Thursday 25 January 2024




What can be a better and an auspicious day than a full moon day to present the review of the book -AN OAK TREE IN THE GARDEN by Narendra Murty. This is his fourth book, it is on Zen Buddhism where he has provided enlightening commentaries on thirty enigmatic and enchanting Zen stories.

AS we all know that Buddha was born on a full moon day. His renunciation took place on a full moon day. His Enlightenment, the delivery of His first sermon, His passing away into Nibbana and many other important events associated with His life-span of eighty years, occurred on full moon days.

It is well known fact that full moon and Buddhism are inseparable. As they are perfectly linked in such a way which ensures that are highly related to each other.

ZEN in general sense states as being relaxed and not worrying about things that you cannot change. Here are few key points to remember about the major subject that is being discussed in the book:

·         Zen is a school of Buddhism which emphasizes the practice of meditation as the key ingredient to awakening ones inner nature, compassion and wisdom. The practice of meditation (Zen in Japanese) as a means of attaining enlightenment was introduced, as we have seen, by the Buddha himself.


·         Zen is a Mahayana Buddhist tradition that emphasizes simplicity, present-moment awareness, non-duality, non-conceptual understanding, and zazen (“just sitting”) meditation-the tradition's most important practice.


·         Zen teaching draws from numerous sources of Sarvastivada meditation practice and Mahāyāna thought, especially Yogachara, the Tathāgatagarbha sūtras, the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra, and the Huayan school, with their emphasis on Buddha-nature, totality, and the Bodhisattva-ideal.


With this as a base the book unfolds with total of 30 chapters carrying 30 stories teaching the significance of Zen. The author precisely selected the stories and incorporated them in a traditional way in the book. The list of works consulted has also been given at the end of the book.


In relation to one of the teaching of ZEN, the author has inclined towards this and offering to readers the best of the knowledge he learnt-“It is about committing to live a life such that you are all the time looking at being of use to the world, rather than using the world. It is about a life of giving, rather than receiving. The sun is constantly teaching us -“Go into any relationship looking at what you can give, and not at what you can receive.”


In today’s fast paced world, taking time to practice mindfulness is key to healthy living. This book comes in time and will stimulate readers to make their lives a useful one.

By incorporating Zen habits into your everyday routine, you can learn to focus on what's meaningful in life and give all your attention to that. At the same time, you will also hone in your skills to remove the unwanted and unimportant stuff from life.


The studies have shown that meditation like the kind practiced in Zen Buddhism can do everything from ease anxiety and stress to lessen the perception of pain to make us more focused and productive at work.


Do grab a copy of the book and acquaintain yourself with the world of ZEN.

(Received a copy of the book from the Author in return of an honest review)

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