An essay about reinventions of traditions

Zen and the 1950s in America

By Daniel Simpson

"I, I... I, I... I was looking back to see if you were looking back at me to see me looking back at you." 
- Massive Attack1


Kerouac tunes into Zen (via John Cohen)


Within a few years of dropping nuclear bombs on Japanese cities, Americans were hungry for spiritual wisdom from Japan. The teachings they lapped up as Zen owed as much to interpreters as to ancient Asian ways. These mystical insights were no less enlightening, inspiring debates on transcendent experience and how to make sense of it. They also helped many, from dropouts to "squares", to find new meaning in the turbulence of life. But their beguiling suggestion of change in the social order petered out. Buddhism soon gave way to other trends, while quietly holding space in mainstream culture. The result is psychologised mindfulness, which discards most ritual aspects of tradition, but can still diminish human suffering.

By the mid-1950s, remarked Alan Watts,2 a popular advocate of Zen, post-war curiosity, prosperity and angst had sustained an "enthusiasm for Japanese culture" that made its Buddhism "a considerable force in the intellectual and artistic world in the West." Even the style magazine Mademoiselle enquired why "everyone" from Dizzy Gillespie to J.D. Salinger dug this "curious influence",3 with its "paradoxical, difficult and mystifying" call to "another range of experience".4

The answer was D.T. Suzuki, a Japanese scholar in his Eighties, whose books appealed to Western minds. Aldous Huxley had quoted one in his mescaline-fuelled Doors of Perception, revealing: "the Dharma-Body of the Buddha was the hedge at the bottom of the garden".5 Carl Gustav Jung composed a foreword for another.6 For most of the Fifties, Suzuki was living in New York, giving charismatic lectures at Columbia University. His following widened among psychoanalysts and the creative avant-garde, including John Cage, whose silent music he inspired.

As Time fizzed in 1958: "Zen Buddhism is growing more chic by the minute".7 That autumn, Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums appeared, complete with "prayers" for "blowing-out and bliss forevermore".8 A "rucksack revolution" of "Zen lunatics" would wander America, Kerouac prophesied, "writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason", while rejecting the "system of work, produce, consume" and "giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody" by "being kind".9 It seems tame compared to Time's interpretation: "The Zen disciple must destroy his ego-consciousness, until his real self calmly floats on the world's confusion like a pingpong ball skimming down a mountain stream".10

That the Beat Generation sounds lost is unsurprising; it had found uncharted ground. Zen might have been around for 1,400 years, but as Bernard Faure comments: "Zen studies truly blossomed only after the Second World War" and the field "earned its academic credentials" in the late 1960s.11 Moreover, says John McRae, it "is still very immature in comparison to the study of biblical texts or European history" and "our understanding of the full dimensions of Buddhist religious practice, even in recent centuries, is still extremely fragmentary".12 In Faure's opinion, efforts to fill in the gaps have been "in reaction against the appropriation of Zen by the counter-culture", which got hooked on Suzuki's "Oriental mysticism".13

This backlash began in 1953, before Suzuki was well known. Although diminutive, bow-tied and friendly, he was combative. "Zen is life," he had recently written.14 It is "present in every one of our experiences" and "only the dim-eyed ones are barred from seeing it".15 The "dim-eyed ones" are often academics, who cannot accept that "Zen is not to be conceptualised," since "Zen is what makes conceptualisation possible".16 Its essence is sunyata, the emptiness of everything, in which zero is infinity and the source of possibility. Such a mind-bending state has to be experienced, not discussed, to get enlightened. "There is no other method than that of casting away this intellectual weapon and in all nakedness plunging into sunyata itself".17

