Whether speaking of student or master, Zen hinges on the question. Zen practice does not necessarily focus on the answers, but on finding a space in which we may sustain uncertainty and remain present and upright in the middle of investigations. Zen Questions begins by exploring “The World of Zazen,”—the foundational practice of the Zen school—presenting it as an attitude of sustained inquiry that offers us an entryway into true repose and joy. From there, Leighton draws deeply on his own experience as a Zen scholar and teacher to invite us into the creativity of Zen awareness and practice. He explores the poetic mind of Dōgen with the poetry of Rumi, Mary Oliver, Gary Snyder, and even “the American Dharma Bard” Bob Dylan. What’s more, Leighton uncovers surprising resonances between the writings of America’s Founding Fathers—including Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin—and the liberating ideals at the heart of Zen.
“Taigen Dan Leighton’s clear, accurate, and eminently useful book will save any serious Zen practitioner, or even a curious novice, years of wasted error, wrong turns, and plain old delusion.”—Peter Coyote