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Good books on Zen urge you to put them down and start meditating, but the best ones make you actually want to.

In “Opening the Hand of Thought,” the monk Kosho Uchiyama outlines his school’s take on the middle way. Employing deft analogies and pertinent anecdotes he presents the Soto case for seated meditation, called zazen, as a direct way of getting in touch with the self “that goes beyond personal consciousness.”

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