Tim Burkett is the Guiding Teacher of the Minnesota Zen Center, a licensed psychologist, and an author who has been a student of two renowned Zen teachers, Shunryu Suzuki and Dainin Katagiri. He starts this insightful book by quoting the lyrics to the Rolling Stones song "Satisfaction" and ends with a tribute to wakefulness as a path of mutuality. Burkett wants us to be alert to the obstacles which hinder our humanity: feelings of unworthiness and issues surrounding sex, money, and failure. He recommends walking lighting on the Earth and letting generosity and openness light the path ahead.
Throughout this wisdom-rich paperback, Burkett includes "keys" – short and pithy summaries of chapters on "Wounding and Splintering," "Suturing and Healing," and "Healing Our World, Together." Here are a few samples:
- "Recognizing the self as a process frees us from a self-centered dream."
- "Money is not yours — it belongs to society."
- "Learning to fail skillfullyinvolves renunciation."
- "Natural humility is the source of authenticity, self-respect, and confidence.
Burkett marvels at the flow of people who incarnate humility and are animated by timelessness, effortlessness, and selfleslsness. In a particularly cogent insight, he writes:
"Humility and confidence are two sides of the same coin. The more naturally humble you are, the more confident you are. It requires confidence to simply be, without trying to present a persona that others will respect or admire, without posturing or pretence, without the need to be right all the time. If you worry about being right, then you will have a very fragile confidence. But with humility your confidence becomes steady. It can withstand turbulent times when things don't go the way you thought they would. It not an arrogant, adolescent confidence based on some accomplishment that you are proud of."
Zen in the Age of Anxiety shimmers with insights, epiphanies and good medicine for all that ails us as individuals and as a society.