Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment (Hardcover)

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Happiness is available to all of us—right here, right now. All that’s required is that we learn to let go of our expectation that life should go according the agenda we have in mind. Zen teacher Ezra Bayda provides the teachings and practices we need to learn to let go into true happiness—the kind that goes far deeper than the kind that’s about getting what we think we want.

Most of our unhappiness, he explains, is the result of seeking satisfaction in things external to us: new jobs, better relationships, luxury vacations. By liberating ourselves from expectations about these outward things and looking inward instead, we can find a deeper and unshakable kind of satisfaction that not only makes things a lot more pleasant for us, but that generates in us generosity and compassion toward others. 

Beyond Happiness includes simple meditation and mindfulness practices you can use to access true happiness, including basic sitting meditation, gratitude practice, loving-kindness practice, and the Three Questions practice, in which we ask ourselves: Am I happy now? What blocks happiness? and Can I surrender to what is?

About the Author

Ezra Bayda teaches at Zen Center San Diego. He is also the author of "Being Zen, At Home in the Muddy Water, Saying Yes to Life (Even the Hard Parts), " and "Zen Heart." For more information, visit

Praise For…

“With compassion and humor, Ezra Bayda has graced us with ways to accept what is and to reside in it fearlessly, giving us a roadmap to enduring happiness and equanimity.”—David Richo, PhD, author of The Five Things We Cannot Change

“A wise and deep-hearted book, a must-read for today’s world.”—Roshi Joan Halifax, Upaya Zen Center

“This book offers an extremely sane, practical, and grounded approach to the larger happiness that lies beyond conventional notions of happiness. Ezra Bayda details simple yet powerful methods both to work with mental and emotional obstacles and to cultivate well-being, and it’s clear that his hard-won insights grow out of his own dedicated inquiry and practice. Highly recommended.”—John Welwood, author of Toward a Psychology of Awakening

“Bayda’s writing is straightforward and his wisdom hard-earned. When he tells us that he himself was ‘born with a fairly low set point for happiness,’ you get the feeling that Bayda understands what it is that gets people stuck and, having learned a few things himself over years of practice, that his only agenda for Beyond Happiness is to help people find their own way. Fortunately for readers, he’s a trustworthy guide.”—Tricycle Magazine

“Bayda’s deep understanding of his topic allows him to keep a conversational tone and tie his wisdom into everyday practices. This book is a genuine attempt to help people to see beyond their daily preoccupations and move towards a path of fulfillment.”—

“Good advice from a compassionate teacher.”—

Product Details
ISBN: 9781590308257
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: December 14th, 2010
Pages: 160