"Even the homeliest cultural artifacts contain information that can incite our spiritual unfoldment," writes Dean Sluyter in Why the Chicken Crossed the Road. The author, who has taught nonsectarian approaches to meditation for more than 25 years, believes that "digging the cosmic ordinary" is one of the spin-offs of enlightenment. This smart, sassy, and idiosyncratic spiritual resource is divided into sections on cosmic jokes, sacred nursery rhymes, exploding proverbs, and accidental hymns. "From the bottom of our morning cereal bowl, from the tail-lights of the car ahead of us, from the eyes of the stranger and our own eyes in the mirror — from every inch and moment of experience, the Subtle Vast One plays peekaboo with us."

Sluyter proves to be a subtle and imaginative guide through the contemporary world of pop culture dazzling us with epiphanies growing out of jingles, jokes, and folk sayings. He provides fresh takes on faith, devotion, grace, being present, beauty, practice, selflessness, forgiveness, and simplicity. Like the best spiritual teachers, Sluyter lets light in from many angles — in this case, the wisdom of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, and more. Why the Chicken Crossed the Road is a surefire demonstration of why play is an essential ingredient in spiritual growth.