Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison is the author of numerous novels, including Legends of the Fall, Julip, and Wolf: A False Memoir. His most recent previous book of poetry is The Theory and Practice of Rivers.

Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison is the author of numerous novels, including Legends of the Fall, Julip, and Wolf: A False Memoir. His most recent previous book of poetry is The Theory and Practice of Rivers.

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Zen in Japan: Up to the Meiji Restoration

Zen in Japan: Up to the Meiji Restoration

circle of the way



This is part of a series of articles on the arc of Zen thought, practice, and history, as presented in The Circle of the Way: A Concise History of Zen from the Buddha to the Modern WorldYou can start at the beginning of this series or simply explore from here. 

Twilight Landscape In the Style of Ikkyū Sōjun Japanese. From the Met.

Explore Zen Buddhism: A Reader's Guide to the Great Works 


Chan in China

Zen in Korea

Zen in Japan

> Zen in Japan up to the Meiji Restoration 

Additional Resources

The period after Dogen and the early period of Zen saw rich developments, including of course the Rinzai school and the Samurai which are covered in the sister guides to this article. Here are some of the works we publish from after the early period up to the 19th century Meiji Restoration when changes in power made for a more challenging environment for Zen practitioners and institutions throughout Japan.

Secrets of the Blue Cliff Record: Zen Comments by Hakuin and Tenkei

Secrets of the Blue Cliff Record is a fresh translation featuring newly translated commentary from Hakuin of the Rinzai sect of Zen and Tenkei Denson (1648–1735) of the Soto sect of Zen.


Chinese Poem Lamenting the Death of a Friend by Ryokan from the Met

Ryokan (1758–1831) is, along with Dogen and Hakuin, one of the three giants of Zen in Japan. But unlike his two renowned colleagues, Ryokan was a societal dropout, living mostly as a hermit and a beggar. He was never head of a monastery or temple. He liked playing with children. He had no dharma heir. Even so, people recognized the depth of his realization, and he was sought out by people of all walks of life for the teaching to be experienced in just being around him. His poetry and art were wildly popular even in his lifetime. He is now regarded as one of the greatest poets of the Edo Period, along with Basho, Buson, and Issa.

sky above

Sky Above, Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan

He was also a master artist-calligrapher with a very distinctive style, due mostly to his unique and irrepressible spirit, but also because he was so poor he didn’t usually have materials: his distinctive thin line was due to the fact that he often used twigs rather than the brushes he couldn’t afford. He was said to practice his brushwork with his fingers in the air when he didn’t have any paper. There are hilarious stories about how people tried to trick him into doing art for them, and about how he frustrated their attempts. As an old man, he fell in love with a young Zen nun who also became his student. His affection for her colors the mature poems of his late period. This collection contains more than 140 of Ryokan’s poems, with selections of his art, and of the very funny anecdotes about him.

Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf: Zen Poems of Ryokan

Deceptively simple, Ryokan's poems transcend artifice, presenting spontaneous expressions of pure Zen spirit. Like his contemporary Thoreau, Ryokan celebrates nature and the natural life, but his poems touch the whole range of human experience: joy and sadness, pleasure and pain, enlightenment and illusion, love and loneliness. This collection of translations reflects the full spectrum of Ryokan's spiritual and poetic vision, including Japanese haiku, longer folk songs, and Chinese-style verse. Fifteen ink paintings by Koshi no Sengai (1895–1958) complement these translations and beautifully depict the spirit of this famous poet.

One Robe, One Bowl: The Zen Poetry of Ryokan

The hermit-monk Ryokan, long beloved in Japan both for his poetry and for his character, belongs in the tradition of the great Zen eccentrics of China and Japan. His reclusive life and celebration of nature and the natural life also bring to mind his younger American contemporary, Thoreau. Ryokan's poetry is that of the mature Zen master, its deceptive simplicity revealing an art that surpasses artifice.


Twilight Landscape

In the Style of Ikkyū Sōjun Japanese. From the Met.

Finally, there is the figure of Ikkyu (1394–1481).  While we do not have any stand-alone works on or by him, he appears in many, many works.  In The Circle of the Way, he gets a few pages that begins:

Of all Muromachi-period Zen monastics, with all of their talent and accomplishments, the monk most well known today was something of a black sheep. Ikkyu Sojun (1394–1481) remains so popular in Japan that he has been portrayed in anime and the popular graphic art of manga.

