Zenkei Blanche Hartman is a Soto Zen teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Roshi. She has been practicing for 45 years and has served two terms as coabbess of the San Francisco Zen Center. In this sturdy and enlightening collection of her teachings, we get a keen sense of the rigors, the discipline, and the radical nature of the path of Zen.
One of Hartman's key practices is respect which begins with self-respect and then is spread around to include everyone and everything we encounter in our daily lives. She points to pushing chairs across the room as disrespectful and a sign of laziness on our part. As bodhisattvas, we vow to honor the essential beauty and goodness of all people and things.
A second aspect of Zen that goes against the grain of our self-centered and self-improvement culture is "there is nothing we need to get that is not already right here, right now, in this very body and mind as it is." Or as Kodo Sawaki Roshi puts it: "There is nothing to attain. Zazen is good for nothing." A close practice to this one is renunciation where we realize that we have all that we need and do not have to get anything more.
There are many other profound Zen teachings in this paperback including insights into being one with everything, the art of containing the whole universe, living a beneficial life, gladdening the mind, practicing more than one Buddhist tradition, still succumbing to emotions and old habits, and understanding the suffering of others.
Zenkei Blanche Hartman's dharma name, Zenkei, means "inconceivable joy." After reading this wisdom-rich work, you will feel intimations of that same joy.