Enlightenment Is an Accident: Ancient Wisdom and Simple Practices to Make You Accident Prone by Tim Burkett and Edited by Wanda Isle
Join us for a Book Release Celebration on May 21, 2023! Sunday Talk on May 21, 10 am Followed by a book signing and reception after the talk. Offered online and in person. Use the Sunday talk Zoom link to attend online.
Reading at Magers and Quinn Booksellers in Minneapolis on June 22, 2023 at 7 pm
Shambhala Publications, May 2023 ISBN: 9781645471356 A warm-hearted guide to Buddhist practice for those ready to contend with the reality that enlightenment—the realization of non-self—can’t be achieved by the self.
A well-known spiritual saying goes, “Enlightenment is an accident. But we can make ourselves more accident prone.” As an authentic American Zen takes shape, enlightenment continues to be misunderstood as a project to be completed, a goal to be achieved, or a prize to be awarded. Tim Burkett’s new book unhooks enlightenment from the hot air balloon of ego and brings it back down to earth.
Drawing on stories of his first teacher, the Zen master Shunryu Suzuki (author of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind), and Burkett’s decades of practice and teaching, he reveals how to live in the world with a deep joy that comes from embracing the work and play of this very moment. With the wisdom and humor of a seasoned practitioner familiar with all manner of eccentric fixations and silly dead-ends, he offers views and practices we can use to support the paradoxical process of letting enlightenment happen on its own.
Comments about the book:
“With a truly warm voice and the insight arising from genuine practice, Tim Burkett offers a treasury of Buddhist parables, classic Zen teachings, and moving stories from his long experience as a student and teacher.”—Joan Halifax, author of Being with Dying and Standing at the Edge
“In Enlightenment Is an Accident, Zen teacher Tim Burkett manages, without fanfare or complications, to write about almost everything a lifetime of Zen practice entails, from beginners’ tips to philosophical depths. With encouraging grandfatherly kindness, he makes the practice clear and available, without sacrificing any of its wonder. I am especially impressed with his psychological acumen, borne of many decades of guiding Western students in the practice.”—Norman Fischer, author of When You Greet Me I Bow and Selected Poems 1980–2013
“In an overly striving world, Zentetsu’s message is refreshingly direct—spiritual discoveries come as accidents, and we’d best prepare to trip, stumble, and fall into the openness of mind. Full of wise humor and engaging stories, this book invites us into that surprising and delightful journey.”—Judith Simmer-Brown, author of Dakini’s Warm Breath
“Enlightenment Is an Accident is a potent antidote to the materialism and bypassing on offer in many spiritual circles these days. Accessible and kind, Burkett invites us to take off our masks, see ourselves clearly, and welcome the accidents of life as the very ground of awakening.”—nico + devon hase, authors of How Not to Be a Hot Mess
“Tim Burkett’s Enlightenment Is an Accident beautifully weaves stories from ancient wisdom, sixty years of Zen practice, and his time with some of the great planters of Buddhism on North American soil to create a warm-hearted invitation to a more joyous, more free, and kinder way of being in the world.”—Ben Connelly, author of Inside Vasubandhu’s Yogacara and Mindfulness and Intimacy
“[An] illuminating entry. . . . The well-balanced mix of Zen wisdom and psychological principles makes for persuasive lessons. Buddhist beginners and those seeking to revitalize their practice will be inspired.”--Publishers Weekly
Zen in The Age of Anxiety: Wisdom for Navigating Our Modern Lives by Tim Burkett edited by Wanda Isle
Shambhala Publications, June 2018.
Wrestling with fear doesn't have to be a negative experience. This book offers an approach to life that unlocks a new way of thinking and being in the world, one that leads directly through the center of the anxieties we seek to avoid.
Written in the style of an owner's manual, a guide to being human, Burkett focuses on areas of pain and anxiety as they tend to manifest for modern people: feelings of unworthiness and issues surrounding sex, money, failure, and even death. Providing wisdom from Zen (channeled through his many experiences as a psychologist) and using language and metaphors from popular culture, he takes anxiety and teaches us to turn those fears into the building blocks of a fulfilling life.
Comments about the book:
"I gained so much from reading Tim's book, especially about how to hold and handle my own anxieties. Here is an encouraging handbook on how Buddhist values and practices can increase our sense of connectedness and foster inner—and outer—peace. I especially liked Tim's "Nine Keys" that can open any of us to healing powers in life events and in ourselves, too." — David Richo, author of The Five Things We Cannot Change and How to Be an Adult in Relationships
"This is a book imbued with love and wisdom, full of passages of fluid prose, woven in with carefully chosen Zen stories, poetry, and relevant research findings. It includes clear explanations of the power of diligent meditation practice to transform our various human difficulties into clear seeing, equanimity, and ease, followed by practical exercises about how to go about this work. This is a book about the substance and beauty of Zen practice, a book I will happily read and recommend to my own students." —Jan Chozen Bays, author of Mindful Eating and How to Train a Wild Elephant
Nothing Holy About It: The Zen of Being Just Who You Are
Nothing Holy About It: The Zen of Being Just Who You Are Shambhala Publications, April 2015, edited by Wanda Isle
Tim reveals how and why the wisdom of non-holiness is the key to a joyful heart. You don't need to go looking for something sacred — the happiness you seek is right where you are. In this book, a concise summary of Zen teachings unfold within the ordinary comedies and tragedies of everyday life — beginning with the delightful non-holiness he experienced in the presence of his original teacher, Shunyru Suzuki.