- Paperback: 468 pages
- Publisher: Harmony; Reprint edition (February 8, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0767901053
- ISBN-13: 978-0767901055
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 81 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Crooked Cucumber: The Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki Paperback – February 8, 2000
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"Suzuki left a lasting legacy as the man who introduced the spiritual discipline of Zen to the West . . . and Crooked Cucumber affords a wonderful opportunity to meet him."
--Los Angeles Times
"A generous glimpse of the humanity and message of one of the great spiritual teachers of the modern world."
"A moving and eloquent biography of that quiet man who was to become the most widely revered Zen teacher in this country. Conveying his spirit lovingly and well, it becomes in itself a wonderful manifestation of his gentle teachings."
--Peter Matthiessen, author of At Play in the Fields of the Lord and The Snow Leopard
"It's impossible to imagine a better book about Suzuki-roshi. Its precise picture of Suzuki's values, hopes, and problems makes it a major primer of Zen itself."
--Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
"A touching account of Suzuki-roshi's life, full of funny stories, brave and generous."
--Robert Bly, author of Iron John and The Sibling Society
"Shunryu Suzuki comes to life through these pages to a degree I would not have thought possible. Chadwick has produced a remarkable biography of a truly remarkable man."
--Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions
From the Inside Flap
Shunryu Suzuki is known to countless readers as the author of the modern spiritual classic Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. This most influential teacher comes vividly to life in Crooked Cucumber, the first full biography of any Zen master to be published in the West. To make up his intimate and engrossing narrative, David Chadwick draws on Suzuki's own words and the memories of his students, friends, and family. Interspersed with previously unpublished passages from Suzuki's talks, Crooked Cucumber evokes a down-to-earth life of the spirit. Along with Suzuki we can find a way to "practice with mountains, trees, and stones and to find ourselves in this big world."
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This book isa re-read of many times. Each time I read it I get more from it. I especially like when he says meditation is not for some state of mind to grasp . I will always remember him and when I read this book I learn more and more beyond reading and words.
Mr. Chadwick disappears into his subject in the perfect way, even when detailing conversations he had with his teacher, by letting the events and personalities he describes be the most important aspect of his writing. His Zen attributes shine through in his prose.
The format he's chosen, alternating quotes from the master with a generally chronological journey through the major events of his life, is also perfect. Loosely tied to the events he is describing, these quotes all offer food for thought on their own.
Mr. Chadwick doesn't try to mythologize Roshi, nor does he hide the human failings of a man whose dedication to the teachings of the Buddha found him severely tested many times in his life. We come to know in a small way this unique human being who brought his prescient vision of what Buddhism is becoming in the West to vibrant life.
An additional gift of the book is the view of what happened during Roshi's life in Japan (born 1905), and how Buddhists who differed from the fascist society that poisoned the culture for a long time were able to survive.
All Buddhists will find much to revere about this tough and tender, fierce and kind human being in Chadwick's loving guide to Shunryu Suzuki's life.
Non-Buddhists too will gain a picture of what Zen is all about, and in doing so will come to see how a person becomes a Boddhisattva.
This may even enrich the few teachings he left behind.
Such a pleasure!