Cover image for Zen in the age of anxiety : wisdom for navigating our modern lives / Tim Burkett ; edited by Wanda Isle.
Zen in the age of anxiety : wisdom for navigating our modern lives / Tim Burkett ; edited by Wanda Isle.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boulder : Shambhala, [2018]
Physical Description:
xi, 170 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Wounding and splintering -- Being human -- The trance of unworthiness -- Sex -- Money -- Failure is just an experience -- Suturing and healing -- The wisdom of humility -- Suturing what was rent asunder -- Brain plasticity, mirror mind, and enlightenment -- Transforming knowledge into wisdom through everyday life -- Living and dying in a state of readiness -- Healing our world, together.
Added Author:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
294.3927 BUR Book Adult General Collection

On Order



Zen wisdom for identifying the causes of mental and emotional anxiety epidemic in today's world and for finding the path to a peaceful heart in the midst of them--a path that leads directly though the center of the anxiety we're trying to escape.

Wrestling with fear doesn't have to be a negative experience. This book offers an approach to life that unlocks a new way of thinking and being in the world, one that leads directly through the center of the anxieties we seek to avoid.

Written in the style of an owner's manual, a guide to being human, Burkett focuses on areas of pain and anxiety as they tend to manifest for modern people: feelings of unworthiness, and issues surrounding sex, money, failure, and even death. Providing wisdom from Zen (channeled through his many experiences as a psychotherapist) and using language and metaphors from popular culture, he takes anxiety and teaches us to turn those fears into the building blocks of a fulfilling life.

Author Notes

TIM BURKETT, PhD, is a psychologist, a Zen Buddhist priest, and the Guiding Teacher of Minnesota Zen Meditation Center. He was a student of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and later of Dainin Katagiri Roshi, in whose lineage he is a dharma heir. He is also the author of Nothing Holy About It .

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Burkett (Nothing Holy About It), a psychologist and teacher at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center, explores how Zen Buddhist principles can help readers lead more fulfilling lives. Focusing on the ways the "movie-making mind" creates suffering, Burkett explains why human beings struggle with anger, anxiety, and fear, and shows how a more accurate understanding of the mind and the practice of meditation can promote well-being. Using an informal, friendly tone, Burkett offers clear explanations and examples to illustrate core Zen ideas. In addition to examining what he calls the "most troublesome areas" of "feelings of unworthiness" (sex, money, and failure), Burkett provides a Zen perspective on such topics as humility, experiences of nature, non-attachment, and non-dualism. He also includes many affectionate memories of his studies in the 1960s with Zen monk Shunryu Suzuki, a seminal figure in the beginnings of Zen practice in North America. While Burkett serves as a wise witness to Suzuki's legacy, his focus on specific generational experiences (including songs by the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Pete Townshend) will seem dated to some readers. Compiled from Burkett's former talks, this light book will appeal to readers who are new to Buddhism. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Editor's Introductionp. ix
Part 1 Wounding and Splintering
1 Being Humanp. 3
2 The Trance of Unworthinessp. 17
3 Sexp. 35
4 Moneyp. 50
5 Failure Is Just an Experiencep. 63
Part 2 Suturing and Healing
6 The Wisdom of Humilityp. 79
7 Suturing What Was Rent Asunderp. 92
8 Brain Plasticity, Mirror Mind, and Enlightenmentp. 110
9 Transforming Knowledge into Wisdom through Everyday Lifep. 125
10 Living and Dying in a State of Readinessp. 138
Epilogue: Healing Our World, Togetherp. 153
Acknowledgmentsp. 157
Creditsp. 159
Indexp. 161
About the Authorp. 171