Maurine Stuart (19221990) was one of a select group of students on the leading edge of Buddhism in America: a woman who became a Zen master. In this book, she draws on down-to-earth Zen stories, her friendships with Japanese Zen teachers, and her experiences as a concert pianist to apply the inner meanings of Buddhism to practicing the basic ethics of daily living—nowness, unselfishness, compassion, and good will toward every living being. She emphasizes that inner growth comes through our own efforts and intuition, especially as we cultivate them through meditation practice. We can then take what we have learned in meditation and use it to respond to our daily lives in a straightforward and creative way, guided not by concepts or dogma, but by direct insight into the reality of the present moment.
"Stuart's teachings retain their powerfully resonant Buddhist ferocity in the face of mortality and destruction, but her teachings transform Zen for an American context by pointing to ways that the lessons of Zen can be practiced in our everyday lives. . . . refreshing and nourishing. "—Publishers Weekly
"Maurine Stuart-roshi was much like these wonderful teachings: intelligent, clear, and crisp as a tart apple, yet profoundly compassionate, with that hard-earned simplicity which springs from the turmoil of examined life through unsparing reflection and devotion. "—Peter Matthiessen