Books That Inspire 2001

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
Shunryu Suzuki

The book that most inspired me is Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki. Like many people, I have lived most of my life inside my own head, ignoring the present moment to live either in the past – classifying my past actions and experiences as good or bad and either congratulating myself or repenting on that basis – or in the future, alternating between hope and fear, at the mercy of events I could not foresee or comprehend. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind showed me that neither past nor future belongs to me: all I have is this present moment, but in this moment I can be whoever I want to be. Who am I right now? In this realization I have found a freedom to get ‘out of myself’ and observe things and events as they are rather than filtered through my thoughts and judgments about them; it has opened for me a wider dimension of life.
Ralph E Doty
Academic Chair