Peter Matthiessen, In Nine-Headed Dragon River: Zen Journals, adds more color with his flowing prose, describing him as

A bastard son of the emperor, pauper, poet, twice-failed suicide, and Zen master, enlightened at last by the harsh call of a crow. At eighty-one Ikkyu became the iconoclastic abbot of Daitoku-ji. ('For fifty years I was a man wearing straw raincoat and umbrella-hat; I feel grief and shame now at this purple robe.')  His 'mad' behavior was perhaps his way of disrupting the corrupt and feeble Zen he saw around him: 'An insane man of mad temper raises a mad air,' he wrote.  He also said, 'Having no destination, I am never lost.' One infatuated scholar has called him 'the most remarkable monk in the history of Japanese Buddhism, the only Japanese comparable to the great Chinese Zen masters, for example, Joshu, Rinzai, and Unmon.' Ikkyu found no one he could approve as his Dharma successor. Before his death, civil disorders caused the near obliteration of Kyoto, forcing Rinzai Zen to follow Soto from the decadent capital city into the countryside.

After Ikkyu and Other Poems

After Ikkyu and Other Poems

by Jim Harrison

A collection of poems inspired by Ikkyu by the great novelist and essayist Jim Harrison who said of this work,

The sequence After Ikkyu- was occasioned when Jack Turner passed along to me The Record of Tungshan and the new Master Yunmen, edited by Urs App. It was a dark period, and I spent a great deal of time with the books. They rattled me loose from the oppressive, poleaxed state of distraction we count as worldly success. But then we are not fueled by piths and gists but by practice—which is Yunmen’s unshakable point, among a thousand other harrowing ones. I was born a baby, what are these hundred suits of clothes I’m wearing?

Naked in the Zendo

Naked in the Zendo: Stories of Uptight Zen, Wild-Ass Zen, and Enlightenment Wherever You Are

While not by Ikkyu, he makes an appearance  in this work over a few very entertaining and moving pages.

Zen in the Age of Anxiety

Zen in the Age of Anxiety: Wisdom for Navigating Our Modern Lives

Ikkyu makes an appearance for several pages of Tim Burkett's excellent work which includes translations, by John Stevens, of several of his poems

You Have to Say Something: Manifesting Zen Insight

Dainin Katagiri Roshi shares this story about Ikkyu in this work:

A man who was soon going to die wanted to see Zen master Ikkyu. He asked Ikkyu, ‘‘Am I going to die?’’ Instead of giving the usual words of comfort, Ikkyu said, ‘‘Your end is near. I am going to die, too. Others are going to die.’’ Ikkyu was saying that we can all share this suffering. Persons who are about to
die can share their suffering with us, and we can share our suffering with those who are about to die.

Ikkyu’s statement comes from a deep understanding of human suffering. In facing your last moment, you can really share your life and your death.

minding mind

Minding Mind: A Course in Basic Meditation

One of the meditation manuals in this work date from pre-Meiji Restoration Japan.

The second, An Elementary Talk on Zen, is attributed to Man-an, an old adept of a Soto school of Zen who is believed to have lived in the early seventeenth century. The Soto schools of Zen in that time traced their spiritual lineages back to Dogen and Ejo , but their doctrines and methods were not quite the same as the ancient masters’, reflecting later accretions from other schools.

Man-an’s work is very accessible and extremely interesting for the range of its content. In particular, it reflects a modern trend toward emphasis on meditation in action, which can be seen in China particularly from the eleventh century, in Korea from the twelfth century, and in Japan from the fourteenth century.

Pure Land: History, Tradition, and Practice

This recent work by Professor Charles B. Jones, a leading scholar on Pure Land Buddhism, goes into much detail of Pure  Land and its intertined relationship with Zen.  The sections on Japan include its introduction from China, Ryonin and the Yuzi Nenbutsu, Honen and Jodo Shu, Shinran and the Jodo Shinshu, and Ippen and the Jishu.

Continue to our next article in the series: A Readers Guide to the Heart Sutra >

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North | An Excerpt from After Ikkyu and Other Poems

After Ikkyu and Other Poems
The mind of which we are unaware is aware of us.
R. D. Lang

The rising sun not beet.
or blood,
but sea-rose red.