Nonsense, protested Hu Shih, a Chinese scholar. Zen or Ch'an (as it is known in China, where it first evolved from Indian Mahayana Buddhism, deriving its name from a Sanskrit term for meditation) "can be properly understood only in its historical setting," as one of many religious movements in East Asia.18 Suzuki's claim that "Zen is illogical, irrational, and, therefore, beyond our intellectual understanding" was "unhistorical and anti-historical",19 meaning he could "never understand the Zen movement or the teaching of the great Zen masters," let alone explain them to the West, as he had worked to do for 60 years. Many early masters "spoke in plain and unmistakeable language", Hu observed.20 Such opaque forms of teaching as koans, which Suzuki favoured, followed later; they were products of sectarian strife, and state persecution of "un-Chinese religion".21

Suzuki shrugged. "There are two types of mentality," he sneered: "one which can understand Zen and, therefore, has the right to say something about it, and another which is utterly unable to grasp what Zen is".22 The "abstractions and fabrications" of history might tell us "about Zen," but "not Zen in itself", which exists "in timelessness".23 Its concern is "an absolute present in which the work goes on"; "evaluation is secondary".24 The historical outlook precludes Zen insight, which "belongs in a world altogether transcending this type of mind".25 The difference in ways of seeing is "one of quality and is beyond the possibility of mutual reconciliation".26 Most studies of Zen are still stuck in this paradigm, Faure laments, "divided between textual / philological and historical approaches on the one hand, and hermeneutical and philosophical approaches on the other".27

Syntheses were suggested at the time. "If there were no Hus there would be no Suzukis," wrote Arthur Waley,28 harmonising opposites in the traditional Chinese way. Without "the mundane" in time and space, there could be no life, while "the non-rational approach which, like all forms of religious experience, Zen demands", meant Suzuki's "propaganda" served a purpose.29 Van Meter Ames was more direct about the ironies: "Suzuki is revered as an authority on the doctrine of no authority; he interprets books which say to live without books"; and yet if texts are "almost the only way of learning about Zen in the West", a "word-burdened generation could be warned in no better way" of the pitfalls of "verbalism".30 Suzuki was "divided between feeling that words can do no justice to Zen and thinking they help".31


At home with Suzuki (via Mihoko Okamura)


Bums and Dharma

It is unclear whether William S. Burroughs read these exchanges, but the drug-addicted author of Junky, published in 1953, disliked his friend Kerouac's newfound yen for Zen ideas. "Buddhism is only for the West to study as history, that is, it is a subject for understanding," Burroughs harrumphed; it was "not A Solution" but "a form of psychic junk".32 American Buddhists were "trying to sit on the sidelines," he complained, sedating themselves with distractions instead of "acting, experiencing, and living" to the full.33

Kerouac looked at things differently. He was torn between a taste for adventure and life with his mother, whose Catholic devotion he admired. The result was what Arthur Versluis calls a "tragic dimension" that "cut both ways" in The Dharma Bums, "affirming a new religion whose spontaneity and immediacy is like that of a child, while at the same time chronicling a dissolute life of alcoholism, promiscuity, and irresponsibility".34

The first Noble Truth (all life is suffering) struck a chord, but the suffering Kerouac identified with was guilt, most often linked to booze and sex. His quests for awakening seem moralistic, rejecting the partying life for short-term meditation binges. Although drawn to Zen's non-dual promise of "one indivisible whole",35 and an escape from the "good 'I'" / "bad 'me'" dichotomy so entrenched in Western thought,36 he was "intensely dualistic", says Stuart Smithers, "forever pitting the spirit against the body".37

Kerouac started writing about Buddhism in 1953, in letters, notes and poems he sent to friends.38 These developed into Some of the Dharma, a compendium of 30 months of reading spliced with diaries. In the Envelope Sutra (jotted on an envelope), he expounded his doctrine of "life control", which would end reincarnation "by abstaining from sexual intercourse", leaving us free to "abstain from panic and wait for death".39 As Smithers concludes, he "used Buddhism (as he understood it) to justify his flight from the world, from pain, from his family, and from Catholicism".40 Within months, he found his calling as a teacher, anointing himself a "junior Arhat ['perfected person'] not yet free from the intoxicants".41 Although he lifted ideas from Suzuki's books, he was quick to declare: "I can do everything he does and better, in intrinsic Dharma teaching by words".42

