Who Are You, and What Are You?

What Is Your Real Purpose in Life?

Clever Conversation

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Amazon recently published my ebook titled Living In Zen. In case you didn’t know, all ebooks on amazon are “Kindle” books, nominally intended to be read on their Kindle readers. But they can be read on any laptop, tablet, or smartphone just by downloading amazon’s free reader program. As for myself, I resisted the idea of reading books on my electronic devices for several years. But I often felt a bit envious watching other people read while I was sitting in doctors’ offices wasting time. Now, I have thirty or more books on my devices, which greatly increases my opportunities for reading.

Getting back to clever conversation, that’s something I had in mind while I was writing this little Living In Zen book. I wanted to write a fun book about Zen—but not get into the how to part of it. I imagined that a few discerning people might like to know enough about Zen so they could speak intelligently about it (without actually becoming a practitioner).

I think most people would like to be able to engage in clever conversation, say for example, at cocktail parties and such. But wait, who goes to cocktail parties any more? I can’t remember the last time I had a cocktail. I remember seeing somebody having a cocktail at a Christmas party last year. But most parties I’ve attended in recent years involved wine and cheese. And a lot less people getting intoxicated.

So imagine yourself standing with a group of friends, a glass of Zinfandel in one hand and a plate of munchies in the other, delivering a quiet, succinct sentence clearly stating what Zen actually is. Egad. A moment of profundity. And then, filling the silence that follows by ticking off a short list of the benefits of a Zen practice.

Some of your friends’ eyes will glaze over, and they’ll quietly drift off to join some other conversation. But one or two of them might move a little closer to you and want to know more. Don’t panic. If they ask questions outside your knowledge or experience, just tell them to look for the free book on amazon titled Living In Zen.

[PS: The Living In Zen ebook is free for five days starting 5/18/2015. After that, amazon will charge their minimum 99-cent fee for a download.]

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

May 17, 2015 at 6:49 am

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