At the age of 30, Kaoru Nonomura left his family, his girlfriend, and his job as a Tokyo designer to undertake a year of ascetic training at Eiheiji, one of the most rigorous Zen monasteries in Japan and head temple of the Soto sect of Buddhism. This book is Nonomura's account of that year, and his quietly determined quest to imbue his life with spiritual meaning.
Deep in the mountains of remote Fukui Prefecture, trainee monks live a life of hardship that few could endure: the physical agony of hours of seated meditation, lack of sleep, meager diet, and a punishing schedule of physical labor, against a background of threats and beatings from superiors. Yet Nonomura's account of his year at Eiheiji is full of warmth, humor, and gratitude, and as we follow his journey, we discover with him the courage to affirm the past and the joy of living mindfully in the present.
Shocking, moving, insightful, funny, and warm, "Eat Sleep Sit" is a warts-and-all story of the life of a novice Buddhist monk, grappling not just with the day-to-day mysteries of Buddhist practice — how to eat, how to sleep, how to sit — but with fear, exhaustion, hunger, and loneliness.
A bestseller in Japanese, this beautifully written and inspiring memoir is a fascinating insight into a life of hardship that few people could endure. "Eat Sleep Sit" will appeal to all those with an interest in Zen Buddhism and to anyone with an interest in the story of one ordinary man's search for spiritual enlightenment.© Japan Today