Book Review – “Tao-Zen Verses”

08/01/11

Review of “Tao-Zen” Verses, by Hanakia Zedek
Whistling Shade Press, 2010

http://www.amazon.com/Tao~Zen-Verses-Hanakia-Zedek/dp/098003759X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1312235188&sr=8-1

A Guide Through and With Chaos
How to describe Hankia Zedek, his philosophy, and review his first published book?  The most appropriate way would be through anecdotes, and what Hanakia’s purpose is.

Tao-Zen Verses represents the intersection of these two schools of thought and how to turn an existence inside out, keep what works and is useful, and discard the useless objects and weight.  From here you may define and craft the life you desire.  The depths of self are searched for within every dark, dusty corner, pushing aside the cobwebs of the landscape and the mind.

He will show you many tools and examples of how to use them, however, the construction of your new existence (or the return to a previous self), and the decision to fully embrace this, is up to you.  There is no right or wrong answer to any of the questions that someone poses.  Based on the individual situation, the issues being faced and the desired direction, the tools are tailored and the true self hiding within emerges.

An important aspect of the book and the philosophy is – there is no path.  To think about life this way, creates a self-imposed limitation as soon as it is mapped and released to the world.  Instead, live chaotically and scattered.  Adapt to the environment exposed as obstacles – some beyond your control, many created by yourself – and tackle and tunnel through them.

Presented in 127 poetical verses, Hanakia mixes alliteration, rhyme, and an internal rhythm designed so each stands on their own and is digestible.  Each can be read and consumed, providing insight and a lesson.  In my reading, the verses do not need to be followed in order, but allow a randomness to take effect, and new strings created, making the journey even more personal.

Example verses:

(33)
Too many words confuse the mind
Observe the world, with your eyes closed
And Listen

(42)
If this way works for you, fine
If it does not
May it be that you find
These pages to be good kindling

(73)
When Strength is determined by Grace
War will no longer plague the human race

Even if someone is not seeking to rearrange their life and is content, these words still provide daily guidance and a checklist of sorts.  They can be used to maintain what has been built and assist in getting back on track when needed.

What can seem like a complex philosophy and an out of reach spiritual awareness on the surface is in reality creating the reality you desire.  This book provides an excellent resource for anyone, no matter the depths already explored or someone just reaching for answers and guidance.

Related resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tao

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen

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