From the November 2017 issue of Lion’s Roar.
Zen Master Raven
The Teachings of a Wise Old Bird
By Robert Aitken
Wisdom Publications, 2017; 248 pp., $19.95 (cloth)
In this new edition of the Buddhist classic, Zen Master Raven and his group of fellow travelers—Zen beginners like Mole and Mallard and venerable teachers like Porcupine and Moose Roshi—have set out to search for the path to enlightenment. Along the way, they discuss serious subjects: death, karma, ego, essential nature, suffering, and the importance of Buddhist practice. Robert Aitken Roshi was one of the first and most important American Zen teachers and a founder of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. He died in 2010, but the short dialogues, which are insightful as well as playful, have won the book a devoted audience. Nelson Foster, a dharma heir to Aitken, says this new edition will allow Aitken’s Raven to “stay aloft for generations to come.”