Zen has been on my mind for a long time now. It’s been creating a lot of buzz and I’ve always wondered why! Not a religious person per se, I’ve always been weary of reading/talking/writing about religion. However, for a while it has been like ‘Zen’ has been following me around. My daughter who enjoys art has recently been trying her hand at Zentangle and doodling.
Consider this- ‘Zen’ and ‘tangle’ and keep these in mind. I’m going to come back to this. Now for the other stalker. Ha! Well, Ravish Mani who is well-known in the blogging world for his book analysis and reviews as also for his posts on spirituality, talks about Zen in his latest book, ‘See Through Words’ which is part of the Blogchatter eBook Carnival, 2020.
Ever since the carnival started, and I downloaded the books, the light blue book cover with ‘dhyana’ ‘happiness’ ‘zen’ ‘bliss’ ‘philosophy’ written all over had been attracting my attention. With so much chaos all over, there’s reason enough. However, this is not a review of his book. It’s just my interest in it that makes me talk about it. I find myself not capable enough to review such a book.
I read ‘See Through Words‘ day before and the first thing that caught my attention was the ‘Uncopyright’. Quite unconventional, no? It says,
This piece of my work is uncopyrighted, which means it is available in the public domain. You can use it in any manner you like. No permission is needed to copy, distribute, or exploit any content of this book. If you feel to give attribution, you are welcome; if you don’t, no need. Do what feels right to you, but don’t do it out of obligation.
Philosophy, faith, ideology, spirituality- call it what you may, the essence of the book is there even before you actually start reading it! Ravish takes you through the experience in a rather simple and easy to understand way. The very first chapter carries the gist of it all: Zen- An Artless Art of Living.
Do you see the paradox there? Art and artless. That’s what Zen is! And it makes no attempt to hide those paradoxes. It seeks Dhyana in worldly affairs; non-doing in doing and brings about a “new level of awareness”, to quote the author.
So, my first response was to ask the author if it meant Existentialism? He simply responded by typing And…
Nihilism? I asked.
He guided me to Tomichan Matheikal’s blog where the book is reviewed and the writer talks about philosophy and spirituality. Clearly, the two have their differences. You may read Tomichan’s interesting analysis here.
Ravish too prefers to embrace life (spirituality) rather than reason it out (philosophy). I hope he shall agree with me!
The best part of reading about Zen through Ravish was that I got to understand it through parables and stories. There were many a moment, when I had the urge to clap and cheer as I read along. The book is short, but I visited it twice!
My takeaway? Everything is nothing! Though I will need to read a lot more before I can figure out how it fits well into practical life. Or maybe, I’ll have to be like the seven-year-old girl who says in one of the stories, ‘I’m not going to answer that way when I’m in school. I’m going to give regular answers!’
While I shall wait for Ravish to tell me if I figured it out right, you may download this extremely basic and interesting book on Zen by visiting the link below,
And by the way, Zen+tangle is relaxing by drawing repeated patterns. Relaxation through repetition! Do you hear that!!
I’m also taking this opportunity to, once again, shamelessly promote my book UNLOCKED. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, do so right away. You won’t be disappointed. Here’s the link,