His chief inspiration was Dwight Goddard's Buddhist Bible, a compilation of scriptures that struck him as deeper than minimalist Zen.43 To Kerouac: "Zen is a modern shallow naive almost 'popular' innocent idea" of instant awakening, yet if "there is no real substantiality to the reality of objects, then time is likewise unreal, and so the moment when 'sudden realisation' takes place also is unreal".44 In Stephen Prothero's assessment, he "resisted Zen because of his conviction that it emphasised attaining mystical insight rather than cultivating compassion", which he craved.45 "All I want as far as life-plans are concerned," he said in 1955, "is compassionate, contented solitude".46

Around this time, he met his mentor, the backwoods poet Gary Snyder ("Japhy Ryder" in The Dharma Bums). As Ann Douglas notes: "Snyder always believed that Jack had taken little more from Buddhism than its emphasis on compassion and its sense of the vastness of time and space".47 But he praised his friend's "vision of America and of people", and his "all-embracing faith".48 Kerouac was effusive: as Ray, his alter ego in The Dharma Bums, he idealised Japhy as the heir to "Han Shan", a Chinese poet, and wrote his quasi-hagiography. They were "two strange dissimilar monks on the same path",49 and Japhy led, telling his older devotee: "Ray what you got to do is go climb a mountain".50 Although Japhy "was far from being a Bohemian",51 he lived in a shack with few possessions bar "a slew of orange crates all filled with beautiful scholarly books" including "the complete works of D.T. Suzuki and a fine quadruple volume of Japanese haikus".52

The latter was by R.H. Blyth, whom Japhy quoted (translating Masaoka Shiki): "The Sparrow hops along the veranda, with wet feet".53 This poem was "simple as porridge," Japhy said, and yet "in those few words you also see all the rain that's been falling that day and almost smell the wet pine needles".54 Similar paeans to nature stud The Dharma Bums, and read less breathlessly than its attempts at "spontaneous prose".55 For example: "'Woo!' I yelled, and the bird of perfect balance on the fir point just moved his tail, then he was gone and distance grew immensely white".56

Watching nature was instructive, Suzuki taught; more so than observing what one thought. "Meditation is something artificially put on," he said. "It does not belong to the native activity of the mind".57 He was forever saying birds fly and fish swim, urging humans to act "as spontaneously as the rest of Nature," wrote Harold McCarthy, though this "should not mean what Suzuki seems at times forced by his logic to suggest - an impossible and altogether romantic attempt to return, somehow, to a pre-social and pre-moral level of animal development".58 As Suzuki himself described it: "Zen recognises that our nature is one with objective nature", for "nature lives in us and we in nature".59 The goal was "not to be bound by rules, but to be creating one's own rules," in accord with natural ways.60

Unlike Snyder, Kerouac rarely sat to meditate. "His knees were ruined," a friend recalls, and in any case "he was too nervous," so "his head wouldn't have stopped long enough for him to endure it".61 Nonetheless, he opined at length on the "the good glad fluid" it discharged, "like a shot of heroin", healing "all my sicknesses" and "erasing all".62 Should a thought come "a-springing" back, "you spuff it out, you fake it, and it fades".63 In a special edition of the Chicago Review, which ran an excerpt from The Dharma Bums, plus essays by Snyder and other Buddhists, Kerouac shared what this fleeting silence had revealed to him:

Under the moon I'd see the truth: "Here, this, is It... the world as it is, is Nirvana, I'm looking for a Heaven outside what there is, it's only this poor pitiful world that's Heaven. Ah, if I could realise, if I could forget myself and devote my meditations to the freeing, the awakening and the blessedness of all living creatures everywhere I'd realise what there is, is ecstasy".64

