One Blade of Grass

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Book Cover from One Blade of Grass by Henry Shukman

352 Pages
Published: 10/15/2019

This heartfelt and beautifully written memoir provides one of the most insightful, informative, and honest accounts of Zen practice yet to appear in English.

Stephen Batchelor, author of After Buddhism

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Paperback book $15.99

About

 “If you’ve ever wondered how a messed up kid like you or me might master the wisdom of Zen, One Blade of Grass is the adventure for you. It’s great company―and after reading it, you might recognize that you’re further along than you imagined.” ―David Hinton, editor and translator of The Four Chinese Classics

One Blade of Grass tells the story of how meditation practice helped Henry Shukman to recover from the depression, anxiety, and chronic eczema he had had since childhood and to integrate a sudden spiritual awakening into his life. By turns humorous and moving, this beautifully written memoir demystifies Zen training, casting its profound insights in simple, lucid language, and takes the reader on a journey of their own, into the hidden treasures of life that contemplative practice can reveal to any of us.

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“This is the book Shukman was born to write — a record of how we evolve from ignorance and suffering… to peace and the ground of being.”

Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones

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Navigating the endless amounts of resources on Buddhism and meditation constantly left me searching. From the first paragraphs in Henry’s book I instantly felt at home. Many of us have had awakening experiences but have no clue what to do with them or what they are about. If you have had your own experiences but have felt alone this book will resonate deeply and enlighten your path going forward.
Navigating the endless amounts of resources on Buddhism and meditation constantly left me searching. From the first paragraphs in Henry’s book I instantly felt at home. Many of us have had awakening experiences but have no clue what to do with them or what they are about. If you have had your own experiences but have felt alone this book will resonate deeply and enlighten your path going forward.
This mémoire is truly honest and open. It was hard to put down and at the same time I did not want it to end. Henry writes beautifully which makes it a joy to read. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and especially to practitioners of Zen.
This mémoire is truly honest and open. It was hard to put down and at the same time I did not want it to end. Henry writes beautifully which makes it a joy to read. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and especially to practitioners of Zen.
I could hardly put this down. The author writes from the depths of his profoundly courageous experience. I am feeling validated and inspired, even hopeful.
I could hardly put this down. The author writes from the depths of his profoundly courageous experience. I am feeling validated and inspired, even hopeful.
Lots of generosity here in a book that is hard to put down. The story is very real, personal, and honest. Henry Shukman tells us of his life in a beautiful way with lots of flavor, color, texture, and passion. This Zen student turned teacher shares his long, deeply felt journey of steady perseverance. It is fascinating to read his experiences and insights along a long road of practice.
Lots of generosity here in a book that is hard to put down. The story is very real, personal, and honest. Henry Shukman tells us of his life in a beautiful way with lots of flavor, color, texture, and passion. This Zen student turned teacher shares his long, deeply felt journey of steady perseverance. It is fascinating to read his experiences and insights along a long road of practice.
One of the best memoirs, and best books about Zen, I’ve read. If you are a seeker of any kind, if you’re curious about Buddhism, about what it may offer a regular person like yourself, this book (and the audiobook version) will help.
One of the best memoirs, and best books about Zen, I’ve read. If you are a seeker of any kind, if you’re curious about Buddhism, about what it may offer a regular person like yourself, this book (and the audiobook version) will help.
I was immediately engaged in this story by his kind, intelligent and humorous way of communicating. I bought the book and finished it in a day and a half. Not my norm. He is a beautiful writer who shares his story of awakening in such a humble and accessible way. I felt so profoundly affected by the book that I have started meditating daily.
I was immediately engaged in this story by his kind, intelligent and humorous way of communicating. I bought the book and finished it in a day and a half. Not my norm. He is a beautiful writer who shares his story of awakening in such a humble and accessible way. I felt so profoundly affected by the book that I have started meditating daily.
This is a moving, sometimes painful, and always fully exposed picture of a human trajectory from deep suffering to a landing in a field of true peace. Not a static peace, but a peace in action where life continues to mature in compassion and love. Shukman will say that Zen is really just becoming deeply intimate with our own lives and their profound potential. In this wonderful book he gives us a real example.
This is a moving, sometimes painful, and always fully exposed picture of a human trajectory from deep suffering to a landing in a field of true peace. Not a static peace, but a peace in action where life continues to mature in compassion and love. Shukman will say that Zen is really just becoming deeply intimate with our own lives and their profound potential. In this wonderful book he gives us a real example.
This a wonderful and inspiring book. What stands out to me is the depth of his spiritual unfolding. Many traditions in zen tend to avoid discussing "what they get out of practice" because it can lead to people having an overly "gaining mind" in how they approach Zen. This is a valid concern, yet Shukman is able to maintain a good balance between humility and transparency in discussing the fruits of his own Zen path. His story is useful as a catalyst to maintain high expectations in one's own capacity for awakening.
This a wonderful and inspiring book. What stands out to me is the depth of his spiritual unfolding. Many traditions in zen tend to avoid discussing "what they get out of practice" because it can lead to people having an overly "gaining mind" in how they approach Zen. This is a valid concern, yet Shukman is able to maintain a good balance between humility and transparency in discussing the fruits of his own Zen path. His story is useful as a catalyst to maintain high expectations in one's own capacity for awakening.
Henry Shukman- logo
Zen Teacher, Author, Poet.
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