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  • Published: 15 March 2016
  • ISBN: 9781611802436
  • Imprint: Shambhala
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $26.99

What Is Zen?

Plain Talk for a Beginner's Mind



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

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

This unique introduction to Zen teaching and practice is structured as a Q&A, making it a most useful reference for new and seasoned practitioners to look things up. The questioner (Susan Moon) and the answerer (Norman Fischer) are Buddhist teachers and old friends, each with a unique gift for articulation. Their friendly conversation covers not only the basics of Zen Buddhism but a range of issues unique to Zen in America in the twenty-first century, including:

• What is zazen and how do you do it?
• Where did Zen start and where did it come from?
• Will I have an enlightenment experience?
• What is the law of karma in a nutshell?
• What do Zen Buddhists say about rebirth?
• How do you recognize a good, solid Zen teacher?

Moon and Fischer’s conversations are both humorous and informative, providing a good basic education in Zen—not only the history, theory, and practice but also contemporary issues such as gender inequality, sexual ethics, and the tension between Asian traditions and the modern American reality.

  • Published: 15 March 2016
  • ISBN: 9781611802436
  • Imprint: Shambhala
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $26.99

About the authors

Susan Moon

Susan Moon is Editor of TURNING WHEEL: THE JOURNAL OF THE BUDDHIST PEACE FELLOWSHIP. She is the author of THE LIFE & LETTERS OF TOFU Roshi and codeditor OF BEING BODIES: BUDDHIST WOMEN ON THE PARADOX OF EMBODIMENT.

Praise for What Is Zen?

"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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