"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
—Mahatma Gandhi on responsibility
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
—Helen Keller on courage
"Everyone is ignorant, only in different subjects."
—Will Rogers on beginner’s mind
In this book, Laurence Boldt applies Zen principles to everyday life. Each chapter examines a different aspect, or quality, associated with the Zen tradition, then offers a collection of quotes that illuminate that quality.
"Laurence G. Boldt's Zen Soup is a collection of quotations from philosophers, religious teachers, and wandering sages. Boldt, the author of Zen and the Art of Making a Living, has organized this collection around 25 qualities associated with Zen principles including be here now, beginner's mind, joy, discipline, wonder, mindfulness, and enlightenment. The spirit of Zen ripples through these quotations, such as Joshua Holland's thought: "There is no royal road to anything. One thing at a time, and all things in succession. That which grows slowly endures."
- Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
"Author of Zen and the Art of Making a Living, Boldt serves up a potful of delicious bits and pieces to help make living an art. "If Zen is telling us anything, it is to be here now, to live in this moment." Get out of the mind and into direct experience. This book is full of placards to mark the way that is no way. From Joseph Campbell, T. S. Eliot, Anaos Nin, D. T. Suzuki, Ram Dass, J. Krishnamurti, Meher Baba, Black Elk, Albert Einstein, Hakuin, Meister Eckhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, and others, Boldt has collected the nuts and cracked the shells and gathered the tastiest of nutmeats into chapters: beginner's mind, courage, be yourself, creativity, humor, discipline, wonder, selfless service, letting go, everyday Zen. . . . A few paragraphs introduce each course. Savor or gulp, but whatever you do, enjoy."
- Anita Manuel,
R.R. Bowker LLC.
"For those of us with a little time. . .
". . . or inclination to sit on high cliffs or under banyan trees contemplating the cosmos, Laurence Boldt has compiled a delightful, inspiring, educational—and digestible—body of collective wisdom that reflects the spirit and teachings of Zen Buddhism. Perhaps Boldt himself explains best how this powerful little book ties in with recovery:
"If in a selfish world I remain compassionate, in a violent world I remain peaceful, in a shallow world I maintain depth and sincerity, in a world of ingratitude I celebrate the gift of life, then I have done what I can do. A Zen attitude frees us from ideas of victimization that permeate popular culture and reminds us that we are the "them" we so often complain about. It says, "Don’t spend your time in idle complaint; roll up your sleeves and get to work.
"As one who’s spent untold hours with books and research attempting to unmask the mysteries of Zen, this book comes about as close as this mortal is going to get. Zen Soup serves up quotes from an often surprising variety of sources—from Mahatma Ghandi to Alan Watts, from Lao-Tzu to Picasso. I think I even saw Ogden Nash and Lily Tomlin in there somewhere.
"The book is divided into twenty-five brief chapters that roughly approximate Zen’s premises and teachings: Courage, Responsibility, Creativity, Compassion, and so on. His chapter introductions are delightful (see excerpts below), and his words on "Everyday Zen" put the essence of this beautiful, paradoxical discipline in a light everyone can understand."
- C.P.E., Nurse Practitioner
"As might be surmised from the title, Zen Soup, this book draws upon Buddhism for many of its quotations, as well as the categories or quotes. Some of the subjects are: Be here now, Beginner's mind, The art of Zen, and Selfless service. If Buddhist philosophy is your cup of tea, this is the quote book for you.
"However, there is much here for the non-Buddhist as well. some of the other subject areas are Courage, Creativity, Humor, and Integrity. Quotes from many authors and many points of view are represented.
"The quotes are mainly short, and tend to be inspirational. They mostly match up well with the topic. In structure, the book consists of a subject, with a little over a page of commentary on the topic, and then from two to half a dozen pages of quotations. It is small enough to carry easily, and has plenty of white space on the pages.
"A nice selection, and a worthwhile book."
"An enlightening blow to the head! Laurence G. Boldt has put together a first class selection of quotes from a wide range of famous men and women, each of them known for some kind of exceptional human achievement. As Boldt says, "the diversity of the sources highlights the timeless and universal nature of these principles", so there are many Westerners quoted aswell as more traditional Zen Eastern sources.
"The book is divided into 25 different sections, each of them covering a quality associated with the Zen tradition e.g., Be Here Now, Beginner's Mind, Responsibility, Compassion, Joy, Discipline, The Game Of Life, Selfless Service, Letting Go, Everyday Zen. There is a brief introduction to each quality, then a selection of associated quotes.
"Many readers of self-development books and spiritual ideas will be familiar with some of these sayings, but as befits the Zen emphasis, the quality and depth of these quotes really makes an impact. Some of the people quoted several times are Krishnamurti, Confucius, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Lao-Tzu, Goethe, Carl Jung, Albert Camus and texts from every major religion."
- Tim Burness,
"For those that are thirsty...DRINK up. Zen and Meditation are one and the same. Wisdom brightens and opens our lives. When I first read the book I was un-aware of the impact the book would have on my soul and vision of my life. I just loved the advice and wisdom gained through gulping and digesting the stuff."
- E. Stafford,