Opening to You: Zen-Inspired Translations of the Psalms


A week at the Gethsemani Abbey left Zen priest and poet Norman Fischer inspired by the soaring beauty of the Psalms chanted each day, but shocked by their violence, passion, and bitterness. Thus he began a journey through Eastern and Western spirituality and his own Jewish roots toward these moving and intimate translations, designed to "make these towering and perplexing poems accessible and beautiful in English for contemporary readers" of every spiritual path or religious background.

These ninety-three poems of praise, celebration, suffering, and lamentation are exquisitely rendered in modern and intimate language. In the tradition of Stephen Mitchell's Tao Te Ching and Coleman Barks's Essential Rumi, Opening to You brings the Psalms alive-and creates an inspirational bridge between different religious and cultural roots. 

New York, NY: Penguin Books (February 25, 2003)
Originally published by Viking Compass (New York, NY, February 18, 2002)

Fischer combines Eastern and Western spirituality to unveil the mysteries of the psalms to people of any spiritual background.
— Tricycle: The Buddhist Review
As poetry it can be enjoyed by anyone, whatever spiritual tradition they follow…. To all serious seekers, whether Jewish, Christian or Buddhist, I recommend the use of this book in their personal practice.
— Cyprian Smith ODB, Ampleforth Abbey, England