By David Schiller
Updated, revised, with a new cover, new trim size, and illustrations throughout, the national bestseller The Little Zen Companion, with 516,000 copies in print, is repackaged for a new generation of seekers as The Little Book of Zen. A perfect gift and book of discovery, its maverick spirit celebrates ideas drawn from Zen Buddhism that have tremendous currency today: mindfulness, meditation, compassion, paying attention to the here and now, and finding a deeper meaning in life.
While it seeks neither to define Zen nor answer its most famous koan (“What is the sound of one hand clapping?”), The Little Book of Zen points to a calming way of looking at the world. Each page features a quote, phrase, story, koan, haiku, or poem, interspersed with essays on the Buddha, Zen arts, significant masters, and more. The feeling is that of a meditation book with 2,500 years of wisdom—from Lao-tzu to Lily Tomlin. It’s a celebration of intuition: “If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”—St. John the Cross. Individuality: “Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.”—Basho. And self-discovery: “We already have everything we need.”—Pema Chödrön.
New material is taken from contemporary spiritual leaders, writers, meditation teachers, and others with an emphasis on the practice of mindfulness—on the heart, rather than the head. Pen and ink illustrations from the author bring an additional layer of feeling and beauty.