Half Asleep in the Buddha Hall — Finally, there’s a way to bring presence, mindful attention, and balance to living your life in the 21st century
If you are confused, lost, sick and tired of the rat race, and want to find depth, intimacy, and clarity, read on!
“You can take charge of your life, by learning simple, Zen principles of living.”
My book, Half Asleep in the Buddha Hall, will
- help you find the peace, centered-ness, and contentment you have been seeking
- explain how to develop and deepen your self-knowing, “cut yourself some slack,” and discover how to be with your life as it unfolds.
- give you tools for developing peace and contentment.
From: Wayne C. Allen
RE: It’s time for you to turn your life around.
Let’s face it. So far, the 21st century has been a challenge, to say the least
Here are a few issues:
- external systems that seemed to have supported people in the past (things like family, church, community, etc.) have been on life-support for at least the last two generations.
- the media bombards us with what I call the “be more, have more, happiness” model—this model suggests that what we have and how we are seen by others leads to a more fulfilling life. Except that most people I know have never been unhappier.
- you’ve likely discovered that externals—(validation, piles of stuff, etc.) are not the solution. All we end up with is stress and the desire for more.
For centuries, certain people have found the only authentic way to step out of the game—to fully live in the present moment.
I know. You’re frustrated and disheartened. In the first decade of the 21st century, we’ve seen:
- endless wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan
- increases in violence against women and children
- hopelessness and helplessness as the world economy totters on the brink
- destructive climate change
- increases in disease, depression
- people becoming so frustrated that they are taking to the streets
It’s hard to believe that a simple book has practical, down-to-earth methods and approaches that will help you not only to cope, but to thrive. I want to assure you that Half Asleep in the Buddha Hall, brings you into direct contact with the wisdom of the East, and especially the light of Zen.
You’ll discover how to find wisdom and depth. The Zen principles and stories guide you in a new and powerful direction.
The book is liberally sprinkled with teaching stories, and examples and lessons from my 30 years of Counselling experience.
You are able to see and do—you discover a way of being in the world that is both powerful and gentle.
There’s really only one way out—to begin the only adventure worth your time and effort—the adventure of being wholly and fully yourself!
This book is a veritable smorgasbord of exercises, tips and tales. Like its author, this book is novel, lighthearted, earnest, quirky, and very helpful.
~ Bennet Wong & Jock McKeen
~Co-founders, The Haven Institute
Just wanted to let you know that I just finished reading Half Asleep in the Buddha Hall. More than a book it has been an experience. I have always admired the way that you can put profound insights across so simply — and effortlessly. Thank you so much for all that is there in the book. Of course, this was just a first reading and at so many stages the book made me reflect, pause, wonder, and of course, those ‘aha’ moments. It also gave rise to many questions. And I think your book is one of those that will make the reader grow with every reading, like a ripple that takes you in deeper with every interaction with it.
~ Sharmila Bhosale
We tend to view life according to the beliefs of our tribe. That is, our way of looking at the world is largely influenced by our upbringing and culture. We view the world from within our small circle and think we know the world, but step outside of the circle and we can see from a very different perspective. Not only does the rest of the world look different, but from this new vantage point we also gain new perspectives into our own life.
In Half Asleep in the Buddha Hall, through traditional and new Zen stories, Wayne C. Allen opens up concepts largely unfamiliar to most Western trained minds. This book, both profound and yet easy to understand, will gently open your mind to a greater perspective, an expanded awareness if you will, that will bring you to a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you.
As an avid proponent of life-long learning and self-development, I offer my highest recommendation for Half Asleep in the Buddha Hall to all who are interested in their personal evolution. A greater perspective awaits you!
~ Dennis “Boogie Jack” Gaskill
Wayne Allen entices us to look at how we examine who and what we are as we go through our day to day lives. But more than that, he compels us to go well beyond examining ourselves, and actively DO the things that will bring us contentedness.