Elsewhere in the same collection, Watts reflected: "in Zen the satori experience of awakening to our 'original inseparability' with the universe seems, however elusive, always just around the corner".65 Immanence appeals to outsider types like Kerouac, seeking fusion with The Void. Watts warned them against misconstruing it. When Hui-neng said in 7th century China that "fundamentally, not one thing exists", he meant things exist in "the abstract world of thought, but not in the concrete world of nature," Watts said.66 Upon realising this, an enlightened man "continues to play his social role without being taken in by it" but does not "adopt a new role or play the role of having no role at all".67 Beats were rebels, who used Zen "for justifying sheer caprice"; their writing was "always a shade too self-conscious, too subjective, and too strident".68 As for Kerouac, Watts said he had "Zen flesh but no Zen bones".69

Snyder was different. He credits the Beats with instilling a spirit in American Buddhism that stopped it stagnating in institutions.70 He was also, according to the Zen master Robert Aitken, "the only one who took that springboard seriously and didn't try just to use that impetus for his own thing, but tried to get back to the source".71 While Kerouac spent two months alone on Desolation Peak, in a fire warden job that gave The Dharma Bums its ending, Snyder went to Japan for intensive study. What he found there recalled what Watts had termed "Square Zen": hierarchical discipline.72 As Watts said, Japanese Zen had become "a quest for the right spiritual experience, for a satori which will receive the stamp (inka) of approved and established authority," complete with "certificates to hang on the wall".73

Snyder saw some merits in this process. "Zen aims at freedom but its practice is disciplined," he said, describing how stick-wielding men hit slouchers in the meditation hall.74 Striking a balance between freedom and form was Zen's big challenge, as one of its fiercest masters taught. Known as Rinzai to Japanese Buddhists, he was a 9th century Chinese iconoclast, and the founder of Suzuki's sect of Zen. Disdaining the "life of pleasures," he said: "do not fail to take advantage of the present life we are enjoying".75 If questioned about such enigmas, he might beat students with his staff, to snap them out of abstract thought. Kerouac mocked this behaviour, dismissing the paradoxes of koans as: "silly Zen masters throwing young kids in the mud because they can't answer their silly questions".76 Yet his character lacked the resolve to scale the mountain Japhy led him up;77 Ray turned back within sight of the summit and yelled: "too high!"

Kerouac's real-life attempts at asceticism fared no better. In 1954, he vowed to eat a single meal a day, and to detach himself from alcohol and friends. "If I break any of these elementary rules," he said, "I will give up Buddhism forever".78 In less than a fortnight, his will had cracked. He tried tough talk: "When I want a drink, what I really want is a long roaming walk," he told his diary after taking one.79 That evening, he opened a beer. The following day, he drank a skinful. "Why am I heartbroken?" he asked. "Because the good things on earth come to naught with the evil - (that wouldn't break my heart if I wasnt attached to either...)".80

Suzuki taught "real freedom" was to "see things in their suchness".81 Despite all his tortured confusion, Kerouac wrote about attaining it: Ray left Desolation Peak with a "vision of the freedom of eternity" that was his "forever".82 To underline it, he added: "The chipmunk ran into the rocks and a butterfly came out. It was as simple as that".83 Yet within months of his book coming out, he felt too "ashamed" to visit Snyder, wailing "I'm so decadent and drunk and dontgiveashit".84 He soon got desperate. "I need Gary's way now," he pined, without pursuing it. "This is serious. I'm mad. There's no hope".85 A decade later, he had drunk himself to death.


