Zen Confidential

Zen Confidential

Confessions of A Wayward Monk

Book - 2013
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"This punk of a monk, who should be tending to his own affairs, has decided to infect the real world with his tall tales, and worse, to let the cat out of the bag. And what a sly, dangerous, beautiful, foul-smelling, heart-warming beast it is."--Leonard Cohen, from the foreword

These hilarious essays on life inside and outside a Zen monastery make up the spiritual memoir of Shozan Jack Haubner, a Zen monk who didn't really start out to be one. Raised in a conservative Catholic family, Shozan went on to study philosophy (becoming  de-Catholicized in the process) and to pursue a career as a screenwriter and stand-up comic in the clubs of L.A. How he went from life in the fast lane to life on the stationary meditation cushion is the subject of this laugh-out-loud funny account of his experiences. Whether he's dealing with the pranks of a juvenile delinquent assistant in the monastery kitchen or defending himself against claims that he appeared in a porno movie under the name "Daniel Reed" (he didn't, really) or being surprised in the midst of it all by the compassion he experiences in the presence of his teacher, Haubner's voice is one you'll be compelled to listen to. Not only because it's highly entertaining, but because of its remarkable insight into the human condition.
Publisher: Boston :, Shambhala,, 2013.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781611800333
1611800331
Branch Call Number: BIO HAUBNER S. Haubner 05/2013
Characteristics: xi, 269 pages ;,22 cm

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slang123
Jun 04, 2016

This is not a beginners "how to" on Zen Buddhism. Although there are some profound nuggets buried within. (See "Quotes")

LaughingOne Sep 27, 2014

Loved the cover but not the contents. I tried to find an article that I could relate to or even enjoy, but couldn't. It might be too adolescent boy mindset for this female. I just didn't get the humour that is supposed to be in this book.

loveablelibrarian May 07, 2014

I picked this up because I adore Leonard Cohen and he wrote the foreword to this book. Haubner and Cohen are both students of the famed Kyozan Joshu Sasaki (or Roshi, as they both refer to him). If you have read a lot about Zen let me assure you this is NOT your regular book about Buddhism. Haubner dives deep into his personal struggles that led him to Roshi's center on Mt.Baldy and takes us deep inside the contradictions and beatitude of his life as a monk. Slightly overwritten, this book is a bit of a challenge to get through but I appreciated the insight Haubner leads us to with each chapter. I was a bit turned off by some of the more crude passages and shriveled a bit at some of the representations of women. But, overall, if you are equipped with a bit flexibility, I would recommend this to anyone interested in the Middle path (and all of the paradoxes it holds).

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s
slang123
Jun 04, 2016

"Thus we imagine we can control it with the right mantras, prayers, and intellectual efforts. But spiritual change is precisely a process that is bigger than you. You don't control it. You surrender to it. You don't reinvent yourself through spiritual work. You face yourself, and then you must let go of all the ghastly things you find. But there is no end to these ghastly things. They keep coming. The ego is a bottomless pit of suckiness. And so you finally let go of the self that clings to itself (one definition of ego). True freedom comes when ego goes!"

s
slang123
Jun 04, 2016

"Spiritual work is not the same thing as self-help."
"It's a means to help you see clearly what's been there all along, beneath the surface, both in the larger sense and within yourself."

s
slang123
Jun 04, 2016

"Pause and gather your shattered, wild energies, your shattered soul...before you fling that seed of hate into the wind."

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