This audiobook is based on the 13th century Japanese manual by Zen Master Dogen which describes the five main courses of life as spirituality, study and learning, livelihood, social action or change, and relationship and community.

Bernie Glassman, an abbot of Zen centers in New York City and Los Angeles, and Rick Fields, co-author of Chop Wood, Carry Water, reveal how Zen practice can be a vehicle for both personal growth and community transformation. As one of their illustrations, they describe how Glassman has fashioned a successful commercial bakery to fuel his development projects for homeless families in Yonkers. This is a masterwork with insights into finding meaning through work and recipes for social change.