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.
Norman Fischer is a Zen Buddhist priest. A former abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center, he is the founder and teacher for the Everyday Zen Foundation, a network of communities and projects. Fischer began publishing poetry in the late 1970's as part of a Bay Area group of experimental writers. His books include Turn Left In Order To Go Right (O Books, 1989), Precisely The Point Being Made (O Books/Chax Press 1993), Jerusalem Moonlight (Clear Glass Publications, 1995), The Narrow Roads of Japan (Ex Nihilo Press 1998), Success (Singing Horse Press, 2000), Slowly but Dearly (Chax Press, 2004), I
"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