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 Burkettís 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, Beginnerís Mind), and Burkettís 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.
Enlightenment Is an Accident: Ancient Wisdom and Simple Practices to Make You Accident Prone, Tim Burkett, Shambhala Publications, Paperback, 208 pp., $19.95
Tim Burkett began practicing Zen Buddhism in San Francisco in 1964 with renowned teacher Shunryu Suzuki (author of Zen Mind, Beginnerís Mind). After completing his BA at Stanford University, Tim and his family moved to Minnesota.
Timís first book, Nothing Holy About It, discusses how Zenís core teachings unfold within the ordinary comedies and tragedies of everyday life. In his books, as in his life, Tim reveals how to live in the world with a deep joy that comes from embracing the work and play of this very moment.
Tim is the former CEO of the largest non-profit organization in Minnesota for individuals with mental illness. He is a psychologist, a Zen Buddhist priest, and the Guiding Teacher of Minnesota Zen Meditation Center. He and his wife, Linda, have two grownchildren and two grandchildren.