Normally, instinct says to recoil from liberal use of the word Zen. Its over-application to describe everything from “Zen interiors” to a “Zen moment” feels ill-considered, but in the case of Karen Maezen Miller, an accredited Zen Buddhist priest and instructor, an exception is in order.

Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden, by Karen Maezen Miller173 pagesNEW WORLD LIBRARY

While house hunting in the suburbs of Los Angeles, Miller and her husband came across a property that included a Japanese garden dating back to 1916, the oldest of its kind in Southern California. This discovery, which Miller writes made her feel “I was right where I belonged,” is the basis for her book, “Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden.”