Howlin' Beat (via Allen Ginsberg)


Mirrored Mind-games

The day The Dharma Bums was published, Kerouac called on Suzuki and tried impressing him.86 He even shouted a koan about Zen's founder: "Why did Bodhidharma come from the West?" To answer historically ("to bring dharma from India") would reveal one's ignorance, since the ultimate teaching of emptiness leaves no dharma to transmit. Rinzai might have responded with his stick. Suzuki provided a bowl of strong green tea. On his way out the door, Kerouac declaimed: "I would like to spend the rest of my life with you." Suzuki, by then almost 90, giggled: "Sometime".87

In the Chicago Review that summer, Ruth Fuller Sasaki had noted "the necessity in Ch'an Buddhism of a teacher's having his understanding of Dharma tested and acknowledged by one to whom the Seal of Transmission has already been given".88 Suzuki had never received it, or been ordained, although his teacher renamed him Daisetsu ("Great Simplicity"). Kerouac found them elitist. "Fuck Suzuki, fuck Sasaki, fuck 'em all," he later fumed. "They think Buddhism is something apart from Transcendentalism".89

The Transcendental Club was a forebear to the Beats. A century earlier, Ralph Waldo Emerson and his New England peers had got absorbed in Eastern teachings. Disaffected with industrial society and its materialism, they sought an "original relation to the universe" in their surroundings.90 As Henry David Thoreau said: "heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads".91 Transcendentalists accessed oneness by blurring boundaries between a seer and the seen. This mystical fusion prefigured Theosophy and New Thought, and their quest for the experiential basis of religion. These ideas were reflected in India, where Hindu reformers also focused on experience.92 Cross-cultural dialogue peaked in 1893, at the World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago, where delegates forged new links between traditions. Among them was a Japanese master, Shaku Soen, whose speech was translated by Suzuki.

Soen had helped Zen rebuild after government crackdowns in the 1870s.93 The Emperor was clawing back power from local shoguns, whose ties to Buddhist temples were long-standing. Japan had begun to modernise at speed, importing ideas from round the world. In this context, Soen's Zen became more prominent. Richard King calls it: "a non-specific religiosity that explicitly eschewed institutional connections".94 Like neo-Vedanta in India, it emphasised gnosis: the "pure experience" defined by William James as "a simple that, as yet undifferentiated into thing and thought".95 Both went down well in Chicago, where Vivekananda opened Western eyes to yoga. The event also launched Suzuki's new career: presenting Buddhism to foreigners. He got a job translating texts for Paul Carus, who was seeking "the cosmic religion of truth" aligned with science.96 Suzuki drew parallels with Christian mystics,97 and universalised Zen as "the ultimate fact of all philosophy and religion".98

"For all its rhetoric," Faure observes, "the success of Suzuki's work was not related to its literary or philosophical qualities; it was rather the result of a historical conjuncture".99 Oriental voices echoed discourse from the West, supplying different information. Instead of rejecting their message as heathen, foreign listeners opened up. As Zen's apostle, Suzuki could "exploit the relative ignorance of Westerners," King says, providing the "archetypal Japanese example of the perennial philosophy".100 Suzuki served scholars of mysticism, explains Robert Sharf, by distinguishing "unmediated religious experience" from "the culturally determined symbols used to express it".101 He also, wittingly or otherwise, promoted the notion that: "Japanese are racially and/or culturally inclined to experience the world more directly than are the peoples of other nations".102 As such, Faure says, his "obvious sincerity and his intense yearning for transcendence did not prevent his thinking from being ideologically flawed".103

It was less an invention than a partial point of view, which helped Suzuki build a platform as a layman.104 Although Rinzai was not the biggest Zen sect in Japan, it hogged the limelight in his work. Seated meditation fared badly, dismissed as gradual. Its "quietist" approach had come off worse in the Platform Sutra, the founding text of Chinese Ch'an. "The mind is like a clear mirror," the 7th century master Shen-hsiu said, "we must strive to polish it".105 Not so, replied Hui-neng: "Buddha nature is always clean," and in us now.106

"To stop the flow of life and to look into it is not the business of Zen," Suzuki said. "Satori is attained in the midst of it and not by suppressing it".107 His work misrepresents zazen and shikantaza (practices of "just sitting"), and neglects such figures as Dogen, the founder of Soto, Japan's main sect, which would later establish a centre in San Francisco (under Shunryu Suzuki; no relation). Early books also left out "essential information about the relation of Zen to Chinese Taoism," noted Watts,108 who nonetheless revered Suzuki. In the latter's take on history, Ch'an was reduced to "more or less a mere name", defiled by devotional chants from Pure Land Buddhism.109 "It was the koan that saved Japanese Zen from total annihilation", and gave minds a structured way to see beyond themselves.110 Snyder's first koan was to show how his face looked before his parents met.111 His answer took more than a year.

