Synopses & Reviews
Shunryu Suzuki Roshi founded the San Francisco Zen Center in 1962, and after fifty years we have seen a fine group of Zen masters trained in the west take up the mantle and extend the practice of Zen in ways that might have been hard to imagine in those first early years. Susan Murphy, one of Robert Aitkens students and dharma heirs, is one of the finest in this group of young Zen teachers. She is also a fine writer, and following on the teaching of her Roshi she has engaged her spiritual work in the ordinary world, dealing with the practice of daily life and with the struggles of all beings.
We know that our earth is in crisis, but is the situation beyond repair? Are we on a path of planetary disaster where the only proper response is to prepare for our melancholic dystopian future? Is there a way out of our suspicious cynicism?
In the tradition of Thomas Berry, using this spiritual opportunity to change the very nature of our crisis, Susan Murphy offers a profound message, subtly presented with clarity and assurance, showing that engaged Buddhism provides a possible path to the necessary repair and healing.
Murphy offers this Zen-framed critique of the material crisis thatthe world is in and presents a Dharma-based approach to our future. The first two parts characterize the plight we are in and show thenarrative frame with which humanity has been approaching our past, present, and future. Parts three and four discuss “breaking theframe” and “mending the earth” by drawing on the natural intelligence of childhood, creating and listening to new stories,reinventing our conception of Earth and of humanity, and making peace with the reality of constant change in both the world andourselves. The book concludes with a “medicine bundle” of koans to ponder for understanding and equanimity. A further reading list is included.Annotation ©2014 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
About the Author
Susan Murphy is the founding teacher of Zen Open Circle in Sydney, Australia and leads Sesshin training in Sydney and Melbourne. She is also a filmmaker and producer. Her first book was Upside-Down Zen, Finding the Marvelous in the Ordinary. She was authorized to teach by Robert Aitken Roshi of the Diamond Sangha branch of the Harada-Yasutani lineage.