Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice
Narrated by: Peter Coyote
Length: 2 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,348 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few. So begins this most beloved of all American Zen works. Seldom has such a small handful of words provided a teaching as rich as this famous opening line of Shunryu Suzuki's classic. In a single stroke, the simple sentence cuts through the pervasive tendency students have of getting so close to Zen as to completely miss what it's all about. An instant teaching in the first minutes. And that's just the beginning.

In the 30 years since its original publication, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind has become one of the great modern Zen classics. Suzuki Roshi presents the basics in a way that is remarkably clear and resonates with the joy of insight. Listeners will refer to this audio time and time again as an inspiration to practice.

©1970 Shunryu Suzuki (P)1988, 2015 Audio Literature, Phoenix Books

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The best book on zen -- with another best!

Where does Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is, without a doubt, my number one most excellent book on zen. Add to that the remarkable presence of Peter Coyote who is reading it aloud.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind?

there are too many such moments by way of this or that sentence. Unpacking this book and its depth is not an intellectual exercise -- it is from the heart.

What does Peter Coyote bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The best matching of material to presentation that I know if in the audio book field. This is not a fact everybody has to believe. It is, instead, from my own point of view in terms of my admiration for the book itself carried over to a wonderful presentation. I am fairly sure that finding a more appropriate and sensitive reading simply couldn't be found.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, although as I mention above, hearing the book several times reveals more profound sentences that, at first pass, were like jewels left on the floor,

Any additional comments?

Grateful to Audible.com for making this available!!!

24 people found this helpful

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terrific book. Horrible recording.

how can this be called a remastered Edition when it sounds so bad? this book is in desperate need of a r e recording

16 people found this helpful

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Conscience Cleansing

Easy to follow narration. The message is not exactly clear at first, but wears right in like an old pair of shoes. This was another layer in the onion served up by Alan Watts. If you hate chores listen to this while doing them. You will find yourself looking for more things to do just to keep following along. If you've been meaning to take up walking or running, this is the perfect companion.

11 people found this helpful

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going on my third time listening.....

this book and narrator make this moment shine...breathing better seeing clearer....joyful finding....standing here feeling the light

7 people found this helpful

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amazing book

great book loved the narrator overall good buy I can listen to this book over and over and learn a little more every time

7 people found this helpful

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poor audio quality Mars Zen classic

one of the most important Works about 20th century Zen in America, a great book for those who have been practicing a while. contrary to what you might think from the title, it's about beginner's mind, not Zen for beginners. it does use quite a few terms and Concepts that may be foreign to the absolute beginner.

Unfortunately, the recording quality of this audio book is really, really bad! mr. coyote sounds distorted and muffled, as though he is talking to us through a pillow. sometimes, it is difficult to make out the words at all.

6 people found this helpful

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  • 05-19-16

Wonderful Book

I have enjoyed it and it has made me look at myself. everyone should read this.

4 people found this helpful

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Very good

This edition misses some chapters that do are contained in Shambhala's edition from 2011. It's ok anyway.

13 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Excellent, easy to follow and understand introduction to Zen. Highly recommended to anyone setting out on this journey.

5 people found this helpful

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The worst audio quality ever.

it took me about 10 seconds to give up on this book. it sounds like someone recorded this using a worn out tape cassette. oh well, no loss.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-15-18

Amazing!

One of my favourite books! The one I always go back to over and over again.
Beautifully narrated by Peter Coyote
I recommend this to everybody interested in Zen

4 people found this helpful

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  • Donald Duck
  • 02-16-19

Great - Very Insightful!

Peter Coyote has a great voice, easy to listen to. The audiobook is a great introduction to ZEN.

3 people found this helpful

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  • SJRod
  • 12-09-17

excellent

A complete explanation. Really enjoyed the reading and the explanations. Even if you are not a beginner you will gain a lot from this recording. Recommended

3 people found this helpful

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  • Nigel D. Thomas
  • 01-01-19

very deep stuff.

i needed to go through all chapters over all over again again we better understanding

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-08-20

Very old School with nothing concrete

I have listened to Eckhart Tolle (Power of snow) and other similar books and this has to be the worst.
Very opinionated and can basically summarise three hours of quite fluffy material with some historical/mythical stories, as be in the moment, nothing exists as it seems, do not expect anything from practising and lengthy commentary about how important posture is.
Disappointed with this after reading great reviews online!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-16-19

good but..

i recommend other works as well for a fuller understanding, such as the power of now and headspace and waking up

1 person found this helpful

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  • Davie
  • 03-27-17

Truly legendary!

Gets right to the point and tells the actual truth instead of feeding you belief systems. I will be listening t this again many more times. Narration was spot on and it's a short listen, meaning it's easy to get into. Please buy this book, it will change your life. One of the greatest audio books I've ever listened to.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Tacal Tudor
  • 05-13-20

Excelent book

I believe this book offers a good understanding of what Zen is and it’s practice.

The authors explains in words the big concepts of buddhism in such a way that it makes sense for everyone to understand.

What I mean is the explanation of enlightenment and big mind in modern and no uncertain terms.

If you want a short and clear exposition of zen even if you are a beginner or you had some practice before I highly recommend this book.

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  • Jon
  • 03-01-20

love learning something new!!!

really enjoyed the audio book. I now want to know more and will start learning 👍👍

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-14-20

An audiobook masterpiece.

The poor sound quality does not take anything away from this convincing voice. The "story" is direct and catching. I think it is clear AND deep. I didn't get it all in the first hearing. I look foreward to be hearing it again. A audiobook master piece.

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  • pjhollow
  • 05-01-17

The Simplest and best Book on Zen I have read

I have listened to this book over half a dozen times, and I pick up on a subtle quote that I missed each time, if you are new to Zen in my belief this is written perfectly, exceptional listening

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-20-20

Detailed understanding of Zazen practice

This book is a detailed teaching of Zazen meditation along with deep understanding of to know your mind, nature, true your self and Buddhism.

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  • Andrew Hallahan
  • 05-06-19

Timeless Classic

This is beautifully read and engaging. Such a classic work.. deeply insightful, intriguing and well worth the time..

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-02-18

One to listen to over again.

This is a great reference book about Zen Buddhism. Definitely be listening to this audio again

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-15-18

relaxing

My friend and I used to listen to this together years ago, it is so nice to finally have a copy again. It is a wonderful audiobook and I find it very very relaxing. The narrators voice is easy to understand, i didn't want it read by anyone else. :)

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  • Belinda
  • 04-25-18

Not what I thought it would be

Would you try another book written by Shunryu Suzuki or narrated by Peter Coyote?

It's a difficult book to listen to and it may be because of the quality of the recording and also the narrator is very monotone.

What was most disappointing about Shunryu Suzuki’s story?

I can't even finish listening to it so it's not about Shunryu Suzuki's story but more the quality of the recording and narration.

Would you be willing to try another one of Peter Coyote’s performances?

No