I amplified my heartbeat
one thousand times,
the animals at first confused
then decided I was another
thunder being.

While talking directly to god
my attention waxed and waned.
I have a lot on my mind.

I worked out
to make myself as strong
as water.

After all these years
of holding the world together
I let it roll down the hill
into the river.

One tree leads
to another,
walking on
this undescribed earth.

I have dreamed
myself back
to where
I already am.

On a cold day
bear, coyote, cranes.
On a rainy night
a wolf with yellow eyes.
On a windy day
eleven kestrels looking
down at me.
On a hot afternoon
the ravens floated over
where I sunk
myself in the river.

Way out there
in unknown country
I walked at night
to scare myself.

Who is this other,
the secret sharer,
who directs the hand
that twists the heart,
the voice calling out to me
between feather and stone
the hour before dawn?

I have turned into
an old brown man
in a green coat.

Having fulfilled
my obligations
my heart moves lightly
to this downward dance.

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After Ikkyu and Other Poems

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Hard to Be a Saint in the City

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Jim HarrisonJim Harrison is the author of numerous novels, including Legends of the Fall, Julip, and Wolf: A False Memoir. Learn more about him here.

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Buddhist Poetry - A Reader Guide

Recent Releases

Until NIrvana Time

$21.95 - Paperback

Until Nirvana's Time: Buddhist Songs from Cambodia

By Trent Walker

Until Nirvana’s Time presents forty-five Dharma songs, whose soaring melodies have inspired Cambodian Buddhist communities for generations. Whether recited in daily prayers or all-night rituals, these poems speak to our deepest concerns—how to die, how to grieve, and how to repay the ones we love.

Introduced, translated, and contextualized by scholar and vocalist Trent Walker, this is the first collection of traditional Cambodian Buddhist literature available in English. Many of the poems have been transcribed from old cassette tapes or fragile bark-paper manuscripts that have never before been printed. A link to recordings of selected songs in English and Khmer accompanies the book.

Click here to listen to songs from the book, performed by Trent Walker.

Chan and Zen Poetry

The Poetry of Zen, edited by Sam Hamill & J.P. Seaton

Here, poet-translators Sam Hamill and J.P. Seaton offer up a rich sampling of poems from the Chinese and Japanese Zen traditions, spanning centuries of poets, from Lao Tzu to Kobayashi Issa. While a few of the poets included were not Zen practitioners, their poems nonetheless illustrate a strong Zen influence. Hamill and Seaton open the anthology with an overview of the Zen poetic tradition, and provide historical, philosophical, and biographical context to the works throughout, showing readers how poetry “is one of the many paths to enlightenment” (7). With a compact trim size, this collection makes a wonderful travel companion.

The Poetry of Zen Edited by Sam Hamill and J. P. Seaton

$18.95 - Paperback

Poetry from Chinese Chan Masters

By Indara (因陀羅) (Yintuoluo) (Emuseum) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Poetry of Enlightenment: Poems by Ancient Chan Masters, by Chan Master Sheng Yen

Look inside the minds of enlightened masters with this collection of Ch’an teaching poems. Chan Master Sheng Yen offers commentary on ten poems by ancient Chinese Ch’an masters, selected both for their simplicity of language and depth of meaning. Written by Ch’an practitioners post-enlightenment, these poems touch on the experience of Ch’an, how to practice, cultivating the right attitude, and obstacles to avoid, as well as offering a glimpse into the state of mind of enlightenment.

$18.95 - Paperback

The Complete Cold Mountain: Poems of the Legendary Hermit Hanshan, translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi & Peter Levitt

Capturing readers with its insightful, light, humorous, and often rebellious spirit, Hanshan’s Cold Mountain poems have long been enjoyed by Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. This new translation of these centuries-old writings by Kaz Tanahashi and Peter Levitt presents readers not only the full body of poems in its entirety, but also provides a wealth of insight into the poets behind the poems, full Chinese text of the poems, historical context, and the Buddhist elements present throughout the collection. The translators’ deep appreciation for Hanshan shines through the collection. Translator Peter Levitt notes in the introduction, “Because of the compassionate discernment, profound tranquility, unexpected insight, and the occasional outrageous humor of his poetry, Kaz Tanahashi and I have gratefully considered Hanshan one of life’s treasured companions for fifty years. As a result of the kinship we feel with him, we gathered together, translated, and now offer readers the most complete version of the poet’s work to date in the English language” (2).

