Why did I love this book?
A delightful introduction to traditional Zen practice in the West. Seigaku Amato introduces us to the intricacies of monastic practice adapted into Western communities with humor, insight, and pictures?
James Ford is a Zen teacher and the author or editor of five books on Zen history and spirituality. His history of Zen in the West, Zen Master Who? captured the personalities who formed our emerging Western schools, while the Book of Mu, which he compiled and edited with Melissa Myozen Blacker is considered essential for any contemporary student of koans, Zen’s arcane spiritual discipline.
An indispensable guide to koans, teaching the reader about the importance of lineage, the practice of “just sitting,” and koan practice as paths to awakening. The power of koans, these 'public cases' from China, has never ceased to enrich his own experience of Zen. They are a medium of exploration of the history, culture, and view of Zen, but most importantly are a medium of awakening.
By Barbara O'Brien,
Journalist and long-time Zen student Barbara O'Brien offers the only readable, concise, and yet comprehensive survey of Zen's history, the development of its teachings from the beginnings of Buddhism to the dawn of the twenty-first century. She finds a genuine middle ground between an appreciation of the received tradition and the best of modern scholarship. A masterful accomplishment.
Robert Aitken was the first American born Zen teacher to be ranked an equal among the first generation of Zen missionaries from East Asia. Several of his books count as classics, but Mind of Clover stands out for its clarity while introducing Zen's ethical precepts as an essential container of Zen practice.
Collecting and editing translations from a who's who of Zen scholarship, Kaz Tanahashi provides what has become the classic introduction to the writings of Eihei Dogen. The founder of Japanese Soto Zen, Dogen is considered one of the signal figures in the distillation of Zen's teachings.
D. T. Suzuki and Alan Watts introduced Zen to a Western audience. Shunryu Suzuki, no relationship to the scholar, was one of the first to show Westerners how to live Zen. He founded the San Francisco Zen Center as one of the first centers dedicated to offering authentic practice to Westerners. This book has become a beloved classic, arguably the first classic of American Zen.
By Ashley Rubin,
New book alert!
I have been captivated by the study of prisons since my early college years. The fact that prisons are so new in human history still feels mind-blowing to me. I used to think that prisons have just always been around, but when you realize they are actually new, that has major implications. This is nowhere more clear than at the beginning: how hard it was to get to the point where prisons made sense to people, to agree on how prisons should be designed and managed, and to keep on the same path when prisons very quickly started to fail. It’s still puzzling to me.
What were America's first prisons like? How did penal reformers, prison administrators, and politicians deal with the challenges of confining human beings in long-term captivity as punishment--what they saw as a humane intervention?
The Deviant Prison centers on one early prison: Eastern State Penitentiary. Built in Philadelphia, one of the leading cities for penal reform, Eastern ultimately defied national norms and was the subject of intense international criticism.
The Deviant Prison traces the rise and fall of Eastern's unique "Pennsylvania System" of solitary confinement and explores how and why Eastern's administrators kept the system going, despite great personal cost to themselves. Anyone interested in history, prisons, and criminal justice will find something to enjoy in this book.