Suzuki insisted critics missed the point. "Zen knows no contradictions," he said, "it is the logician who encounters them, forgetting that they are of his own making".112 Recalled by Snyder decades later, Kerouac's practice sounds less flawed:

He was a devotional Buddhist, and like many Asians do, he mixed up his Buddhism with several different religions. So it's okay; there's nothing wrong with that. You can be a perfectly good Buddhist without necessarily doing a lot of exercises and sitting and yoga; you can be equally a good Buddhist by keeping flowers on your altar, or in winter, dry grass or cedar twigs.113

Snyder questions Suzuki's "intellectual" style,114 which shows no sign of disappearing. It endures in the bestselling books of Eckhart Tolle, who spent two years as a dharma bum "sitting on park benches" before getting rich off The Power of Now.115 It also drives corporate mindfulness, selling meditation to army sharpshooters, like the Samurai of yore, and to bankers as "disruptive technology" for "brain hacking" fortunes.116 In theory, Zen reveals the world is one. In practice, man-made climate change is rampant. So much for the "revolutionary spirit" Suzuki claimed was part of Zen.117 It might help free our minds, but where that leads is up to us.


Further Reading







  1. Massive Attack, Safe From Harm (Perfecto Mix), 1991, accessed 20 April 2015. ↩


  2. Alan Watts, The Way of Zen (London: Thames and Hudson, 1957), p.xi. ↩


  3. Nancy Wilson Ross, "What is Zen?" Mademoiselle, January 1958, p.64. ↩


  4. Ibid., p.117. ↩


  5. Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception (London: Chatto & Windus, 1954), p.6. ↩


  6. D.T. Suzuki, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism (London: Rider and Company, 1949). ↩


  7. "Zen: Beat & Square," Time, Vol. 72, Issue 3, 21 July 1958, p.51. ↩


  8. Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums (London: Penguin Classics, 2000), p.115. ↩


  9. Ibid., p.83. ↩


  10. "Zen: Beat & Square," p.51. ↩


  11. Bernard Faure, "Chan and Zen Studies: The state of the field(s)," in Chan Buddhism in Ritual Context, ed. Bernard Faure (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003), pp.1-2. ↩


  12. John McRae, "Buddhism," The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 54, No. 2 (1995), p.354. ↩


  13. Faure, "Chan and Zen Studies," p.3. ↩


  14. D.T. Suzuki, "The Philosophy of Zen," Philosophy East and West, Vol. 1, No. 2 (1951), p.3. ↩


  15. Ibid. ↩


  16. Ibid., pp.3-4. ↩


  17. Ibid., p.5. ↩


  18. Hu Shih, "Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism in China: Its History and Method," Philosophy East and West, Vol. 3, No. 1 (1953), p.3. ↩


  19. Ibid., pp.3-4. ↩


  20. Ibid., p.20. ↩


  21. Ibid., p.16. ↩


  22. D.T. Suzuki, "Zen: A Reply to Hu Shih," Philosophy East and West, Vol. 3, No. 1 (1953), p.25. ↩


  23. Ibid., p.39. ↩


  24. Ibid., p.41. ↩


  25. Ibid., p.25. ↩


  26. Ibid. ↩


  27. Faure, "Chan and Zen Studies," p.10. ↩


  28. Arthur Waley, "History and Religion," Philosophy East and West, Vol. 5, No. 1 (1955), p.78.
 ↩


  29. Ibid., p.75. ↩


  30. Van Meter Ames, "Zen and Pragmatism," Philosophy East & West, Vol. 4, No. 1 (1954), p.32. ↩


  31. Ibid., p.19. ↩


  32. William Burroughs, The Letters of William S. Burroughs: 1945-1959 (New York: Viking, 1993), pp.226-7. ↩


  33. Ibid. ↩


  34. Arthur Versluis, American Gurus: From Transcendentalism to New Age Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), p.98. ↩


