Zen is not just about what we do in the meditation hall, but what we do in the home, the workplace, and the community. That’s the premise of this book: how to cook what Zen Buddhists call “the supreme meal”—life. It has to be nourishing, and it has to be shared. And we can use only the ingredients at hand.
Inspired by the thirteenth-century manual of the same title by Dogen, the founder of the Japanese Soto Zen tradition, Instructions to the Cook describes the innovative business model Roshi Bernie Glassman developed to revitalize a poverty-stricken section of Yonkers, New York. Using his own story as a base, Glassman shows how social engagement can be used as a spiritual practice to promote both personal and societal transformation.
“The menu Glassman offers is fresh, appealingly presented, and thought-provoking.”—Publishers Weekly
“Instructions to the Cook is stimulating and insightful precisely because it is so well grounded in the fundamental teachings of Dogen Zenji and others—exceptionally practical teachings, moreover, which chart a course for the development of that ‘social-action Zen’ (led most forcefully by Roshi Glassman) which promises to become the Way of Zen here in America.”—Peter Matthiessen
“Provocative recipes blending meditation practice and actions that matter in a crazy world. Look! Taste! Be nourished and inspired! Magnificent work!”—Jon Kabat-Zinn
“A delicious confection made of down-to-earth Zen wisdom and a deeply heartful demonstration of compassion in action.”—Ram Dass
“Taking the Path of Zen and Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind have introduced scores of Americans to Zen Buddhism in the last two decades. Now, these two mini-classics are joined by a new book that promises to be an even more meaningful introduction to Zen—as well as the growing ‘socially engaged Buddhism’ movement.”—Donn Fry, Seattle Times
“A more authentic teaching by a more authentic person than Bernard Glassman, we are not likely to see in our times. He not only teaches all this, he has done it all.”—Thomas Berry, author of The Sacred Universe: Earth, Spirituality, and Religion in the Twenty-First Century
“A recipe for an enlightened life, Instructions to the Cook speaks volumes about finding nourishment in a voracious world, where so many things—from consumerism to unemployment—can create hunger, and where contentment can seem tantalizingly remote, an aroma from someone else’s window.”—Deborah Jerome-Cohen, New York Daily News
“Both a manual for spiritual transformation and a call to action.”—New Age Journal