Zen and the Art of Making a Morris Chair: Meet your creative spirit on a path to self-discovery by Randy GafnerZen and the Art of Making a Morris Chair: Meet your creative spirit on a path to self-discovery by Randy Gafner

Zen and the Art of Making a Morris Chair: Meet your creative spirit on a path to self-discovery

byRandy GafnerPhotographed byJason Allen

Paperback | November 15, 2016

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IT’S NOT ABOUT THE CHAIR. Recalibrate your work/life balance through the meditative process and mindful practice of making the objects in your life by hand. Make with your hands in the ways that humans have for millennia. Ancient humans made to survive. Reduce stress and banish anxiety when you return to a forgotten part of being a human on this planet by making your things with your hands. Modern humans make to thrive.

Randy Gafner’s mindful journey of making a museum-worthy chair becomes an allegory for self-exploration and restoration, paving a path from curiosity to accomplishment. His mindful, creative consideration of change, courage, acceptance, choice-making and belief through the process of completing this chair encourages you to consider your own personal hand made efforts. 

Make it your way!

Title:Zen and the Art of Making a Morris Chair: Meet your creative spirit on a path to self-discoveryFormat:PaperbackDimensions:76 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.16 inPublished:November 15, 2016Publisher:Kitsap PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1942661312

ISBN - 13:9781942661313

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Table of Contents

What I Know i

What I Didn’t Know i

From the Beginning iii


Metamorphosis 1

Your Behavior and Others’ Behavior 1

Setting Realistic Expectations 3

Cultivate Patience 5

What Did I

Learn About Metamorphosis

from the Morris Chair? 8


Overcoming Fear 9

Fear of the Judgment of Others 9

Fear of Judgment From Oneself 12

Fear of the Wrong Path 14

What Have I Learned About Fear

from the Morris Chair? 18


Letting Go 19

See What Happens 19

You Are Not Alone, So Don’t Remain Aloof 22

Perfect is the Enemy of the Good 26

What Have I Learned About Letting Go

from the Morris Chair? 28

Best Choice, Bad Choices 31

Forgiving Yourself 32

Mistakes 35

Stop, Consider, Retreat 38

Lessons Learned from Best Choice, Bad Choices 40

Editorial Reviews

This concise, lyrical book is much more than a ‘how to’ manual for building a piece of furniture, but the record of a heartfelt quest for authenticity in the whole personality. It is full of vital lessons on reclaiming our humanity from the ruling culture of artless fakery, and will benefit anyone who is serious about creative endeavor. You might even be inspired to build a chair. – James Howard Kunstler – author of the World Made By Hand novels and many other books. Enjoyed! An elegy to loss, recovery, creativity, and fearlessness--and chairs! – Susan Piver is a Buddhist teacher, a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and the New York Times bestselling author of 8 books, most recently Start Here Now on Shambhala. The manual for challenging yourself to a creative triumph wrapped in the story of one’s man’s journey to self-love. – Susan Bratton – Relationship Expert, Personal Life Media. Inc. "Stop and smell the hardwood. Randy Gafner managed to not only do that but rediscover himself in this extraordinarily simple yet complex journey”. Andy Field, Anchor and Reporter ABC Radio News Randy offers us an excellent view into the maker’s world, describing many things I have experienced but have never seen put into words. He helps dispel the fear of the unknown or at least instructs us that it is perfectly normal to experience it. He also gives us tools to overcome the various roadblocks in the maker’s path. This is an instructive and enjoyable book for anyone who creates objects. – Dianne Ayres – Arts & Crafts Period Textiles. www.TextileStudio.com Randall uses the building of his Morris Chair as a metaphor for the building of a plan for your life. While the woodworker and Arts and Crafts devotee will end his workshop experience laced with insightful details, anyone without any woodworking experience or any association with the Arts and Crafts movement will come away inspired to utilize Randall’s insight to craft their own personal identity. – Bruce Johnson – Author, Columnist and Director of the National Arts & Crafts Conference at The Grove Park Inn since 1988 Using the metaphor of constructing a Morris Chair, Randy invites you to journey with him as he carefully articulates life-changing discoveries, each one offering a vision of new life. – Donald G. Tritt, Ph.D. – Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Denison University There is a deep satisfaction in making something with your own two hands. In “Zen and the Art of Making a Morris Chair,” Randy Gafner spends a year building a beautiful chair. Along the way, he makes a few mistakes, learns a great deal about tools and woodworking and gets to know himself a little better. He also discovers and shares many simple and eternal truths. In our busy lives where our work often does not produce something tangible, there is a lot to be learned and enjoyed by making something. Maybe it’s a Morris Chair, maybe it’s a loaf of artisanal bread or a hand-knit sweater. The sheer degree of concentration these activities demand alone is a centering exercise to calm the jitters induced by this multitasking world of ours. Making something also offers us a chance for creativity and achievement in a whole new realm that may change the way we view ourselves. Take the journey with Randy and you just may be inspired to embark on one of your own. – Melody Kimmel SVP of Media Training at MSLGROUP