- Paperback: 468 pages
- Publisher: Harmony; Reprint edition (Feb. 8 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780767901055
- ISBN-13: 978-0767901055
- ASIN: 0767901053
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 454 g
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #319,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Crooked Cucumber: The Life and Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki Paperback – Feb 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 Interspersed with previously unpublished passages from Suzuki's talks, Crooked Cucumber evokes a down-to-earth life of the spirit.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."See all Product description
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I hated the author's former book and couldn't stand to read it after the first 20 pages, so it took an act of courage to pick this one up. But I am happy to say either he has learned a lot or he's had a great editor or both, because with this book, he seems like he was born to write it.
There is a wonderful sense of humor that comes from Suzuki-Roshi's life and attitude - that belies the seriousness of the topic and book. So few Zen books are really approachable for mere humans (which is not the way it should be). This book demystifies all that needs demystifying about Zen - and you will have a LOT of FUN reading it, too.
But this account of the life of S. Suzuki, founder of the San Francisco Zen Center and spiritual father to two generations of American meditators, is more than a series of amusing incidents as Japanese culture confronted America in the 1960s. It contains a very convincing portrayal of Japanese culture during the first 60 years of this century as well as an exhaustively researched, nuanced portrait of the father of American Zen. The book manages to keep a light tone without seeming silly, and it doesn't shy away from the pain and the stumbling blocks in Suzuki's life.
The most pleasant surprise was the depiction of 1960s San Francisco as alternative culture made the transition from the Beats to the hippies.
This is one of the most engaging books I've read in a long time. I found myself itching to get back to it, and I was sorry to see it end.
This book is a labor of love by David Chadwick, but love never gets in the way of truth.
One will also learn much of Suzuki's zen from Suzuki's own comments on things as they happen around him. Anyone interested in zen, Japanese culture, or fine biography should appreciate this book.
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