When You Greet Me I Bow: notes and reflections from a life in Zen
From beloved Zen teacher Norman Fischer, a collection of essays spanning a life of inquiry into Zen practice, relationship, social engagement, and spiritual creativity.
Looking backwards at a life lived, walking forward into more life to live built on all that, trying not to be too much influenced by what's already been said and done, not to be held to a point of view or an identity previously expressed, trying to be surprised and undone and maybe even dismayed by what lies ahead.--Norman Fischer
Norman Fischer is a Zen priest, poet, and translator whose writings, teachings, and commitment to interfaith dialogue have supported and inspired Buddhist, Jewish, and other spiritual practitioners for decades. When You Greet Me I Bow spans the entirety of Norman Fischer's career and is the first collection of his writings on Buddhist philosophy and practice. Broken into four sections--the joy and catastrophe of relationship; thinking, writing, and emptiness; cultural encounters; and social engagement--this book allows us to see the fascinating development of the mind and interests of a gifted writer and profoundly committed practitioner.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
NORMAN FISCHER is a Zen teacher, poet, translator, and founder of the Everyday Zen Foundation. A beloved figure in the Buddhist world, he is also well-known for his efforts at interreligious dialogue. His numerous books include, most recently, (prose) The World Could Be Otherwise: Imagination and the Bodhisattva Path, What Is Zen?: Plain Talk for a Beginner's Mind, and T raining in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong, and (poetry) The Strugglers, On A Train At Night, and Untitled Series: Life As It Is.
"Reveals the evolution of this prolific writer and Buddhist thinker. . . . This body of work points to the heart of practice and, ultimately, what it is to live this human life."
"These moving contemplations showcase the intricate workings of a wise mind."
"Steeped in a fundamental openness to life and relationship, Norman Fischer's tender, unflinching reflections never fail to bring me solace and deliver me to a felt-sense of loving presence to life--to our own and to each other's humanity--as 'liberation itself.' Among these reflections on the terrible beauty and aching sadness of life you will find the qualities of a wise best friend: everyday sanity, the encouragement to risk trust, and the committed hopefulness that things will be all right. A just-right companion for these times."
—Rhonda V. Magee, author of The Inner Work of Racial Justice
"This book is funny--but serious too, as any book about dedication must be. It is also humble, inviting, clear. Most people probably think of Zen as solitary and austere; Fischer, however, emphasizes the commitment to a community of practice. We all need that and most of us have no idea where to find it. This book is a good place to start."
—Rae Armantrout, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author of Conjure
"This book is a treasure. Eastern dharma has truly been transmitted to the West. The book is also beautifully structured. Help with love, relationship, grief, death, injustice, politics, is close at hand. Reading Fischer's book in these hard times emits a sigh of relief. Things almost make sense--even if upside down sense--the body lets go and relaxes."
—Natalie Goldberg, author of Three Simple Lines and Writing Down the Bones