Discovering Zen in American Poetry

If you yearn for a spiritual authenticity and originality in an age of reckless and irresponsible speech, you need only look at these poems that gleam with the subtle light of the Buddha’s teaching. 

Gerry Shishin Wick, May 24, 2007. (Photo source Wikipedia)

“As a writer and teacher of literature and poetry, and as a Zen teacher, Gendo Wolff has shed new, important light on these poems and has given them a life beyond life.”

—from the foreword by Gerry Shishin Wick, Roshi

Stephen Batchelor  at Upaya Zen Center in New Mexico. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Rather than treating Zen as an exotic import from the East, this wonderful series of meditations discerns and extracts its essence from the heart of American poetry.”

—Stephen Batchelor, author of After Buddhism

 

James Ishmael Ford, Roshi

“I was deeply moved by this book.  This is something subtle and beautiful, brought to us by a wise and generous teacher.  Here the heart of the Zen way is fully revealed as we read some of the great poetry of the West.”

—James Ishmael Ford, Roshi, author of If You’re Lucky, Your Heart Will Break

 

Robert Kelly

“An eloquent, insightful and intriguingly personal account of the flourishing of the Zen mind in American writing, starting long before the word and the practice were known here, down through the glory days of the Beat Generation.  The author finds, in close readings of many poems, some of the brilliance, humor and glad perplexity of the koan.”
—Robert Kelly, author of In Time

Susan Myoyu Andersen, Roshi

“Through a two-way mirror, American poetry and Zen mutually illuminate in this wise telling of the human story of awakening, rendered warm, intimate and authentic in its glimpses of the author’s own struggle and journey.  Gendo Sensei holds nothing back in this compelling invitation to come face-to-face with ourselves through a fresh look at some of our most beloved master poets.”
—Susan Myoyu Andersen, Roshi, Abbot, Great Plains Zen Center


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