Books

Love & Zen in America

Zen Odyssey

Based, in part, on 27 hours of taped interviews conducted by poet Gary Snyder in 1966, authors  Janica Anderson and Steven Schwartz reveal the monastic love story at the heart of Zen Odyssey: The Story of Sokei-an, Ruth Fuller Sasaki, and the Birth of Zen in America.

In the early 20th century, Japanese orphan Sokei-an Sasaki travels across America and settles into Greenwich Village where he meets his match in Ruth Fuller, a wealthy white Chicago heiress with years of experience in Japanese temples.

Together, though both married to others, their yin-yang attraction re-shaped Sokei-an’s Buddhist Society of America into the First Zen Institute of America, bringing the slow narrow path of Rinzai Zen to the monkey-mind lives of Americans.

To follow their historic romance for yourself, click here.

 

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The Book of the Way

Tao te Ching

After seeing the Dalai Lama speak in 1989, I browsed the books for sale outside the university auditorium and first discovered the Tao te Ching.

That was Stephen Mitchell’s translation, and I took it home and read it,  bending like a stem to its soft humor and smiling guidance.

The 81 poems comprising the Tao provide a map to a spiritual territory, a land far from the pages of a book, closer perhaps to the heart of all our deeds.

Click the image above to get your own copy.  Then read it for yourself with a warm cup of tea.  Begin to grin as you slowly unravel its riddle…