Book Review: Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki | #SmartReads

ZenMind

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
March 19, 2019

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki is a rather intricate but deep view into the mindscape of what the ‘Zen Mind’ entails.

Though a bit enigmatic at points, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind is still quite accessible to individuals from all walks of life.  There is a veritable fountain of information within this book’s well, and its up to the individual to draw as much as one needs.

Overall the book shows countless insights individuals may follow to strengthen their core repertoire.

Some of the concepts the book discusses included mindfulness, the importance of calmness and focus in your life, proper practice, simplicity and much more.

For anyone traversing into Zen realm, or simply seeking to mental construct a platform for a sound mindset, this book should be deeply pondered.  It synthesizes many every-day topics in a simple to follow manner, and does so in a way that is not only rich in scope, but practical in application.

After having this book for nigh 3 years, I can honestly say this is one of the books that I gravitate to the most when I find myself needing to get centered, lacking focus, or simply wanting to inculcate some core concepts that are required to have a sound and robust mindset.

The significance of this book is in its ability to aid the reader in becoming cognizant of the mind in ways hitherto unconsidered and in learning how to maintain an open mind under all circumstances creating a more capable mindset.  And until a sound mindset is coupled to an individual’s repertoire, critical growth will not take place – an individual’s maximum potential will not be achieved.

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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

Book Review: As A Man Thinketh by James Allen | #SmartReads

As A Man Thinketh
BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
March 19, 2019

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are.  I don’t believe in circumstances.  The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and , if they can’t find them, make them.”
– George Bernard Shaw

“Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.”
– Napoleon Hill

As A Man Thinketh is the magnificent manifestation of an individual that examines individual potential when coupled with a sound mindset.  Timeless as it is engaging, this book sheds light into one of the most overlooked truths mankind has ever set his mind up: each of us is individually responsible for our own circumstances.

Keenly observing the truth, Allen consistently contemplates how sound mental faculties and a strong mindset are what are most responsible for the all we achieve in life.  By way of illustration, in Allen’s own words:

“All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is just direct result of his own thoughts.  In a justly ordered universe, where the loss of equipoise would mean total destruction, individual responsibility must be absolute.  A man’s weakness and strength, purity and impurity, are his own, and not another man’s; they are brought about by himself, and not by another; and they can only be altered by himself, never by another.  His condition is also his own, and not another man’s.  His suffering and his happiness are evolved from within.  As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

Such are the insightful words of a master at his craft.

As A Man Thinketh is a thorough discourse into the profound implications that the mindset of the individual has for the world around him.  This is one of the most appealing points of the book.  The book examines thoughts in relation to character and purpose, the effect of thought on health and circumstances, and much more.

In fact, particularly of note, Allen elucidates on the power of thought and character:

“Thought and character are one, and as character can only manifest and discover itself through environment and circumstances, the outer condition of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state.”[2]

I have found this to be the case in my life, and began noticing it considerably when I began employing mindfulness on a daily basis; I became attentive not only to the environs around me, but also to the direct correlation between my actions and my circumstances, even the ones that I did not like.  This was a crucial point for me to comes to terms with, since the state of my life wasn’t going to change until I began changing in profound ways.  I say this in hope that others realize the profound truths discussed in this book.

Unexpected, and yet alluring, Allen’s words are poetry itself – elegant and incisive, inspiring and highly thought-provoking.  In fact, I was so inspired by Allen’s writing I had to apprise myself of additional work by him.  That prompted me to purchase Mind Is The Master, which features 19 of his works.  This is mentioned for the individuals who already read the book finding it advantageous and are seeking additional work by Allen.

Allen’s no-nonsense, down to earth approach is rather inspiring as it is engaging.  Having now read the book, whose insightful words resonate with me quite well, I have grown more centered, better prepared, to tackle daily circumstances in a way that I had not before.  It has quickly become a mainstay in my daily routine of study.

As A Man Thinketh is an discerning and inspirational read in its totality, made all the more relevant by the fact that science is beginning to bear this out, as books like The Intention Experiment and others have ascertained.  If you are looking for an author that ruminates at length about the keen power of the individual mind and its power to create, look no further. Complement this book with Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, by Shunryu Suzuki, and Maximum Achievement by Brian Tracy, and one has not only the foundation to live a mindful life, but the veritable recipe for success and growth for any individual.

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[1] James Allen, As A Man Thinketh, p. 43.
[2] Ibid., p. 12.

