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Shunryu Suzuki Roshi founded the San Francisco Zen Center in 1962, and after fifty years we have seen a fine group of Zen masters trained in the west take up the mantle and extend the practice of Zen in ways that might have been hard to imagine in those first early years. Susan Murphy, one of Robert Aitken’s students and dharma heirs, is one of the finest in this group of young Zen teachers. She is also a fine writer, and following on the teaching of her Roshi she has engaged her spiritual work in the ordinary world, dealing with the practice of daily life and with the struggles of all beings.
We know that our earth is in crisis, but is the situation beyond repair? Are we on a path of planetary disaster where the only proper response is to prepare for our melancholic dystopian future? Is there a way out of our suspicious cynicism?
In the tradition of Thomas Berry, using this spiritual opportunity to change the very nature of our crisis, Susan Murphy offers a profound message, subtly presented with clarity and assurance, showing that engaged Buddhism provides a possible path to the necessary repair and healing.
Susan Murphy is the founding teacher of Zen Open Circle in Sydney, Australia and leads Sesshin training in Sydney and Melbourne. She is also a filmmaker and producer. Her first book was Upside-Down Zen, Finding the Marvelous in the Ordinary. She was authorized to teach by Robert Aitken Roshi of the Diamond Sangha branch of the Harada-Yasutani lineage.