What Is Zen?: Plain Talk for a Beginner's Mind

February 9, 2016

February 9, 2016

by Norman Fischer and Susan Moon

An accessible and enjoyable introduction to Zen Buddhist practice—in a reader-friendly question-and-answer format—by two highly regarded teacher-writers.

The question-and-answer format makes this introduction to Zen especially easy to understand—and also to use as a reference, as you can easily look up just the question you had in mind. The esteemed Zen teacher Norman Fischer and his old friend and teaching colleague Susan Moon (both of them in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki, author of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind) give this collaborative effort a playful tone: Susan asks a question on our behalf, Norman answers it, and then Sue challenges him. By the time you get through their conversations, you'll have a good basic education in Zen--not only the history, theory, and practice but also the contemporary issues, such as gender inequality, sexual ethics, and the tension between Asian traditions and the modern American reality.

Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications (February 9, 2016)

This book is pure Zen, pure Norman, pure Sue, and pure poetry in spite being in the form of prose: refreshingly down-to-earth, modest, razor sharp, and subtle. Zen can’t but come alive for you in the reading, and even more, in coupling your reading with practice.
— Jon Kabat-Zinn
‘What is Zen?’ is a perplexing question, one I’m frequently asked, and one I ask myself, again and again. Norman Fischer and Sue Moon’s conversation is a wonderful, profound, affectionate, and immensely readable answer to this perplexing and ultimately unanswerable question. What Is Zen? is a book I know I’ll return to again and again, whenever the question arises.
— Ruth Ozeki

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