The Empty Mirror

I read this book at precisely the right age. As adolescent, with no knowledge of anything. It hit me hard, and zen became part of my blood and bones. Now, almost 20 years later, I still consider this book to have had more influence on me than any other. It changed the course of my life. I re-read it every 4-5 years. And when friends want to know more about me, reading this book is one of the things to do.

Do not expect higher wisdom from this book. Rather, it is like cleaning the lenses of your

I read this book at precisely the right age. As adolescent, with no knowledge of anything. It hit me hard, and zen became part of my blood and bones. Now, almost 20 years later, I still consider this book to have had more influence on me than any other. It changed the course of my life. I re-read it every 4-5 years.

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And when friends want to know more about me, reading this book is one of the things to do. Do not expect higher wisdom from this book. Rather, it is like cleaning the lenses of your glasses. When being wound up in career, one's image, or any of such modern attention-monopolies, reading a chapter of this books helps ( me ) to calm and choose for a normal, simple life instead. A book about un-learning. This book is easy to read; written in the first person, describing daily life for a westerner in a monastery. And, since it took place (1958) before it was trendy for westerners to look east for deep insight, the author had no expectation, and did not, for example, trade his jeans for traditional monk clothing, or shave his head.

He remains the down-to-earth Dutchman, though with aching desire to find something special, leading often to disappointment, which then leads to an unexpected insight.

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Category: Review

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