  35. Suzuki, Introduction to Zen, p.108. ↩


  36. Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity (New York: Pantheon Books), p.78. ↩


  37. Stuart Smithers "Some of the Dharma, by Jack Kerouac," Tricycle, Spring 1998; accessed 13 April 2015. ↩


  38. Jack Kerouac, Some of the Dharma (New York: Viking, 1997), p.ix. ↩


  39. Ibid., p.338. ↩


  40. Smithers, "Some of the Dharma", para 5. ↩


  41. Kerouac, Some of the Dharma, p.7. ↩


  42. Ibid., p.x. ↩


  43. Sarah Haynes, "An Exploration of Jack Kerouac's Buddhism: Text and Life," Contemporary Buddhism, Vol.6, No. 2 (2005), p.164. ↩


  44. Kerouac, Some of the Dharma, p.301. ↩


  45. Stephen Prothero, "Introduction," in Big Sky Mind: Buddhism and the Beat Generation, ed. Carole Tonkinson (New York: Riverhead Books, 1995), p.17. ↩


  46. Jack Kerouac, Selected Letters: 1940-1956 (New York: Viking, 1995), pp.505-6. ↩


  47. Ann Douglas, "A Hoop for the Lowly," introductory essay to The Dharma Bums (London: Penguin Modern Classics, 2007), p.xv. ↩


  48. Jack Kerouac, Selected Letters: 1957-1969 (New York: Viking, 1999), p.177. ↩


  49. Kerouac, Dharma Bums, p.147. ↩


  50. Ibid., p.21. ↩


  51. Ibid., p.12. ↩


  52. Ibid., p.19. ↩


  53. Ibid., p.52. ↩


  54. Ibid. ↩


  55. Jack Kerouac, The Portable Jack Kerouac (New York: Viking, 1995), p.484. ↩


  56. Kerouac, Dharma Bums, p.202. ↩


  57. Suzuki, Introduction to Zen, p.41. ↩


  58. Harold McCarthy, "The Natural and Unnatural in Suzuki's Zen," Chicago Review, Vol. 12, No. 2 (1958), p.51. ↩


  59. D.T. Suzuki, Zen Buddhism and the Japanese Love of Nature (Kyoto: The Eastern Buddhist, 1935), p.82. ↩


  60. Suzuki, Introduction to Zen, p.64. ↩


  61. Rick Fields, How the Swans Came to the Lake: A Narrative History of Buddhism in America (Boston: Shambhala, 1992), p.214. ↩


  62. Kerouac, Portable Jack Kerouac, p.467. ↩


  63. Ibid. ↩


  64. Jack Kerouac, "Meditation in the Woods," Chicago Review, Vol. 12, No. 2 (1958), p.22. ↩


  65. Alan Watts, "Beat Zen, Square Zen, and Zen," Chicago Review, Vol. 12, No. 2 (1958), p.6. ↩


  66. Ibid., p.7. ↩


  67. Ibid. ↩


  68. Ibid., p.8. ↩


  69. Paul Krassner, Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut: Misadventures in the Counterculture (Berkeley: Soft Skull Press, 2012), p.56. ↩


