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Zen and The Art of Reading



Zen and the Art of Reading:  No Escape

Reading can be a distraction or an escape from reality, but just because reading can be used as a way to avoid life, it should be emphasized that reading can also be an act that engages us. When reading helps us set aside our own limited life experience and ego, we become more whole by experiencing the world of another.  So, despite what some may think, it really doesn’t matter if the material is fictional or not.  To quote Kimberly Beek, “Light reading can be Enlightening.” 

Reading can create barriers in our physical, mental and emotional life, but reading can also take down barriers and open us up to ideas, feelings, perspectives and people.  It can show us the diversity of human existence and the unity between all people.  It can also be meditative when our concentration becomes focused. 

Staying inside, disengaged, detached, and locked into rigid concepts, is an example of ‘barrier-creating’ reading.  But reading that inspires us to act, to talk about issues, to get involved, to learn and reflect, and to understand people in our lives, illustrates how reading can help us grow and be flexible. So, face reality and get reading!