Friday, July 9, 2021


Solala Towler. THE SPIRIT OF ZEN: Teaching Stories on the Way to Enlightenment. Watkins, 2017.

Another gift to raise my spirits. 

Physically, this book 'has good hand' (feels lovely to the touch) as well as looks beautiful, with black and white photos which add to the mystery. The stories are told like koans, designed to be contemplated, "to show the deficiency of logic and to provoke enlightenment". Also, designed to be debated, and to show the teacher-student relationship. A little like HST's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, there is only one female in the entire book. Instead of a hotel maid, this one is a prostitute helped across a river and the subject of an argument. Unfortunately, this mono-culture did not make me feel as if there were any place for me in this collection of seekers. But I'm keeping the book.

Read June 2021

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