Synopses & Reviews
What would happen if, instead of bolting your doors against the intrusion of demons you invited them in?
Bad Dog! is a vivid testament to the unforeseen love, beauty, and redemption discovered in the most difficult times and places. It reads like a collection of closely linked short stories (think JD Salinger) but is in fact a work of literary nonfiction (think Robert Fulgham, or Augusten Burroughs). Bad Dog! will appeal to anyone who has fallen into dark places and wants to climb back into the light.
With quietly crafted poetic language of a quality rarely seen in spiritual books, Lin Jensen tells the stories of his remarkably difficult life: his tumultuous early years on a struggling Midwestern turkey farm, his failed marriage, and the search for meaning that led him eventually to become a Zen teacher. The raw and earthy lessons of Bad Dog! cut to the quick with an understated power, and the reader is left at the end of each chapter subtly transformed, able to reflect more deeply and more fruitfully on the struggles of our own lives. Lin Jensen's writing has rare poetic and literary merit.
Lin Jensen received the Best Nonfiction/Spiritual Book award from Today's Librarian for his previous book, Uncovering the Wisdom of the Heartmind. He has taught writing in various colleges and universities for over twenty years, and continues to teach Buddhist ethics and practices at Chico State University. He is the founding teacher and senior teacher emeritus of the Chico Zen Sangha, in Chico, California, where he lives with his wife.
Today, Lin Jensen is a Zen master. But before that, he had to get through a difficult childhood and a difficult life. Bad Dog! is Jensen's sometimes quirky, sometimes poignant telling of the long path he took to inner peace. In over 40 short, interlocking pieces, Jensen uncovers his personal history, starting with his early life on a struggling farm in the dusty, quiet Midwest. Jensen eventually reaches college where he encounters a new world and a new passion, poetry, before entering into a marriage that is destined to fail. The one constant throughout Jensen's life is the search for meaning, a search that leads him to finally awaken to his calling in Zen. Always engaging, Jensen's quiet stories subtly reflect on the currents of love, beauty, and redemption that run through all lives. His simple prose rings with insight at just the right moments, making Bad Dog! a book that will appeal to anyone who's ever looked for life's little bright spots.
In more than 40 short, interlocking pieces, Zen Master Jensen uncovers his personal history--including his difficult childhood-- in this sometimes quirky, sometimes poignant telling of the long path he took to inner peace.
About the Author
Lin Jensen is the critically acclaimed author of the memoir Bad Dog! A Memoir of Love, Beauty, and Redemption in Dark Places and Pavement: Reflections on Mercy, Activism, and Doing "Nothing" for Peace. His first book, Uncovering the Wisdom of the Heartmind, received the Best Nonfiction/Spiritual Book award from Today's Librarian. His prose that has been likened to Steinbeck, and his wonderfully poetic writing has made him one of the most beloved of modern Buddhist writers. He has taught writing in various colleges and universities for over twenty years, and continues to teach Buddhist ethics and practices at Chico State University. He is the founding teacher and senior emeritus teacher of the Chico Zen Sangha, in Chico, California, where he lives with his wife.