  70. Michael Goldberg (dir.), A Zen Life: D.T. Suzuki, DVD (Tokyo: International Videoworks, 2006) ↩


  71. Ibid. ↩


  72. Watts, "Beat Zen", p.1. ↩


  73. Ibid., p.9. ↩


  74. Gary Snyder, "Spring 'Sesshin' at Shokoku-ji," Chicago Review, Vol. 12, No. 2 (1958), p.47. ↩


  75. D.T. Suzuki, "Rinzai on Zen," Chicago Review, Vol. 12, No. 2 (1958), p.13. ↩


  76. Kerouac, Dharma Bums, p.147. ↩


  77. Ibid., p.72. ↩


  78. Kerouac, Some of the Dharma, p.127. ↩


  79. Ibid., p.138. ↩


  80. Ibid. ↩


  81. Goldberg, A Zen Life, DVD. ↩


  82. Kerouac, Dharma Bums, p.203. ↩


  83. Ibid. ↩


  84. Kerouac, Letters: 1957-1969, p.203. ↩


  85. Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters (New York: Viking, 2010), p.440. ↩


  86. Fields, How the Swans Came, pp.223-4. ↩


  87. Ibid. ↩


  88. Ruth Fuller Sasaki, "Chia-shan Receives the Transmission from Boatman-Priest Te-ch'eng," Chicago Review, Vol. 12, No. 2 (1958), p.36. ↩


  89. Kerouac, Letters: 1957-1969, p.218. ↩


  90. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature (Boston: James Munroe and Company, 1836), p.5. ↩


  91. Henry David Thoreau, Walden; or, Life in the Woods (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854), p.304. ↩


  92. Lola Williamson, Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion (New York: NYU Press, 2010) pp.26-34. ↩


  93. Goldberg, A Zen Life, DVD. ↩


  94. Richard King, Orientalism and Religion: Postcolonial Theory, India and "The Mystic East" (London: Routledge, 1999), p.157. ↩


  95. William James, "A World of Pure Experience," Journal of Philosophy, Psychology, and Scientific Methods, Vol. 1, Nos. 20-1 (1904), p.563. ↩


  96. Paul Carus, The Gospel of Buddha (LaSalle: Open Court Publishing, 1915). ↩


  97. D.T. Suzuki, Mysticism, Christian and Buddhist (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1957). ↩


  98. D.T. Suzuki, Essays in Zen Buddhism (London: Rider and Company, 1949), p.265. ↩


  99. Bernard Faure, Chan Insights and Oversights: An Epistemological Critique of the Chan Tradition (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), p.54. ↩


  100. King, Orientalism and Religion, pp.156-7. ↩


  101. Robert Sharf, "The Zen of Japanese Nationalism," History of Religions, Vol. 33, No. 1 (1993), p.39. ↩


  102. Ibid., p.21. ↩


  103. Faure, Chan Insights and Oversights, p.54. ↩


  104. Robert Sharf, "Whose Zen? Zen Nationalism Revisited," in Rude Awakenings: Zen, the Kyoto School, and the Question of Nationalism, ed. James W. Heisig and John Maraldo (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1995). ↩


  105. Philip Yampolsky, The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch (New York: Columbia University Press, 1967), pp. 130-2. ↩


  106. Ibid. ↩


  107. Suzuki, Introduction to Zen, p.111. ↩


  108. Watts, Way of Zen, p.ix. ↩


  109. Suzuki, Introduction to Zen, p.111. ↩


  110. Ibid. ↩


  111. Dana Goodyear, "Zen Master," The New Yorker, 20 October 2008, p.69. ↩


  112. Suzuki, "Philosophy of Zen," p.10. ↩


  113. Trevor Carolan, "The Wild Mind of Gary Snyder," Shambhala Sun, 1 May 1996, para 53; accessed 15 April 2015). ↩


  114. Ibid. ↩


  115. Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now (London: Hodder Mobius, 2005), p.3. ↩


  116. Katherine Burton and Anthony Effinger, "To Make a Killing on Wall Street, Start Meditating," Bloomberg, 28 May 2014, para 12; accessed 19 April 2015). ↩


  117. D.T. Suzuki, Zen and Japanese Culture (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1959), p.63. ↩