Zen Unleashed – Book Review

Tim Macejak has been a Zen enthusiast and practitioner for over three decades now. He has been a  devoted part of both formal and informal practices at home and at various Zen Centers. Tim currently co-leads a Buddhist meditation group located in the Anamosa Men’s Reformatory. He also is a member of the Cedar Rapids Zen Center and serves as an active member of the board of directors at the Hokyoji Zen Practice Community. Currently working at the United States Postal Service, he lives in Iowa with his wife Teresa.

Zen Unleashed is his first published book. He has incorporated his experience about Buddhism and Zen with his utmost love for dogs. Tim firmly believes that dogs live by the Buddhist principles, which means living in the moment and letting go of attachments. Sheila, the narrator of Zen Unleashed, is an eight-year-old Zen Dog who resides in Iowa.  Through her eyes, the reader learns the basics of Buddhism and the roots of Zen. Sheila begins the story by revealing a secret, which is that cats and squirrels can practice Zen. A state of mind which does not demand a caste, creed, religion, or gender, Zen does not demand for one to alter their faith or beliefs.

In the book, Sheila has used haiku poetry, enlightening illustrations, and her up-close encounters with Buddhism. Sheila also believes that Buddha was essentially a dog lover. The cause for this belief is that Buddhism roots from a place where one is encouraged to live life in the now and enjoy it to the fullest. Every chapter starts with a little haiku poem, which symbolize different stages of the dog’s awakening.

Who better to take “living in the moment” tips from than man’s best friend? After all, dogs are the most loyal, humble, and joyful creatures known to man. After reading this book, the reader will realize how deeply Tim feels about Buddhism, Zen, and well…dogs!

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