Instructions to the Cook: Zen Lessons for Living a Life That Matters

Bernard Glassman, Author, Rick Fields, With Harmony $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-70377-9
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. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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FORMATS
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-517-88829-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-57062-260-1
Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-307-53260-2
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