On Zen and its books

Anything can be done gracefully. Consider: one can peel an orange such that the rind is removed in a single, spiraling helix of citrus. Or, one can carelessly stab at the rind with stubby fingers, extracting chunk by little chunk, ending up sticky and frustrated. Similarly, one can write a Zen and the Art of book using piercing wisdom to enlighten the reader on how a given hobby (archery, motorcycle maintenance), when done correctly, can unlock the secrets of the universe. Or, one can choose a hobby, throw together some potted wisdom, and trick the reader into thinking they have unlocked the secrets of the universe.

Of course, peeling an orange perfectly is a painstaking, arduous task. Gaining piercing wisdom can also be painstaking and arduous. Sure, if we had the time we’d all pick up an esoteric hobby and attain nirvana through our single-minded devotion to flower arrangement, or calligraphy,, but instead we have jobs, bills, and responsibilities. Thankfully, using my simple four-step process, you will be able to publish your very own Zen and the Art of book, without having to do all that annoying soul-searching and grueling transcendence.

 

Read the rest at Killing the Buddha

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About Michael J. Altman

Michael J. Altman received his Ph.D. in American Religious Cultures from Emory University and is an Instructor in the Department of Religious Studies. Dr. Altman's areas of interest are American religious history, theory and method in the study of religion, the history of comparative religion, and Asian religions in American culture. Overall, Dr. Altman's research sits at the crossroads of American religious history and religious studies, using the theoretical insights of religious studies to dig deeper into what we mean by "religion" in religious history.

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