducing techniques that enable the reader to foster qualities essential to continued spiritual awakening. Topics include how to cultivate:

  • Perseverance: staying with anger, fear, and other distressing emotions.
  • Stillness: abiding with chaotic experiences without becoming overwhelmed.
  • Clarity: seeing through the conditioned beliefs and fears that "run" us.
  • Direct experience: encountering the physical reality of the present moment—even when that moment is exactly where we don't want to be.

Like Pema Chödrön, the best-selling author of When Things Fall Apart, Ezra Bayda writes with clear, heartfelt simplicity, using his own life stories to illustrate the teachings in an immediate and accessible way that will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers.

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