Practicing Zen Without a
by Jack Butler
grand and funny satire on the human tendency to indulge in
zen, whatever you expect "Practicing Zen" to be, it will
be different. Think of a source-book on the origins of
zen, like the scholarly source-books that we use today to
study zen's origins in Chinese Buddhism and its coming to
full flower in Japan. Such source-books are necessarily
fragmentary, since much of the original writing has been
lost. Now translate that source-book to the 25th century,
and replace the fragments from China and Japan with
fragments from the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the
only remaining records of how a version of zen (called
Easy) took over the U. S. Throw in a wildly humorous and
semi-science-fictional version of history, and spice it up
with anecdotes about and utterances by fictional zen
masters, who quarreled among themselves.
result is at once hilarious, serious, satirical,
illuminating, and elusive but fundamental in a way that is
similar to zen itself.
Butler is a poet, novelist and essayist. His novel Living
in Little Rock with Miss Little Rock was nominated for a
Pulitzer Prize His poems have been published in The New
Yorker, Atlantic, and New York Times Book Review. Other
novels include Jujitsu For Christ and Nightshade (a
vampire-on-Mars tale). Hawk Gumbo and Other Stories is his
first story collection. His poetry books are The Kid Who
Wanted to be a Spaceman and West of Hollywood, and he's
published a cookbook called Jack's Skillet.
Read the reviews!
Practicing Zen Without A
License from your favorite bookstore or
Trade paper $12.00
Kindle edition $9.99
Publication year: 2011
Practicing Zen Without A License is a treatise of
religion and philosophy as written by Kurt Vonnegut and
Douglas Adams in the year 2450 AD. Or something like that.
Wisdom and practicality lurk beneath the bad jokes and worse
puns and purposeful disregard for convention and grammar, or
as OB Wanda (Roshi) would have it, "dialect, slang, anecdotes,
wild-ass metaphors, jokes, free association, word-music"
"If you do not already know how to read, please engage the module.
Otherwise you will not be able to comprehend the material."
- from the opening of Practicing Zen
Without a License
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