The author has been a practising poet for 40 years. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University and has taught at Columbia, Yale, Wesleyan, New York University, and Hunter College (City University of New York), among others. In 1974 he gave up tenure to become a Zen monk. He has been practising Zen for 40 years and is a Zen teacher in the Soto Zen White Plum lineage. He is the abbot and non-resident Zen teacher at the Brevard Zen Center in Cocoa, Florida.