The Secret Power Within

I think it's fair to say up front that "The Secret Power Within - zen Solutions to Real Problems" by Chuck Norris is not meant to be an in depth research tome on the history of Zen Buddhism or martial arts. Chuck is open about this being just his story, just his views on what he has gone through in life and what it has taught him. With that understood, I think he's written the book exceedingly well, that he is honest about sharing the things he's experienced, and that readers can take a lot of valuable insight away from reading it.

Chuck intermingles talk of his activities in well known motion pictures with the tragedies in his personal life, the history of him learning martial arts, and how Zen benefits your daily activities.

You learn how sword fighters learned to develop a oneness with their surroundings. This oneness was just as important - if not more - than learning technical moves. There are koans and stories, examples from real life and fun tidbits.

There are also use-this-right-now practical advice items. For example you must be *in* the moment you are in right now. "There is only now." Give the best you can to whatever it is you are doing. Meditation can help you develop a calm, relaxed mind so that you're ready for whatever life rolls out to you.

If you have a negative thought that seems stuck in your mind, write it down on a piece of paper and then burn it. Let it go with the ashes.

Chuck aims to live his life by the words of the Dalai Lama - "If you can, help others - if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them."

Chuck provides daily tips to reach this goal. Exercise, eat healthy foods, meditate. Have positive-minded friends who support you and keep learning and growing. Don't be judgmental - let people take their paths and wish them well. Don't obsess about material things - health and love are far more important.

If there's any flaw I could find with the book, oddly it's in the printing. The print quality of the book gets fuzzy at times. Maybe they used a sub-standard printer or had a bad run of ink? It was a very unusual problem I've only encountered rarely in all the books I've read.

Highly recommended, and the advice he provides can help any person improve their world and daily serenity.

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