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Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master's Lessons in Living a Life That Matters Paperback – April 1, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
Based on a 13th-century Japanese manual of the same title, this guide to modern-day Zen practice also details the history of Glassman's work in the world. An abbot of Zen communities in New York City and Los Angeles, Glassman is also the founder of the Greyston Mandala, a network that includes a commercial bakery, apartments for the homeless and other not-for-profit community development projects in Yonkers, a suburb of New York City. In Zen Buddhist tradition, the preparation of a meal is used as a metaphor for leading a meaningful life. Glassman and Fields (coauthor of Chop Wood, Carry Water) detail the five main "courses" of life: spirituality, study, livelihood, social action, and relationship and community Most widely recognized of the Greyston ventures is the successful bakery. Besides being a teacher of Zen and a noted social activist, Glassman is a pragmatic businessman. His description of how he and others who work with and for the jobless and homeless of Yonkers dealt with government agencies, banks, suspicious residents and the vagaries of the marketplace will satisfy the appetites of readers whose interest is as much in business practice as in Zen practice. In setting out his guidelines for conducting business, e.g., establishing self-directed management teams and sharing success with the community, Glassman occasionally strikes an imperious tone (reflecting the authority invested in Zen leaders), but the menu he offers is fresh, appealingly presented and thought- provoking. First serial to Tricycle magazine; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"Both a manual for spiritual transformation and a call to action." New Age Journal
"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 delicious confection made of down-to-earth Zen wisdom and a deeply heartful demonstration of compassion in action." --Ram Dass
"Instructions 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
"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
"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
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Top Customer Reviews
In the summer of '83, I as a night baker trimmed and icinged those same double chocolate torts he mentions herein.
I recall in his Dharma talks, Sensei would often mention Dogens instructions to the Tenzo. To this day still, I am always disappointed to attend a retreat elsewhere, and discover the Tenzo has not actually picked stones from the lentils with tweezers.
But this book isn't a word for word translation of Dogen, more it's a high level, easy reading memoir and mission statement from those Riverdale NY years.