‘You have to swallow the whole fish,’ Zen Master Taizan Maezumi told his students, ‘and then spit out the bones.’ First absorb the tradition, endure the hardships of Zen training, then you can spend the rest of your life separating the real treasure from the culture it came in, learning what you can let go of and what is truly yours.
Spitting Out the Bones is Genpo Roshi’s story of his uplifting and exhilarating and humbling journey, including the years rising from the ashes of his very public fall from grace, and a candid exploration of the challenge of bringing the essence of the great tradition he inherited to life in the West.
“This book offers much hard-earned and valuable wisdom. His love of Zen and his maturity has transformed Zen into a practice of the heart.”
—Jack Kornfield, author of Bringing Home the Dharma
“A terrific book! I can’t think of a more important challenge the world faces right now than how to bring the wisdom of the great spiritual traditions into the modern and post-modern world. It’s one of the most urgent and far-reaching things we have to do, and this is a major step in that direction.”
—Ken Wilber, author of Integral Spirituality
“A vivid and inspiring reminder that growth and transformation on a large-scale or global level are inseparable from honest and sometimes painful reckoning of our flaws and failings on a personal level.”
—Jack Canfield, coauthor of The Success Principles
“There’s a lot of meat and marrow here, as well as things which might stick in one’s throat. Ruination can be a true friend with benefits, as this candid story reveals. We who are imperfect can certainly sympathize and even identify with Genpo Roshi’s story and inner journey. If you want a deep slice of American Zen life, from a teacher’s point of view, with all its ups and downs, twists and turns — beyond over-idealized images — read this book.”
—Lama Surya Das, author of Awakening the Buddha Within