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Buddhadharma : Winter 2011
77 WINTER 2 01 1 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY RUTH OZEKI is a Soto Zen priest, lecturer, and the author of All Over Creation and My Year of Meats. She divides her time between New York and British Columbia. Reviews THE WRITER’S WAY WRITING AS ENLIGHTENMENT: Buddhist American Literature Into the Twenty-First Century Reviewed by Ruth Ozeki Edited by John Whalen-Bridge and Gary Storhoff SUNY Press, 2011 $29.95; 207 pages (paperback) Of course, that was a mistake, and I should have known better. As the edi- tors of this collection discuss in their introduction, Buddhism has an ambiva- lent attitude toward words and phrases, which was prefigured by the Buddha himself when he wordlessly transmitted the dharma by twirling a lotus flower, prompting Mahakashyapa to smile. Some schools of American Buddhism, and especially of American Zen, have emphasized this bias toward direct and T he title attracted me: Writing as Enlightenment. An interesting proposition, which begs the ques- tion: Is it? Is writing a form of enlightenment? A means to it? An expression of it? A path? A practice, a realization, or both? As a novelist and a novice Zen priest, these questions concern me. They are both pressing and practical, and I was eager to read this book to find out the answers. PHOTO MARIA TUCKLER