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The Zen of Mountains and Deserts
By Sydney Musai Walter

Journals and photographs from a Zen Master in the American Southwest.

Order from Sunstone: (800) 243-5644

The author says: “I began my Zen practice in the midst of a life crisis, under the guidance of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. When I asked that Zen Master what I should do about my life dilemmas, he responded, ‘Do zazen. Life without zazen is like winding your clock without setting it. It runs perfectly well, but it doesn’t tell time.’ I have been following that advice for over four decades. I have turned to wild places for reassurance and adventure since I was a child. When I moved to Santa Fe in 1980 I found, in the Four Corners states, vast areas of mountain and desert wilderness where I could wander year-round, shedding the concerns of life in society and opening to the earth. These two fundamental streams of my life merge in my hikes and solo wilderness retreats. I hope in these photos and journals I can share some of the wonder and release I have found in this Buddhist wilderness practice.”

“I have known Musai for forty years, having sat my first Zen retreat right next to him. I have the greatest respect for him as a Zen Master and as a human being. He has brought Zen practice into the wilderness and brought wilderness into his Zen practice and teaching. His photos and words bring a new perspective on wilderness to his readers. I highly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates beautiful photography and the amazing simplicity of Zen.” —Roshi Dennis Genpo Merzel, Abbot, Kanzeon Zen Center, Creator of Big Mind practice

“I endorse this book and would recommend it without hesitation for two important reasons. First, the inspiration of the natural world as it informs our spirituality has never been more crucial than it is today, during this time of environmental challenge. This, coupled with lives spent in urban settings withdrawn from the natural world, brings a unique urgency to Musai’s message. Secondly, Musai expresses the distinctive voice of a mature spiritual elder who dares to open to the gifts of solitude and physical challenges.” —Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao, Abbot, Zen Center of Los Angeles

“This is one of those books that you will cherish for a life time. It is treasure house of wisdom and beauty, capturing the true sense of Zen and the wilds, a true path of no path.” —Roshi Joan Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Zen Center

8 1/2 x 8 1/2
ISBN: 978-0-86534-122-7
118 pp.,$22.95

ISBN: 978-1-61139-228-9
118 pp.,$12.99

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