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Lions Roar : January 2005
88 SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2005 Religions in Chicago in 1893, and at the request of the Japanese- American immigrant community, returned to America twelve years later with his young student D.T. Suzuki in tow as aide and inter- preter. Suzuki drew the material for this book from the public lectures Soyen Shaku delivered during that second visit. Soyen Shaku and Sermons of a Buddhist Abbot gave America a first taste of Zen Buddhism. As would become clear later, an appetite was created. AWAKE AT WORK By Michael Carroll Shambhala Publications, 2004; 217 pp., $21.95 (cloth) Of the many roles we occupy in our lives, who and how we are at work is perhaps the most challenging—too many demands, too much need to conform, too many factors beyond our control. Many of us would rather endure those eight hours a day half awake than truly live them. Clearly Michael Carroll’s approach is different. Awake at Work is structured around thirty-seven deceptively simple slogans for wise working, from the straight- forward (Be authentic) to the opaque (Welcome the tyrant). With each slogan, Carroll, a corporate consultant, tells workplace anecdotes that illustrate the lesson at hand. In several useful appendices he offers meditation instruction and some practical exercises for an experiential investigation of some his main points. If you’re thinking about really showing up for the tens of thousands of hours you’ll spend working during your life, you’ll want to read this book. THE HARD QUESTIONS FOR ADULT CHILDREN AND THEIR AGING PARENTS By Susan Piver Gotham Books, 2004; 96 pp., $15 (cloth) This book is the third in a series from Susan Piver. First was The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask before You Say “I Do,” and that was followed by The Hard Questions for an Authentic Life: 100 Essential Questions for Designing Your Life from the Inside Out. And while you might blanch at a franchise born of “hard questions,” you’d be a serious cynic if you didn’t get something of value from this book. Many of us lack the leisure or propensity for deep, inquiring relation- ships with our aging parents. Drawing on her own experience, Piver’s questions guide families through a discussion of many pressing topics that are often ignored until too late: finances, possessions, health care and spirituality, among others. Preparing for a permanent parting, while difficult, can be a rewarding one when faced head-on. Piver’s hard questions give a structure to this process. ©