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Praise for Just This is It

“What a delight to have this thorough, wise, and deep work on the teaching of Zen Master Dongshan from the pen of Taigen Dan Leighton. As always, he relates his discussion of traditional Zen materials to contemporary social, ecological, and political issues, bringing up, among many others, Jack London, Lewis Carroll, echinoderms, and, of course, his beloved Bob Dylan. This is a must-have book for all serious students of Zen. It is an education in itself.”

Norman Fischer, author of Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong

“In his wonderful new book, Just This Is It, Buddhist scholar and teacher Taigen Dan Leighton launches a fresh inquiry into the Zen teachings of Dongshan, drawing new relevance from these ancient tales. His inclusive and wide-ranging commentary applies these ancient Tang dynasty teachings of sentience and suchness to the problems of materialism and climate change that we face on our planet, today. Time-traveling from Dongshan to Dogen to Bob Dylan, by way of Rimbaud and others, Leighton’s approach brings this old Zen ancestor to life with immediacy and intimacy, strengthening our vital connections through lineage and across time.”

Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being

“Just This Is It provides a masterful exposition of the life and teachings of Chinese Chan master Dongshan. True to the traditional sources yet with a distinctively contemporary flavor, Leighton is masterful in weaving together specific approaches evoked through stories about and sayings by Dongshan to create a powerful and inspiring religious vision. Leighton brings to light the panoramic approach to koans characteristic of this lineage, including the works of Dogen. This book serves as a significant contribution to Dogen studies, brilliantly explicating his views throughout.”

Steven Heine, author of Did Dogen Go to China?: What He Wrote and When He Wrote it.

“What a swell book!”

Setsuan Gaelyn Godwin, abbess of Houston Zen Center

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