The Complete Cold Mountain

$22.95 - Paperback

Poetry from Japanese Zen Masters

The Poetry of Ryokan

Widely admired both for his character and poetry, Ryokan remains one of the key poets of the Zen tradition. Though written in eighteenth century Japan, Ryokan’s poems seem to transcend time and space, with reflections on the human experience that are as relevant to today’s readers as they were centuries ago.


“Who says my poems are poems?
My poems are not poems.
When you know that my poems are not poems,
Then we can speak of poetry!”


*Image by Ryōkan (English: Replica before 1970) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

$18.95 - Paperback

Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf: Zen Poems of Ryokan, translated & edited by John Stevens

Providing brief biographical context, John Stevens introduces us to the world and work of Ryokan. The collection demonstrates the spirit of Ryokan’s Zen outlook, with poems covering the full spectrum of the human experience and focusing on “things deep inside the heart.” Throughout the text are ink paintings by Koshi no Sengai, a devotee of Ryokan, many of which include calligraphy of Ryokan’s verses.

$19.95 - Paperback

One Robe, One Bowl: The Zen Poetry of Ryokan, translated & introduced by John Stevens

In comparison to Dewdrops, this collection offers a more detailed introduction to the life of Ryokan and his relationship to Zen Buddhism. Ryokan was not married to one poetic style, and thus this collection is broken up into classical Chinese style poems, and Japanese waka and haiku, organized by season.

$18.95 - Paperback

Sky Above, Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan, translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi

For readers who want to take a really deep dive into Ryokan, this is the collection to read. Not only does Tanahashi present Ryokan’s poetry (organized chronologically), but he also offers selections of Ryokan’s calligraphy, maps of relevant sites for readers’ reference, a detailed biographical introduction, notes on individual poems, an analysis of Ryokan’s poetic forms, and a collection of anecdotes about the beloved Zen poet.

The Poetry of Saigō

Saigyō, the Buddhist name of Fujiwara no Norikiyo (1118–1190), is one of Japan’s most famous and beloved poets. He was a recluse monk who spent much of his life wandering and seeking after the Buddhist way. Combining his love of poetry with his spiritual evolution, he produced beautiful, lyrical lines infused with a Buddhist perception of the world.

This world—

strug jewels

of dew

on the frail thread

a spider spins.

Gazing at the Moon: Buddhist Poems of Solitude, translated by Meredith McKinney, presents over one hundred of Saigyō’s tanka—traditional 31-syllable poems—newly rendered into English by renowned translator Meredith McKinney. This selection of poems conveys Saigyō’s story of Buddhist awakening, reclusion, seeking, enlightenment, and death, embodying the Japanese aesthetic ideal of mono no aware—to be moved by sorrow in witnessing the ephemeral world.

$16.95 - Paperback

Check out the interview with Meredith McKinney on the Books on Asia Podcast!

Indian Buddhist Poetry

Songs of the Sons and Daughters of Buddha: Enlightenment Poems from the Theragatha and Therigatha, translated by Andrew Schelling and Anne Waldman

More than two thousand years ago, the earliest disciples of the Buddha put into verse their experiences on the spiritual journey—from their daily struggles to their spiritual realizations. Over time the verses were collected to form the Theragatha and Therigatha, the “Verses of Elder Monks” and “Verses of Elder Nuns” respectively. Renowned poets Andrew Schelling and Anne Waldman have translated the most poignant poems in these collections, bringing forth their visceral, immediate qualities.

$16.95 - Paperback

Tibetan Buddhist Poetry

Gendun Chopel: Tibet’s Modern Visionary, by Donald S. Lopez Jr.

The debut title in Shambhala’s Lives of the Masters series, Gendun Chopel offers an in-depth look at the life and writings of the Tibetan Buddhist visionary, by scholar Donald Lopez. While much of this book is a biographical exploration of Gendun Chopel, Lopez also provides a wealth of Gendun Chopel’s writings, believing that “one learns a great deal about an author by actually reading what they wrote” (x). More than a Buddhist visionary, Gendun Chopel is considered one of Tibet’s greatest poets of the twentieth century, and thus included among these writings is a significant selection of poetry. As a student and writer of poetry throughout his life, he mastered many poetic forms, and often composed poems spontaneously.

