This book offers exercises, instructions, jokes, stories, pithy quotes, and—most of all—encouragement to anyone interested in exploring Zen but who may find traditional presentations severe or intimidating. Hamilton writes with an easygoing, friendly style that invites readers of all backgrounds to sit down and give meditation a try. But don’t be fooled by her puns and checklists—this is serious Zen.
Drawing on three decades of experience as a Zen practitioner and teacher, Hamilton explains how to meditate and how to maintain an ongoing practice. From there, in her clear, lighthearted, and humorous style, she moves right to the heart of Zen, showing us how we could move beyond our concepts, expectations, and emotional reactivity to touch the reality of our lived experience with openness and simplicity, thereby finding freedom.
Untrain Your Parrot includes simple instructions to clarify and elucidate the basics:
how to establish a beginning meditation practice
how to develop physical, mental, and emotional awareness
how to experience "open" awareness—observing one's practice while allowing for a sense of spaciousness with whatever occurs
For more information on the author, Elizabeth Hamilton, go to www.zencentersandiego.org.