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Porter (Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits) has carved out a niche as a translator of classic Zen poetry, sometimes under the name Red Pine. He has lived and traveled extensively in Asia, pursuing his understanding of Zen Buddhism. In his 2006 trip, he visited (and revisited in some cases) several rather remote historical sites that were key to the spread of Buddhism in China. He writes of a China that is not only embracing the future but also regenerating its heritage. Temples and monasteries are being repaired and expanded, and more people are returning to traditional religious practices. Porter takes the reader to places far off the tourist track and far from the economic and political frenzy of major cities, traveling on buses and sleeping rough in monasteries. He does it without pedantry or zeal and with some humor. This book reveals another China and will provide balance to public library travel collections.
—Harold M. Otness