This is a Buddhist book. I don’t think you would call it inspiration, nor a guide book. The main principles of Buddhism teach about the middle way, not being overly or under emotional. They also suggest that practice is a very personal habit. So a Buddhist would never seek to teach a ‘correct way’, and they would try to inspire you in the Christian sense, which in my experience, has been all about some warm fuzzies. This book is actually overtly sad if anything, but entirely worth the read!
In Zen, Brad Warner chronicles what would arguable be the worst year in anyone’s life. His mom dies, wife divorces him, his job screws with him majorly, and he deals with exhausting cross world obligations. This book gives examples and details about how being a Buddhist helped him survive all of this. Having all of this happen is most people’s major downers in their lives. He gets hit with it all in 365 days.
He practices a brand of Buddhism referred to as Zazen, which is a branch of the insistence to bring it back from the religion that it became in the past couple of hundred centuries. Buddhism in the time of Sidhartha didn’t have gods, demons, or even a style of worship. When that developed in a response to control the growing population in the faith, Buddhism lost a lot of what it originally meant. Zazen is a movement to strip it back to what Buddha intended and helps integrate into our lives with the intention of it helping us live instead of being the reason we live.
Brad Warner is a Punk Rocker who used to play a lot of shows while trying to learn Buddhism. His personality lends itself more to the Punk lifestyle, where cusses and speaks his mind about any manner of things. He is something of a pariah in some of the more traditional settings, so of course I loved everything he said.