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One Blade of Grass: Finding the Old Road of the Heart, a Zen Memoir

One Blade of Grass: Finding the Old Road of the Heart, a Zen Memoir

by Henry Shukman


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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on October 15, 2019


"If you've ever wondered how a messed up kid like you or me might master the wisdom of Zen, One Blade of Grass is the adventure for you. It's great company—and after reading it, you might recognize that you're further along than you imagined." —David Hinton, editor and translator of The Four Chinese Classics and author of The Wilds of Poetry

One Blade of Grass tells the story of how a meditation practice gave Henry Shukman a context for integrating a sudden spiritual awakening into his life, and how his depression and anxiety were gradually healed through this practice. In sharing how he grew into a Zen teacher, Shukman demystifies Zen training, casting its profound insights in simple, lucid language. Along the way, One Blade of Grass guides the reader on a journey of their own, into the hidden treasures that contemplative practice can reveal to any of us.

One Blade of Grass recounts Shukman's journey from academia to life as a wandering poet and writer, until he finally settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he now runs Mountain Cloud Zen Center. A child of professors at Oxford University, he received a classical humanist education, and threw himself onto the path to academia in order to cope with the pain of his parents' divorce and the chronic eczema that had plagued him since childhood—until one day as a young man he encountered a spontaneous, powerful awakening experience.

By turns humorous and moving, this beautifully written memoir takes us on the journey of a lifetime—into the depths of our humanity, following an ancient path to freedom and love.

"This heartfelt and beautifully written memoir provides one of the most insightful, informative, and honest accounts of Zen practice yet to appear in English." —Stephen Batchelor, author of After Buddhism

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640092624
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Publication date: 10/15/2019
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.00(d)

About the Author

HENRY SHUKMAN is an English poet and writer. He is the winner of the Arvon Poetry Competition, the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, the Author's Club Best First Novel Award, an Arts Council England Writer's Award, and was named a finalist for the O. Henry Award. He teaches at the Mountain Cloud Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is a Zen teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan lineage.

Table of Contents


Part One: One Bright Pearl

Speedy’s Dog

Skin Deep

The Gap


The Alternatives

Tired of London, Tired of Life

Part Two: The Ox and the Mosquito

Lawrence Land

Reluctant Mystic


Teacher, Teacher

Sweet Obedience

Black Hole

Part Three: Calf Born of a Bull

Koan of the Suburbs

Absolute Zero

Book Burial

No Other

Mountain Cloud