"This punk of a monk, who should be tending to his own affairs, has decided to infect the real world with his tall tales, and worse, to let the cat out of the bag. And what a sly, dangerous, beautiful, foul-smelling, heart-warming beast it is."--Leonard Cohen, from the forewordThese hilarious essays on life inside and outside a Zen monastery make up the spiritual memoir of Shozan Jack Haubner, a Zen monk who didn't really start out to be one. Raised in a conservative Catholic family, Shozan went on to study philosophy (becoming de-Catholicized in the process) and to pursue a career as a screenwriter and stand-up comic in the clubs of L.A. How he went from life in the fast lane to life on the stationary meditation cushion is the subject of this laugh-out-loud funny account of his experiences. Whether he's dealing with the pranks of a juvenile delinquent assistant in the monastery kitchen or defending himself against claims that he appeared in a porno movie under the name "Daniel Reed" (he didn't, really) or being surprised in the midst of it all by the compassion he experiences in the presence of his teacher, Haubner's voice is one you'll be compelled to listen to. Not only because it's highly entertaining, but because of its remarkable insight into the human condition.
This monumental work is considered to be one of the most profound expressions of Zen wisdom ever put on paper, and also the outstanding literary and philosophical work of Japan. It is a collection of essays by Eihei Dogen (1200-1253), founder of Zen's Soto school.Kazuaki Tanahashi and a team of translators that represent a Who's Who of American Zen have produced a translation of the great work that combines accuracy with a deep understanding of Dogen's voice and literary gifts. This volume includes a wealth of materials to aid understanding, including maps, lineage charts, a bibliography, and an exhaustive glossary of names and terms--and, as a bonus, the most renowned of all Dogen's essays, "Recommending Zazen to All People."
In No Beginning, No End, Zen master Jakusho Kwong-roshi shows us how to treasure the ordinary activities of our daily lives through an understanding of simple Buddhist practices and ideas. The author's spontaneous, poetic, and pragmatic teachings--so reminiscent of his spiritual predecessor Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind)--transport us on an exciting journey into the very heart of Zen and its meaningful traditions. Because Kwong-roshi can transmit the most intimate thing in the most accessible way, we learn how to ignite our own vitality, wisdom, and compassion and awaken a feeling of intimacy with the world. It is like having a conversation with our deepest and wisest self.Jakusho Kwong-roshi was originally inspired to study Zen because of zenga, the ancient art of Zen calligraphy. Throughout this book he combines examples of his own unique style of calligraphy, with less-known stories from the Zen tradition, personal anecdotes--including moving and humorous stories of his training with Suzuki-roshi--and his own lucid and inspiring teachings. All of this comes together to create an intimate expression of the enlightening world of Zen.