Zen Confidential: Confessions of a Wayward Monk by Shozan Jack Haubner

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Read Zen Confidential: Confessions of a Wayward Monk Online Free - “This punk of a monk, who should be tending to his own affairs, has decided to infect the real world with his tall tales, and worse, to let the cat out of the bag. And what a sly, dangerous, beautiful, foul-smelling, heart-warming beast it is.”—Leonard Cohen, from the foreword

These hilarious essays on life inside and outside a Zen monastery make up the spiritual memoir of Shozan Jack Haubner, a Zen monk who didn’t really start out to be one. Raised in a conservative Catholic family, Shozan went on to study philosophy (becoming  de-Catholicized in the process) and to pursue a career as a screenwriter and stand-up comic in the clubs of L.A. How he went from life in the fast lane to life on the stationary meditation cushion is the subject of this laugh-out-loud funny account of his experiences. Whether he's dealing with the pranks of a juvenile delinquent assistant in the monastery kitchen or defending himself against claims that he appeared in a porno movie under the name "Daniel Reed" (he didn't, really) or being surprised in the midst of it all by the compassion he experiences in the presence of his teacher, Haubner's voice is one you'll be compelled to listen to. Not only because it's highly entertaining, but because of its remarkable insight into the human condition.

Title : Zen Confidential: Confessions of a Wayward Monk
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1611800331
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 269 pages


Gabrielle rated it ★★★★★

December 11, 2017

Just a few pages in, I already loved this book. The irreverence and unflinching honesty was a refreshing attempt to break the Western stereotypes of Zen practice and of the monk’s life. People’s idea of Buddhism in general are often hilariously off the mark and I really appreciate Haubner taking...

Joshua rated it ★☆☆☆☆

July 14, 2013

I wanted to like this book. I really did. Even though the title is just a rip-off )usually not a good sign). But I just couldn't. It was a real slog. We're there a few moments of insight? Sure. Here and there. But mostly it was way overwritten. I kept thinking of the admonition in Strunk & Whit...

Marla rated it ★☆☆☆☆

August 11, 2013

I like memoirs written by Buddhist monks. Buddhism is a uniquely personal experience and everyone's experience is different. I especially like the "in your face" Buddhists, what I call punk Buddhists. The chapter that stopped me in my tracks was entitled "Shitty Monk". It's about when Haubner step...

Pam rated it ★★★★☆

August 02, 2013

Currently reading, and having a great time! Very funny, gives good insight into the middle path as it is being trekked now, by an American, on the edge of L.A. Culture. Being female, I find Haubner is a bit heavy on the guy-humor, but if you live with men and can accept them you'll be good. And,...

John rated it ★★★★☆

June 16, 2013

What I appreciated most about this memoir is the unflinching honesty with which the author exposes the inner workings of his mind. When Leonard Cohen accuses Haubner of 'letting the cat out of the bag,' this refers to what really happens behind the mythological stereotypes of monastic life and pr...

Peter rated it ★★★★★

November 01, 2017

When it comes to Zen masters who have a talent at writing and a sense of humor there can be only one! That Highlander is Shozan Jack Haubner, a warm, funny guy who likes to overshare about his bodily functions, usually involving bowel movements and masturbation. Aren’t they two of the Noble Truth...

Algernon rated it ★★☆☆☆

August 08, 2013

The two-star rating is not meant as a slam. They mean "it was ok" and on the whole, the book is okay. I call books like this "zenoirs," books written by students of zen as opposed to authorized masters. The giant of this sub-genre, I guess, is Peter Matthiessen's Nine-Headed Dragon River: Zen Jou...

Nate rated it ★★☆☆☆

August 03, 2016

Although I'm admittedly working with a small sample size, I'm getting the impression that any book with "confidential" in the title really includes confidential information I don't want to know - rather than information of use to me. In a word: confidences. Of which Haubner offers in abundance. H...

Sarah rated it ★★★★★

November 22, 2014

Honest, hilarious, and surprisingly touching. It’s an incredible skill to be able to make light of spirituality and core beliefs without becoming offensive or rudely irreverent. Without proselytizing, and with not even a remote sense of narcissism (rare when it comes to religious memoirs), Haubne...

Jonn rated it ★★★☆☆

October 17, 2013

This book is a bit of a mixed bag (hence the 3 star rating...probably closer to 2.5). Some chapters are a 5; others are definitely a slog. As other reviews have stated, Haubner is heavy on the bro humour in parts and this can be distracting from some otherwise great moments of insight (and I say...

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