Replete with anecdotes, stories, examples and, profound introductory pieces, this book engages us to look deep within ourselves, while remaining simple. Gentle humor and genuine honesty are used to keep the reader thinking, feeling, doing and being. Read it.…live it.
~ Debashis Dutta, Coordinator,
Human Services Foundation,
Conestoga College, Kitchener, Ontario
We all spend a lifetime attempting to do only one thing: LOVE OURSELVES
!Wayne has the courage to share with us his own journey to AWAKEN TO LOVE in Half Asleep in the Buddha Hall, and in so doing he has guided us to LOVE OURSELVES even more, right here and NOW.
There can be no greater gift.
~ Dr. Scout Cloud Lee
This book, like his book, This Endless Moment, and his blog, is interested in moving you off the wheel of thinking, feeling, and doing the same thing, endlessly, with the same dysfunctional results.
The book is thoughtful, funny, and filled with concrete examples of how we create our own unhappiness.
It comes at life from a Zen perspective and invites you to take responsibility for you own life. I have found it invaluable in pushing me off stuck and into elegant actions that are a stark contrast to my pouting, “Why does she make me feel this way” actions that get me more of what I don’t want—isolation and anger.
After working with the concepts in this book I found I could move toward connection, which is what I really want.
It really is so much better to hug my beautiful wife than it is to walk out the door in a snit. Much better.
~ William Bradbury
HALF ASLEEP IN THE BUDDHA HALL provides the Zen principles you need to discover how to live life with depth, compassion, and assurance.
So, I hear you asking, what’s in the book, and why is it so special?
Half Asleep in the Buddha Hall is designed to help you to see the wisdom that is contained in simplicity, in “not knowing,” and in fully living your life. Forever, Zen has pointed the essence of life—to clarity, presence, and having a sense of humour.
As you read, you will discover:
- ways to step back and see the operation of your distinction-making mind.
You’ll learn to treat your mind with gentleness, and stop letting it run your life.
- 3 keys to stop being lost in your head — how to live in the here and now, as you easily let go of the dramas and stories of the past.
- the difference between a desire and reality — how to wake up, grow up, and get over yourself.
- the importance of realizing you have no self. You’ll find the strength that comes from being focused on your present-moment actions.
- why your history is just that — a story. You will see clearly that, far from being “true” your history is made up of events you’ve strung together like beads. You’ll see that there are many more events that also happened, and that you’ve chosen to ignore.
- the lesson of the laundromat. Each event, even the small ones, is worthy of our attention.
- the dangers of thought loops. You’ll discover the patterns you’ve created, and how to escape them.
- what real baggage tells us about emotional baggage. It’s always the question—do I travel light, or bring the kitchen sink with me? With lightness comes flexibility!
- how AirMiles can lead to waking up. It’s not what we believe is going on—it’s what’s going on!
- when beliefs are obstacles. Any time we are more invested in our beliefs than in what is right in front of us, we are lost.
- that a load of intelligence is a dangerous thing.
- how one word sets you free from fear (hint.. it begins with a “p”.)
- why intentions and dreams rarely satisfy.
- the 4 Truths that transform your life.
- why Yogi Berra is a Zen master.
And you’ll have real tools—
- 5 ways to live in the present, persistently.
- 6 Methods to make better choices.
- 3 methods to break the egotism habit through self-responsibility.
- the best way to escape from Indra’s net.
- 10 exercises in Zen being.
- 10 ways to relate with depth and compassion.
Half Asleep in the Buddha Hall is designed to help you to wake up.
As I Write in My Book.…
I want to encourage you to step back from Western culture and belief systems, for no particular reason other than to give you a chance to air out your mind. This is meant to be like walking around a statue. The front and the back may seem different, but it is the same statue, seen from a different perspective.
Ultimately, my wish is that you expand your repertoire regarding how you choose to view, understand, and live your life. This book will suggest a moment-by-moment path to deeper, committed, and purposeful living.
You will learn the practicalities of living a full and rich life:
Another way of putting “All that we are is the result of what we have thought” is “You are what you cling to.” We cling to stuff—beliefs, people, objects—for fear of what will happen, or who we will be, if we let them go.
