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Charlotte Joko Beck
Everyday Zen: Love & Work
Edited by Steve Smith. New York: HarperCollins, 1989.

Nothing Special
Edited by Steve Smith. New York: HarperCollins, 1993.
Joko Beck is teaching me about joy. Mindfulness is more psychologically painful than anything else I have ever done...and the bits of freedom I have gained, more rewarding. She ackowledges the whole, discussing very specifically how the mind separates us from reality with the ideas we get attached to...and the solution, which is not to reprogram mental bad habits, trying to put good ones in their place, but to deprogram ourselves entirely, to see through our mental conditioning, our illusions. "Enlightenment is not something you achieve. It's the absence of something." Beck's analysis is penetrating, compassionate and more down to earth than I have ever read or heard from any man. (Or any other woman, except for Pema Chödrön.)

The Talk Nobody Wants to Hear is a chapter from Nothing Special.

"The Pools"
Reprinted from the February and March 1989 issues of the Newsletter of the Zen Center of San Diego, San Diego CA.
A Dharma Talk describing two types of meditation as two types of pool: one is serene, but garbage accumulates around it. The other one gets rid of garbage.

For more on the Web about her (including some pieces by her) look at Praire Zen Center.

9 May 2001