Answer Your Love Letters

Footnotes to a Zen Practice

by Adam Genkaku Fisher



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 5/17/2007

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 184
ISBN : 9781425974428

About the Book


"Answer Your Love Letters" is a series of short reflections and observations by an author who spent more than 35 years practicing Zen Buddhism.
The book is written in the hope that others following or even just investigating Zen practice may find something to laugh about or be informed by in their own lives – lives filled with kids and mortgages and lovers and office politics and sadness and joy … and some effort to make an abiding sense of it all.
“Answer Your Love Letters” suggests that spiritual endeavor and discipline may be very useful tools in this life, but that those tools are only useful to the extent that they address completely-human concerns – the half-heard questions whispering in the night: What about death? What about disease? What about uncertainty and fear? What about drugs, divorce or even delight? What about peace? What about joy?
Human beings ask and answer such questions in their own terms and in their own time. Someone else’s answer will never be enough: Intimate questions deserve intimate answers. It takes courage and patience and doubt to answer such questions. It takes attention and responsibility – two qualities that lie at the center of Zen practice or at the heart of any happy and peaceful life.
“Answer Your Love Letters” offers no cookie-cutter answers to the serious and intimate questions any reader might have. The book simply acknowledges that such questions exist and can be as compelling as they are confounding. It also suggests that there are better and worse ways to go about answering those questions.
“Answer Your Love Letters” is, in its way, simply a love letter that the reader may choose to answer.

About the Author

Adam Fisher lives in Northampton, Mass., with his wife and three children – the people he counts as perhaps the greatest Zen teachers he ever had. Most recently, he has worked for a middle-sized daily newspaper as a wire and copy editor. Other work experience has included book publishing, packing popsicles, news reporting, lumbering in Oregon, a stint as an Army linguist, driving a taxi, and 13 years painting apartments in New York City as a way to support his interest in spiritual endeavor.
His Zen teacher, Kyudo Nakagawa Roshi, abbot of Ryutaku-ji Monastery in Japan, gave him the Dharma name Genkaku, which means “original realization” or “original understanding.” Together with the name, Kyudo Roshi also imparted two pieces of advice, both of which have served his student well: 1. The Buddha did not study 1,700 koans and 2. Take care of your family. Koans are insoluble riddles like, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Anyone who looks closely at life knows that insoluble riddles are what anyone faces every day of the week … as, for example, “Who, precisely, is your true family?”
“Answer Your Love Letters” is a collection of thoughts and recollections that attempts to address the questions and koans that anyone might face. For his part, Adam Fisher is just trying to take care of his family and encourage others to do the same.