These days, when Zen has become a kind of shorthand for anything that’s enigmatic or aesthetically spare, it’s refreshing be reminded that Zen is at heart a practice for waking up from the dream we inhabit—in order to free ourselves from the suffering the dream imposes on us. Elihu Genmyo Smith’s eminently practical Zen teaching never loses sight of that central concern: Whether it takes the form of zazen (meditation), koan work, or just eating your breakfast, the aim of Zen practice is always nothing other than intimacy with ourselves and everything around us.
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Having long been interested in the Tao and, more recently, it's influence on Chinese Buddhism, I thought this book would be informative. I was mistaken; the author only mentions "the Way " only a couple of times throughout the book. Of course, I could be wrong. Smith uses so many Buddhist terms and references that I often without ever explaining or defining them that I often had no idea what he was talking about. How to interpret a statement like this: "The time that Avalokitesavara Bodhisattya practices profound prajna paramita is the total emptiness of the five skandhas, whole body seeing by illumined vision." I'm not really saying this is a bad book, but it's definitely not for the newcomer to Buddhism. For those who are into Buddhism, though, it seems to offer help & encouragement.