Yet, all that our desperate clinging gets us is disillusionment and desperation. Non-clinging happens as we disentangle the mind from its obsession with our thoughts and beliefs. To drop clinging, we need to differentiate between moment-by-moment situations, and our judgements and stories about them.
The (moment of awakening) like all of life, happened in the ‘Now.’ In a sense, our enlightenment comes when we realize that the only way to enjoy life is to enjoy the endless ‘Now.’ Just as there is no fixed ‘goal,’ there is no thing called enlightenment—no fixed state you arrive at. There is just one moment after another of enlightened acting. Or, put another way, I have no life, no fixed thing called ‘my life.’ I have a string of ‘Now,’ which is a moment-by-moment unfolding. I can simplify the process of coming into the Now by simply interacting with the moment.
I do this by choosing to step out of my head, my imagination, my pretending that I have a life, a past, a future. I step into this moment, and realize that all there is, is this moment. I then choose how I relate to it.
Commit to walking a path that leads nowhere, walked by no one. One step and one step, this path is always walked in the now-here, (because there can be no destination, only the walk, until, paradoxically, you reach the end for all of us—death.)
This wisdom path is lived with attention to every detail, every interpretation—yet with the recognition that ‘no one’ is walking, ‘no one’ is interpreting. Thinking that there is a ‘you’ in all of this is your ‘stuck tail’—your ego identifying with the role of interpreter, walker.
I know. What the heck is he talking about?
My intent is to suggest letting go of your present way of seeing and being, so that you might self-less-ly walk the ‘wisdom path.’ Yet, nothing changes in the ‘real’ world. You still have to make a living and have a life.
So what does change? Your focus, attitude, and your commitment. Instead of mindlessness, or griping, or complaining, you do what you do— you attend to right now—here, and here alone. You chop wood, carry water, with total, mindful attention.
And then, as your ego pops up, smile and think, ‘caught tail.’ Let go, give yourself a shake, and go back to playing—being.
Or, you can choose to keep pretending that anyone cares, and that rescue is at hand. 95% of the population buys into that delusion. Drop me a line if this delusion works out for you, eh?
I suspect that ‘no-one’ will reply…
In Zen, we speak of discipline. The key discipline is ‘non-following,’ or non-attachment. You let each non-helpful thought go by not clinging to it. Now, of course, as with Beth, such thoughts will arise until you die.
Following such thoughts leads to paralysis by analysis. This paralysis seems inevitable, until I notice that repeating dysfunctional thought patterns causes the paralysis. I am ‘lost in thought,’ and the cure is to stop myself—not by more thinking, but by acting. Less thought, more action. Remember: you cause yourself problems by over-thinking and under-doing. Pick a way to be, and then just be it. Swing for the fences, letting the critical thoughts fade into background noise.
And here is the point!
By now, I trust that you ‘get’ what this book is about—that you create your reality, and populate your reality by telling yourself stories. The stories are about you, others, and the world. You understand that your stories are just stories—are about as ‘real’ as nursery rhymes—and realize that you are on the pathless path.
My goal is to support you on your walk, to help you find peace and satisfaction — and most importantly, to help you use Zen principles to have the kind of fulfilling, rich, and meaningful life you want.
Half Asleep in the Buddha Hall is available as:
- a paperback book ($20.00),
- as a pdf downloadable e‑book ($4.00.)
- A digital E‑Book ($2.99)
You can choose your format by clicking the link below.
** Paperback book, 204 pages
** E‑book digital downloads
** PDF download
* Publisher: The Phoenix Centre Press (June 2009)
* Language: English
Paperback: $20.00, Kindle, digital editions $2.99, PDF file $4.00
Purchase paperback from Amazon.com
Purchase digital versions (Apple, Nook, Kobo, etc.) from this page
Purchase PDF version from our site
I could go on and on with reasons to purchase Half Asleep in the Buddha Hall, but here’s the point: You need to prove to yourself that you can find contentment and peace.