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If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and  BreakawayIndividual.com
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

Modern Misteps Meet Mindfulness

“Nothing is worth more than this day.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

ALPHA-Mindfulness

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
December 5, 2018

Nowadays, not a day goes by that individuals are not exposed to constant notifications, texts, videos, apps and daily reminders – these are everywhere.  Be it at home, at work, or on the go, these never-ending streams of information drain hundreds of hours off of our schedules yearly.

In fact, according to a study conducted by the University of Southern California in 2013, the average individual in America goes through more than 13 hours of media daily.[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

Most of it does not add much meaning to our lives either, unfortunately.

Society’s addiction to this overarching all-things-now pattern has increased proportional to our technological advancement, if not more so.  Not a day goes by without the instant gratification that is contained within all forms social media, the mainstream media sound-bite reality, texting, on-demand Google answers, and much more.  This instant connection to all-things-now has spawned a new type of addiction: addiction to Speed.

In Speed – Facing Our Addiction To Fast and Faster – and Overcoming Our Fear Of Slowing Down, Dr. Stephanie Brown Ph.D. makes the argument that individuals of myriad types have become addicted to the instant gratification that is hyper-prevalent in modern lifestyles.  Psychologist Brown notes:

“That gratification comes from two places – the illusion of rapid connection to other people, and immediate access to information we feel we need, be it a Google Map, an investment insight, or the answers to a trivia question.”[2]

This type of addictive behavior can have serious detrimental consequences for individuals.  What’s worse, society has acclimated to it in such a way that it’s become natural to operate in such a manner.

What is Dr. Brown noticing exactly?  Brown casts light on the matter:

“What I am seeing in my practice as an addiction specialist is that, especially in urban areas, this speed trap is outstripping people’s ability to manage, to fulfill all of their responsibilities, and even to cope.  The idea that we literally have at our fingertips the tools to do so much more than we actually have the capacity to do well has created an impossible bind that leads to chronic stress and a sense of failure.  You do not have the ability to be on 24/7 like a computer, but you believe you should be able to keep going, and that you will be able to do so if you only try harder.  And so you push yourself incessantly, creating an addictive spiral.”[3]

Coming to terms with this, it is crucial as individuals to know that this is taking place in order to be able to tackle this issue head on.  Issues that are unknown cannot be solved, and only by employing a proactive approach can individuals be able to displace and conquer such issues.

In order to thwart these subversive circumstances, an examination at the opposite side of the spectrum is at hand.  If a full-steam-ahead-no-matter-what approach is what society has become addicted to, then a more mindful, detached, and self-engaged approach stands at the opposite side of that coin.

Mindfulness – the state or quality of being mindful or aware of something – is the first step in overcoming this conundrum.  What mindfulness offers is a thoughtful, relaxed, and engaged version of what individuals can are capable of doing when their mind is at ease and focused.

The problem is that this Mindful state of being is nigh never achieved because of the issues noted above by Dr. Brown, as well as others.  Another salient and ever-present reason for this is that people get into the bad habit of autopiloting through life without much thought.

One thing Poker has taught me is that many players can engage in autopilot, meaning that they tend to play the game in an automatic fashion without much thought being put into each and every circumstance.  Similarly, many, if not most individuals employ this type of approach in daily life.

Some glaring examples of the ways this can be noticed in life are: (1) seeing how many people forget someone’s name after they meet them, or (2) how many people don’t remember a significant portion of their drive on their way home, or even (3) how some people text while driving.  There are many more examples, but those are some of the more common ones that help shed light on the matter.

Being cognizant of this, it’s important to keep in mind that mindfulness can only be achieved by being mentally centered, by employing a hyper-focused, top-down approach that allows individuals to ‘be in the moment’.

As Captain J.A. Hatfield once shared:

“The art of resting the mind and the power of dismissing from it all care and worry is probably one of the secrets of our great men.”

If you want to achieve anything significant in life, we must home-in on what we think.  As the sage Buddha once noted:

“We are what we think.  All that we are arises with our thoughts.  With our thoughts we make our world.”

What world will you make for yourself: a world where instant gratification controls you, or a mindful life where you control your world?

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Footnotes:

[1] Elizabeth Williams, Mary.  “Why Every Mind Needs Mindfulness.”  Time Special Edition – Mindfulness: The New Science Of Health And Happiness, 2017, p. 10.
[2] Dr.  Stephanie Brown Ph.D., Speed – Facing Our Addiction To Fast & Faster And Overcoming Our Fear Of Slowing Down, p.4
[3] Ibid., p. 5.

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This article is free and open source. All individuals are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and BreakawayIndividual.com
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.