A guidebook to recognizing and incorporating Zen thinking in everyday life
In Zen and the Art of Anything, Hal W. French invites readers to embrace a broad definition of Zen as mindfulness—extracting the most from a given moment—and as opportunity to incorporate greater appreciation and fulfillment in everyday activities. Written, designed, and illustrated to enable Zen, this book encourages opportunities for mindfulness in commonplace human actions like breathing, speaking, waking, sleeping, moving, staying, eating, drinking, working, playing, caring, loving, thriving, and surviving. French holds that, if we are mindful in our daily living and thereby practice Zen, we can elevate the most fundamental activity to an art form and find a key to a more authentic and meaningful life.
Hal W. French is a distinguished profession emeritus of comparative religions at the University of South Carolina, where he is the former chair of the Department of Religious Studies. His other books include The Swan's Wide Waters: Ramakrishna and Culture, Religious Ferment in Modern India, and A Study of Religious Fanaticism and Responses to It: Adversary Identity.
"It looks like poetry but is actually bits and pieces of prose, set to flow on the page with the jerky rhythms and the unexpected pleasures of life. It speaks in riddles and, in the great Zen tradition, answers a question with a question. Richly charming while delightfully slim, it guides us ever so gently over life's uncertain terrain, helping us avert the minefields. Basing the book's lessons on Zen fundamentals, French proves a wise and witty observer of the simplest aspects of human existence. . . . Both beginners and more advanced students of Zen will find much to enjoy."—Booklist