The relatives and servants we meet are but guests on market day.
The rise of power, wealth, and arrogance are pleasures in a dream.
Happiness alternates with sorrow, summer changes to winter.
Thinking of this, a song spontaneously came to me.

Gendun Chopel

$22.95 - Paperback

$39.95 - Paperback

The Rain of Wisdom: The Essence of the Ocean of True Meaning, translated by the Nalanda Translation Committee

Translated under the direction of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, this collection offers more than one hundred vajra dohas of the Tibetan Kagyu lineage, by more than thirty lineage holders, including Tilopa, Milarepa, and the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa. Contained in these songs are teachings on karma, bodhicitta, devotion, and the Buddhist path. Trungpa Rinpoche writes in his Foreword, “these songs should be regarded as the best of the butter which has been churned from the ocean of milk of the Buddha’s teachings” (xiii).

$39.95 - Paperback

Tibetan Literature: Studies in Genre

Renowned scholar Roger Jackson takes on the subject in the chapter ‘Poetry in Tibet: Glu, mGur, sNyan ngag and “Songs of Experience”.  He explores Tibetan poetry from its earliest forms to the present including Trungpa Rinpoche and Allen Ginsberg.

The rise of power, wealth, and arrogance are pleasures in a dream.
Happiness alternates with sorrow, summer changes to winter.
Thinking of this, a song spontaneously came to me.

The Treasury of Knowledge

Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye’s ten volume Treasury of Knowledge includes the volume Indo-Tibetan Classical Learning & Buddhist Phenomenology (Book Six, Parts One & Two). Chapter eight catalogues the elements and components of Tibetan poetry including the types of composition (metrical, prose, and a mix of the two) as well as poetic ornaments.

$49.95 - Hardcover

Songs of Spiritual Experience: Tibetan Buddhist Poems of Insight and Awakening, selected & translated by Thupten Jinpa & Jas Elsner

Published in English for the first time, this collection of fifty-two poems by realized masters, from classic to contemporary, represents the full range of Tibetan Buddhist lineage traditions. Organized thematically, these songs address impermanence, guru devotion, emptiness, and other key themes of Tibetan Buddhism. Also included are a detailed glossary and exploration of the Tibetan tradition of nyamgur (“experiential songs”), offering a comprehensive look at poetry’s role within Tibetan Buddhism. A foreword for the collection is provided by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The introduction forms one of the best introductions to Tibetan poetry available.  Here is a taste:

"Many of the greatest Tibetan poems demand of the reader an attentiveness to a complex line of thought and philosophical reasoning, albeit in the heightened forms of verse combined with the inspiration of imagery. For the poet, the ideal reader is one whose reading of the poem becomes itself an act of meditation, penetrating the depths of human experience with an insight tempered by sensitivity.

$22.95 - Paperback

Listen to Thubten Jinpa discuss the Songs of Spiritual Experience

Other Media on Tibetan Buddhist Poetry

Watch this episode from the Tsadra Foundation’s Translation and Transmission conference in 2017 with leading scholars of Tibetan poetry.

kavya poetry

Poems of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

trungpa cal

While Trungpa Rinpoche was a Tibetan, his poetry is unique and has therefore been included in the contemporary Buddhist poetry section.

When Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche arrived in the United States, he asked, “Where are your poets? Take me to your poets!” Not only was Trungpa Rinpoche a spiritual teacher, but he was also an avid poet and dharma artist. Below, we describe the differences between our multiple collections of his work:

$19.95 - Paperback

Timely Rain: Selected Poetry of Chogyam Trungpa

Timely Rain is a collection of new and previously published poems, edited and curated by David I. Rome. While First Thought Best Thought presents poems in roughly chronological order, this collection is organized thematically, with each thematic section in chronological order. This allows readers to more easily navigate the poems, while also witnessing the evolution of Trungpa’s expressiveness and state of mind. Editor David Rome reflects in his Afterword that “poetry is also a refuge for Trungpa, perhaps the only place where he is able to step out of all the roles and self-inventions and speak truthfully from—and to—his own heart” (193). Themes contained herein include loneliness, samsara and nirvana, love, and sacred songs.

