Charlotte Joko Beck
Book Excerpts

Wandering in the Desert: This is our Life

    Charlotte Joko Beck was an American Zen teacher who insisted that Zen training must directly address our conditioned reactions, and that meditative awareness was the key to understanding the emptiness of ego. She also underlined the value of bringing practice insights into daily life by living compassionately and with recognition of the interconnectedness… Continue reading Wandering in the Desert: This is our Life

Book Excerpts

Stop Avoiding the Uncomfortable Questions – David Foster Wallace

"Is it right to boil a sentient creature alive just for our gustatory pleasure?" David Foster Wallace asks in the course of his brilliant essay on eating and ethics, Consider the Lobster. An article originally commissioned by Gourmet magazine back in 2004 meant to cover the Maine Lobster Festival, DFW's assignment quickly went off track… Continue reading Stop Avoiding the Uncomfortable Questions – David Foster Wallace

Book Excerpts

The Asbestos-Clad Stove of Burning Coals – Tim Parks on Why Meditation Can Be Painful

Anyone who has embarked on a prolonged meditation retreat will know that the experience is often a far cry from the blissed out enlightenment we thought we'd signed up for. In his book, Teach Us To Sit Still, Tim Parks gives a candid, humorous and humane account of his own trajectory from disbelief and pain… Continue reading The Asbestos-Clad Stove of Burning Coals – Tim Parks on Why Meditation Can Be Painful