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Publisher's Summary

"Does for mental clutter what Marie Kondo has done for household clutter." (Publishers Weekly)

Relax and find happiness amid the swirl of the modern world with this internationally best-selling guide to simplifying your life by a Japanese monk who embodies the wisdom of Zen.

In clear, practical, easily adopted lessons - one a day for 100 days - renowned Buddhist monk Shunmyo Masuno draws on centuries of wisdom to teach you to Zen your life. Discover how...

  • Lesson #4: lining up your shoes after you take them off can bring order to your mind; 
  • Lesson #11: putting down your fork after every bite can help you feel more grateful for what you have; 
  • Lesson #18: immersing yourself in zazen can sweep the clutter from your mind; 
  • Lesson #23: joining your hands together in gassho can soothe irritation and conflict; 
  • Lesson #27: going outside to watch the sunset can make every day feel celebratory; 
  • Lesson #42: planting a flower and watching it grow can teach you to embrace change; 
  • Lesson #67: understanding the concept of ichi-go ichi-e can make everyday interactions more meaningful; 
  • Lesson #85: practicing chisoku can help you feel more fulfilled. 

A minimalist line drawing appears opposite each lesson on an otherwise blank page, giving you an opportunity to relax with a deep breath between lessons. With each daily practice, you will learn to find happiness not by seeking out extraordinary experiences, but by making small changes to your life, opening yourself up to a renewed sense of peace and inner calm.

A Penguin Life title

©2019 Shunmyo Masuno (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Living a simpler life is a practice. It’s ordinary and it’s everyday. Shunmyo Masuno’s simple and relevant practices land gently and with the most comforting ordinariness, like a warm breath of familiarity to us, the frazzled masses.” (Sarah Wilson, New York Times best-selling author of First, We Make the Beast Beautiful)

“Our mind is blazing in the new dopamine war between alarmist news and attention-hooking apps. The Art of Simple Living is a bucket of water on the flames.” (Neil Pasricha, New York Times best-selling author of The Book of Awesome and The Happiness Equation

“I love this book. These little Zen practices can bring so much serenity to your life.” (Francine Jay, best-selling author of The Joy of Less and Lightly

What listeners say about The Art of Simple Living

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Very good, but basic.

Read Lao Tzu & an article on Voluntary Simplicity. You'll learn far more of what you're seeking. This is written like an article in a lifestyle magazine. Far too basic.

2 people found this helpful

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Here and now Zen tips

Lovely book! Wise, practical and kind advices! No matter the spiritual makeup you can incorporate these advices in day to day living.

2 people found this helpful

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Little -Great practices to enjoy the life

Wonderful advices, to really enjoy the journey of your life!! Simply do, one for day!!

1 person found this helpful

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Simple Living

I loved the simplicity of the daily actions coupled with memorable storytelling. I’m going to start again and spend 100 days applying each “art” to live with more calm and joy.

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The right path to grow

I loved It! I grew a lot, now I feel so much better, leaving simple, going back to earth, giving thanks every day.

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Words to live by, very well done.

this book captures it all and eloquently reminds of us who we are and how to make the most of the daily grind through the practice of simplicity

a masterpiece

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Worth your while.

Insightful and inspirational. The only problem is that it is not easy to find a Japanese garden outside of Japan.