March 13, 2009

Book Review: Zen Baggage: a pilgrimage to China (Bill Porter)

This insightful and often humorous account offers glimpses into China’s history not generally found in textbooks.  Porter’s engaging style and voice draws the reader in and maintains a high level of interest throughout the entire book.  Part travelogue, part instructional text, each chapter of Zen Baggage uses his journey as an allegory to illustrate various concepts taught in Zen Buddhism.  Porter travels throughout China visiting sites that are connected to the first six patriarchs of Zen and uses his personal knowledge of both Zen and Chinese history to connect with the reader in a text that is filled with as much wisdom as there is warmth. Whether interested in Zen Buddhism, Chinese culture, or travel literature in general, this book is sure to please on many levels.  From Counterpoint Press and available from your local, independent bookseller. (Tell ’em you saw it on Elephant Journal.com!)

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