Here is a comprehensive introduction to Zen Buddhism for those who don't know how or where to begin, nor what to expect once they have started practicing. It includes the fundamentals of meditation practice (posture, technique, clothing), descriptions of the basic teachings and major texts, the teacher-student relationship, and what you will find when you visit a zendo, plus a history of Zen from the founding of Buddhism to its major schools in the West. In addition to answering the most frequently asked questions, it offers a listing of American Zen centers and resources, an annotated bibliography, and a glossary.
Jean Smith's enormously practical approach ensures that The Beginner's Guide to Zen Buddhism will become the book teachers and students alike will recommend.
"This is the first book I am aware of that draws on the existing body of literature in English by modern Zen teachers to offer a solid reader's guide to the ABCs of Zen. A practitioner herself, Jean Smith manages to write about Zen simply and succinctly -- from the inside."
-- Norman Fischer, coabbot of San Francisco Zen Center "This book is both a primer and an overview, offering the beginning student clear instructions for where, how, and with whom to practice, as well as, most importantly, why."
-- Sylvia Boorstein, author of Don't Just Do Something, Sit There
"Jean Smith covers the basics in this carefully crafted and knowledgeable introductory guide to Zen. Her long experience of practice illuminates this 'finger pointing toward the moon.'"
-- Sojun Mel Weitsman, abbot of Berkeley Zen Center
"In a kind and friendly manner, Jean Smith graciously invites us to visit the world of Zen and make ourselves at home in our own being."
-- Edward Espe Brown, Zen priest, author of Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings