Eat Sleep Sit: My Year at Japans Most Rigorous Zen Temple

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This first-person account also describes Nonomura's struggles in the face of beatings, hunger, exhaustion, fear, and loneliness, the comfort he draws from his friendships with the other trainees, and his quiet determination to give his life spiritual meaning. After writing Eat Sleep Sit , Kaoru Nonomura returned to his normal life as a designer, but his book has maintained its popularity in Japan, selling more than , copies since its first printing in Beautifully written, and a fascinating insight into a lifestyle of hardships that few people could endure, this is a book that will appeal to all those with an interest in Zen Buddhism and to anyone with an interest in the quest for spiritual growth.


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He worked as a designer before his year at Eiheiji. The details of every activity are clearly spelled out, and every trainee is expected to meet the rigorous standards. Failure to perform tasks properly results in the trainee being verbally abused, slapped, punched, kicked, or all of the above.

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Why would a successful young man give up his job, family — his life - in order to be starved, beaten, and humiliated? He could have changed jobs or cities.


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He could have practiced sitting meditation in his own home, or attended a pleasant retreat at Eiheiji. Instead he gave himself over to the brutal regimen at Eiheiji, from which escape is possible but also unthinkable. He skillfully describes every aspect At the age of thirty, Kaoru Nonomura left his family, his girlfriend, and his job as a designer in Tokyo to undertake a year of ascetic training at Eiheiji, one of the most rigorous Zen training temples in Japan.


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  7. He skillfully describes every aspect of training, including how to meditate, how to eat, how to wash, even how to use the toilet, in a way that is easy to understand no matter how familiar a reader is with Zen Buddhism. This first-person account also describes Nonomura's struggles in the face of beatings, hunger, exhaustion, fear, and loneliness, the comfort he draws from his friendships with the other trainees, and his quiet determination to give his life spiritual meaning.