“If you’ve ever wondered how a messed up kid like you or me might master the wisdom of Zen, One Blade of Grass is the adventure for you. It’s great company—and after reading it, you might recognize that you’re further along than you imagined.” —David Hinton, editor and translator of The Four Chinese Classics and author of The Wilds of Poetry
One Blade of Grass tells the story of how a meditation practice gave Henry Shukman a context for integrating a sudden spiritual awakening into his life, and how his depression and anxiety were gradually healed through this practice. In sharing how he grew into a Zen teacher, Shukman demystifies Zen training, casting its profound insights in simple, lucid language. Along the way, One Blade of Grass guides the reader on a journey of their own, into the hidden treasures that contemplative practice can reveal to any of us.
One Blade of Grass recounts Shukman’s journey from academia to life as a wandering poet and writer, until he finally settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he now runs Mountain Cloud Zen Center. A child of professors at Oxford University, he received a classical humanist education, and threw himself onto the path to academia in order to cope with the pain of his parents’ divorce and the chronic eczema that had plagued him since childhood—until one day as a young man he encountered a spontaneous, powerful awakening experience.
By turns humorous and moving, this beautifully written memoir takes us on the journey of a lifetime—into the depths of our humanity, following an ancient path to freedom and love.
“This heartfelt and beautifully written memoir provides one of the most insightful, informative, and honest accounts of Zen practice yet to appear in English.” —Stephen Batchelor, author of After Buddhism