The Little Zen Companion by David Schiller: A Book Review


“A monk brought two potted plants to his Master. “Drop it,” ordered the Master. The monk dropped one pot. “Drop it,” again ordered the Master. The monk let the second pot go. “Drop it,” now roared the Master. The monk stammered: “But I have nothing to drop.” The Master nodded. “Then take it away.”

My beloved cousin lent me this book, for he knows how much I am fond of reading quotes coming from the powerful lips of famous historical figures . I want to be moved and inspired by their philosophical insights and thoughts.

To be honest, I still don’t have the completely clear ideas of what ZEN is all about. Before, I just knew of that it was some kind of spiritual practices to gain ENLIGHTENMENT and PEACE OF MIND. No wonder I tend to get fascinated to read more on this dogma. In fact, the only book I have ever read that gives me more ideas of this kind of spiritual dogma is Instinct for Freedom: A Maverick’s Guide to Spiritual Revolution by Alan Clements ( 4 stars ). I learned from this book that in order to have spiritual freedom, you have to empty your mind and feelings.

ZEN, as the name suggests, is a type of Buddhism that emphasizes MEDITATION rather than faith or reading religious books. MEDITATION is the practice of emptying your mind of thoughts and feelings, in order to relax completely, or for religious reasons. Thus, reading The Little Zen Companion as a little compendium of wisdom in the form of quotes, phrases, stories, koan, haiku, or poems from Lao-tzu, The Little Prince, D. T. Suzuki, Basho, Walker Percy, the Buddha, the Bible, Einstein, to name a few GUIDES you to empty your mind and feelings.


Well, LIFE may be a total mess.

To get the hang of it, read and read and read. ^^

Rating : 3/ 5 stars ( I liked it.)


On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King: A Book Review

kingCarrie , Bags of Bones, The Shining, The Dark Tower, you name it- I always turn my back on them whenever I spot them at my stomping ground. I guess Stephen King’s are not my cup of coffee. I had the conception that writing gothic novels is intended to scare out of readers’ wit. Nevertheless, after reading On Writing, I want to make a stab at his works.

On Writing is all about King’s writing experiences, especially how he developed his skills in writing fictions. Also, the last three parts deal with his tips on how to write effectively. Furthermore, King narrates the underlying inspiration he drew writing some of his masterpieces- the travails he went through before completing them.

Reading this book could be a springboard for starting his works despite the fact that it has some spoilers. But for me, I don’t mind since they could arouse my curiosity more. However, I SUGGEST YOU READ HIS NOVELS FIRST; you could get absorbed in his literary discussions.

I find Stephen King’s writing styles witty. I do not feel the atmosphere of intellectual hubris within his sentences. I feel his informality addressing the readers. There is connection between readers and him although he tries to write William Strunk’s writing principles, the author of the best-selling book, The Elements of Styles. This kind of attitude in writing, in my opinion, is very crucial. It may be the reason why his books are hit.

Stephen King has also, therefore, what it takes to be a best-selling nonfiction writer even though he insists that writing a fiction is his ideal of a heaven.

All Rooty! Starting next year, I will include King’s on my list. There may be something I could take a pleasure in.

Trivia: Amy Tan, author of the best-selling novel The Joy’s Club , gave King the idea of writing this book. ^^

Rating: 3/ 5 stars