Mudra Chogyam Trungpa

$16.95 - Paperback

Mudra: Early Poems and Songs

Mudra is a selection of spontaneous, celebratory poems of devotion written by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche between 1959 and 1971. Trungpa opens his collection with two translations of Jigme Lingpa and Patrul Rinpoche, explaining that “they are the vajra statement which frees the people of the dark ages from the three lords of materialism and their warfare.” Also included are ten traditional Zen oxherding pictures along with Trungpa’s unique commentary.

$24.95 - Paperback

First Thought Best Thought: 108 Poems

Dictated (Trungpa composed poems verbally to a scribe) around the time of his arrival in the United States, this collection of poems, with an introduction by Allen Ginsberg, encapsulates Trungpa’s creative energy. His vision of joining East and West shines through each poem, combining classical Tibetan poetic influences with a modern American poetic style. As the collection progresses chronologically, readers witness Trungpa’s increasing familiarity and comfort with American culture. The collection’s title pays homage to William Blake’s “First thought is best in Art, second in other matters,” while also invoking the notion of beginner’s mind. As Ginsberg writes in his introduction, here is an “amazing chance to see his thought process step by step, link by link, cutting through solidifications of opinions & fixations” (xv).

Buddhist Songs and Poetry from Southeast Asia

Until NIrvana Time

$21.95 - Paperback

Until Nirvana's Time: Buddhist Songs from Cambodia

By Trent Walker

Until Nirvana’s Time presents forty-five Dharma songs, whose soaring melodies have inspired Cambodian Buddhist communities for generations. Whether recited in daily prayers or all-night rituals, these poems speak to our deepest concerns—how to die, how to grieve, and how to repay the ones we love.

Introduced, translated, and contextualized by scholar and vocalist Trent Walker, this is the first collection of traditional Cambodian Buddhist literature available in English. Many of the poems have been transcribed from old cassette tapes or fragile bark-paper manuscripts that have never before been printed. A link to recordings of selected songs in English and Khmer accompanies the book.

Click here to listen to more songs from the book, performed by Trent Walker.

Contemporary Buddhist Poetry

The First Free Women: Original Poems Inspired by the Early Buddhist Nuns, by Matty Weingast

Composed around the Buddha’s lifetime, the original Therigatha (“Verses of the Elder Nuns”) contains the poems of the first Buddhist women: princesses and courtesans, tired wives of arranged marriages and the desperately in love, those born into limitless wealth and those born with nothing at all. The authors of the Therigatha were women from every kind of background, but they all shared a deep-seated desire for awakening and liberation.

In The First Free Women, Matty Weingast has reimagined this ancient collection and created an original work that takes his experience of the essence of each poem and brings forth in his own words the struggles and doubts, as well as the strength, perseverance, and profound compassion, embodied by these courageous women.

$18.95 - Paperback

Beneath a Single Moon: Buddhism in Contemporary American Poetry, edited by Kent Johnson & Craig Paulenich

For readers who prefer a more modern aesthetic, Beneath a Single Moon is a delightful read. This anthology features more than 250 poems by forty-five contemporary American poets, supplemented with essays exploring spiritual poetic practice. Among those included in this collection are John Cage, Diane di Prima, Norman Fischer, Allen Ginsberg, Susan Griffin, Anne Waldman, Philip Whalen, and Gary Snyder, who also provides the book’s introduction. Offering a refreshing look at spiritual poetry, the editors explain that “the variousness of the work [stands] very much at odds with the fairly common notion of American ‘Zen’ poetry as a literary remnant of the sixties, with derivative, and generally identifiable ‘Eastern’ criteria. It [is] even more intimately at odds, perhaps, with the well-diffused perception—at least in the West—of Buddhism as collectivizing and inimical to individual spirit” (xv-xvi).

$29.95 - Paperback

After Ikkyu & Other Poems, by Jim Harrison

Those who find spiritual poetry can become too rigid or serious will find this to be a refreshing departure from the norm. These raw and often pithy poems by novelist Jim Harrison draw inspiration from his many years of Zen practice, and in perfect Zen spirit, they reveal a poet and practitioner who does not take himself too seriously. In his introduction Harrison explains, “It doesn’t really matter if these poems are thought of as slightly soiled dharma gates or just plain poems. They’ll live or die by their own specific density, flowers for the void” (ix).

After Ikkyu and Other Poems

$12.95 - Paperback

Listen to a sample from Jim Harrison's original reading of After Ikkyu. Audiobook available on Audible and Apple.

Books Related to Buddhist Poetry

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