“But sitting is not something that we do for a year or two with the idea of mastering it. Sitting is something we do for a lifetime. There is no end to the opening up that is possible for a human being. Eventually we see that we are the limitless, boundless ground of the universe. Our job for the rest of our life is to open up into that immensity and to express it. Having more and more contact with this reality always brings compassion for others and changes our daily life. We live differently, work differently, relate to people differently. Zen is a lifelong study. It isn’t just sitting on a cushion for thirty or forty minutes a day. Our whole life becomes practice, twenty-four hours a day.”
~ Charlotte Joko Beck from Everyday Zen
Charlotte Joko Beck was the founder and former head teacher at the Zen Center in San Diego.
I bought this book 10 years ago but it wasn’t until Eleanor recently pulled it off the shelf and dropped it on the ground that I picked it up and read it. (Very Zen, eh? lol)
The book (get a copy here) is a collection of edited talks Joko gave at her Zen center. It was published in 1989 when she was 82. (She passed away at 94 in 2011.)
Fun fact: Joko started practicing Zen at 48. She went on to become an influential figure in the American Zen movement, founding her own approach called Ordinary Mind.
When I learned that late-start biological fact, I thought of George Leonard—one of the leading figures in the early days of the human potential movement (and author of Mastery). He started practicing Aikido at age 47. He went on to become a fifth-degree black belt.
So… If you feel a little “behind” in any aspect of your life, take heart! :)
The book is packed with Big Ideas and I’m excited to share a few of my favorites with some practical wisdom we can apply to our lives TODAY so let’s jump straight in.
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