In the thirteenth century, Zen master Dogen—perhaps the most significant of all Japanese philosophers, and the founder of the Japanese Soto Zen sect—wrote a practical manual of Instructions for the Zen Cook . In drawing parallels between preparing meals for the Zen monastery and spiritual training, he reveals far more than simply the rules and manners of the Zen kitchen; he teaches us how to "cook," or refine our lives. In this volume Kosho Uchiyama Roshi undertakes the task of elucidating Dogen's text for the benefit of modern-day readers of Zen. Taken together, his translation and commentary truly constitute a "cookbook for life," one that shows us how to live with an unbiased mind in the midst of our workaday world.
"This is a book that should grace the shelves of any practitioner, not only because of Dogen's classic text but also for the unequivocal way in which the commentary amplifies the text and makes the very important point that a Buddhist practice, if it is to mean anything, must touch every area of life and not just the confines of the meditation cushion."—The Middle Way
"I am glad to see Uchiyama Roshi's classic commentary to Instructions for the Zen Cook back in print. Dogen's original text (here in Thomas Wright's lucid translation) is particularly applicable to everyday spirituality in the world, and Roshi's commentary, full of gritty, funny stories about his early days as a monk in pre- and post-war Japan, and charming tales from Buddhist and Japanese folklore, evidence a plain-speaking, shoot-from-the hip approach to Zen that is as refreshing now (possibly more so!) as it was when the book first came out. Zen masters of this full-bodied tasty vintage are hard to find these days!"—Zoketsu Norman Fischer, former abbot, San Francisco Zen Center; founder and teacher, Everyday Zen Foundation; author of Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up
How to Cook Your Life by Dogen and Kosho Uchiyama Roshi