Today in Salt Lake City Doen held a book signing for his just-released Wonderland: The Zen of Alice. We had known that Wonderlandwas swiftly rising up the Amazon best-sellers (in the Zen and philosophy categories), but were all a bit surprised when Doen’s book was sold out a mere 45 minutes after the signing started!
We eked out the books, promising to hold another signing as soon as we could get one put together, and Doen graciously chatted with the crowd that had come hoping to walk out with several copies each. But one determined biker would not be deterred. After riding to the book store on a fairly warm day, hearing that the book was sold out, and making sure (“very sure, no, Doen is not kidding”) that it really was sold out, he hesitated not a moment longer, pushed up his shirt sleeve, and presented his arm for Doen to sign and stamp with his chop.
Doen and Stephen
The party continued for quite a while after the books were gone. For those of you in Salt Lake, stay tuned: we hope to organize another signing (with a reading, perhaps, and maybe even a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party) in the next few weeks.
If you’re outside of Salt Lake City, please check out the list of upcoming signings here. Doen will be in San Francisco this Thursday, October 1st, signing copies of Wonderland at Books Inc.
We’ll try to keep you up to date with his flurry of book signings as he goes through the West coast. Check back here at the blog (subscribe to the RSS feed for the easiest updates) or on the Lost Coin website‘s Events page. We’re also using Lost Coin’s Facebook group page a lot more; if you’re on Facebook, search for Lost Coin and sign up!
Doen Sensei’s new book was scheduled for release around October 5th, but Amazon has just sent a notice to those who have pre-ordered that the book should be arriving between September 21st and 23rd. Bonus!
Wonderland is a great book; it’s the next best thing to hearing Doen speak. If you haven’t already, contact your local bookseller to reserve a copy, or click on the link on the right-hand side of this page (near the bottom) to pre-order and have the book delivered right to you.
No poem next week, as we will be at the Wonderland retreat (and there’s still a bit of room—please come if you can!). The retreat made me think of jukai, and of my Dharma brothers and sisters now and to come; as always, the right poem seemed to appear as soon as I started looking.
As I read this poem the last line took me up short: I wondered, does it conflict with Doen’s always reminding us that we’re just travelers, that we’re just passing through this world? I don’t think it does. Oliver’s “simply visiting” means “not engaging,” and both Oliver and Doen speak for a deep, passionate engagement in the reality that is our daily lives. As Doen tells us, the fact that we’re just passing through means that nothing is too serious, nothing too binding, and there’s nothing to stop us from enjoying our lives if we just open up to them.
When Death Comes
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
This second part of Caryn Shudo Silberberg’s Zen art exhibit is another example of objective art. It portrays the relative, daily life in all it’s radiance. The relative, like the absolute is shown in it’s true ungraspable nature.
“Within darkness there is light
But do not look for that light”
from the Identity of the Relative and the Absolute