We are pleased to announce publication of
The Driftwood Shrine: Discovering Zen in American Poetry
By John Gendo Wolff, Sensei
Foreword by Gerry Shishin Wick, Roshi
ISBN 978-1-896559-28-5 (pbk)
$19.95 USD, 160 pages, 6 x 9
Representing a new approach to the West’s evolving understanding of Buddhism, The Driftwood Shrine is the first collection of Zen teachings to be based on the poems of great American writers. In reassuring, forthright, and often surprising language, Wolff explains how Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams, H.D., Richard Wright, and many other poets enshrined the gentle light of the Buddha’s teaching in their work. Poetry lovers and Zen practitioners alike will find themselves moved toward a penetrating awareness of the realms of spiritual resolve, impermanence, desire, faith, and awakening.
“Through a two way mirror, American poetry and Zen mutually illuminate in this wise telling of the human story of awakening, rendered warm, intimate and authentic in its glimpses of the author’s own struggle and journey. Gendo Sensei holds nothing back in this compelling invitation to come face-to-face with ourselves through a fresh look at some of our most beloved master poets.”
— Susan Myoyu Andersen, Roshi, abbot, Great Plains Zen Center
“Rather than treating Zen as an exotic import from the East, this wonderful series of meditations discerns and extracts its essence from the heart of American poetry.”
— Stephen Batchelor, author of After Buddhism
“I was deeply moved by this book. This is something subtle and beautiful, brought to us by a wise and generous teacher. Here the heart of the Zen way is fully revealed as we read some of the great poetry of the West.”
— James Ishmael Ford, Roshi, author of If You’re Lucky, Your Heart Will Break
“An eloquent, insightful and intriguingly personal account of the flourishing of the Zen mind in American writing, starting long before the word and the practice were known here, down through the glory days of the Beat Generation. The author finds in close readings of many poems some of the brilliance, humor and glad perplexity of the koan.”
— Robert Kelly, author of In Time
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Gendo Wolff, Sensei, is a Zen priest and teacher in the White Plum Asanga. He is the Dharma heir of Susan Myoyu Andersen, Roshi, and the Spiritual Director of the Great Wave Zen Sangha in northern Michigan. He is a college professor of writing and literature with numerous publications of poetry and essays.
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