Zen, The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno

Zen, The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno Book Review

Zen, The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno
Zen, The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno

Zen, The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno Book Review

Book: Zen, The Art of Simple Living

Author: Shunmyo Masuno

Publication: Michael Joseph


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Zen, The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno

This book contains 100 daily practices from a Japanese Zen Monk Shunmyo Masuno for a lifetime of calm and joy. The author, born in 1953, is the head priest of the Soto Zen temple. He is renowned for designing gardens. His lifelong involvement with designing gardens and agriculture gets condensed in his books too.

Sometimes the cover tells most of the story:

Though it is said that don’t judge the book by its cover, I feel this proverb will prove false in this respect.

When I picked up the book I did it for its cover page…so simple, serene and soothing for my eyes as if it captures all the hues of ancient placid civilization…as if it is a dream to sit at the brink of the water, calm, cool, and quite watching distant ice tossed peaks, deep forest, busy herons.

It is a million-copy bestselling book and why it should not be when all the world is running behind the easy way to get rid of this tough world web of living. We all want to learn the art of simple living in this complex web of the zig-saw puzzle, labyrinthine life. We are

running and rushing, pushing and pulling ourselves without halting a second to bother the reason behind it. Day by day our life is getting frittered with anxiety, stress, and negativity. This book provides a life…Zen style…to live…in simple terms, encapsulating simple habits:

” This book is about just that: simple living, Zen style. Changing your lifestyle does not need to be difficult. Slight changes in your habits. A subtle shift in your perspective.”

Zen, The Art of Simple Living


Structure and Language:

The book is divided into four parts. The first and the second part contains 30 chapters each while the third and fourth part comprises 20 chapters…total hundred.

Most of the chapters are beautifully adorned with pictures that make the book most adorable and catching. The chapters are short, and simple without any rambling thoughts. No ponderous thesis is discussed here and no vague philosophy. When I read the book, Zen, The Art of Simple Living I feel I am living a life that I dream always…so vivid and so resonating.

Alvina’s Verdict:

Zen as he explains is “based on teachings that are fundamentally about how humans can live in the world”.

By building habits, and ideas one can live a happy life. And in the ways of simplicity lies the deepest blessing of existence.

We all wish to solve the tangled threads into a skein of perfect simplicity and forwardness

 So it is an enormous scope for us to try the book. By reading and incorporating those thoughts and ideas in life, one can make the process successful.


Hi, I'm Munmun here and welcome to my book blog. I'm an English Teacher. But more than that I love to read books and write down my thoughts. I feel we can change the world by circulating the introspections of great columnists throughout the world. You are free to contact me at munu.ruku2020@gmail.com.

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