Lin Jensen is the critically acclaimed author of the memoir Bad Dog! A Memoir of Love, Beauty, and Redemption in Dark Places and Pavement: Reflections on Mercy, Activism, and Doing “Nothing” for Peace. His first book, Uncovering the Wisdom of the Heartmind, received the Best Nonfiction/Spiritual Book award from Today’s Librarian. His prose that has been likened to Steinbeck, and his wonderfully poetic writing has made him one of the most beloved of modern Buddhist writers. He has taught writing in various colleges and universities for over twenty years, and continues to teach Buddhist ethics and practices at Chico State University. He is the founding teacher and senior emeritus teacher of the Chico Zen Sangha, in Chico, California, where he lives with his wife.
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What would happen if, instead of bolting your doors against the intrusion of demons, you invited them in?
Bad Dog! is a vivid testament to the unforeseen love, beauty, and redemption discovered in the most difficult times and places. It reads like a collection of closely linked short stories (think JD Salinger) but is in fact a work of literary nonfiction (think Robert Fulgham, or Augusten Burroughs). Bad Dog! will appeal to anyone who has fallen into dark places and wants to climb back into the light.
With quietly crafted poetic language of a quality rarely seen in spiritual books, Lin Jensen tells the stories of his remarkably difficult life: his tumultuous early years on a struggling Midwestern turkey farm, his failed marriage, and the search for meaning that led him eventually to become a Zen teacher. The raw and earthy lessons of Bad Dog! cut to the quick with an understated power, and the reader is left at the end of each chapter subtly transformed, able to reflect more deeply and more fruitfully on the struggles of our own lives. Lin Jensen’s writing has rare poetic and literary merit.
Lin Jensen received the Best Nonfiction/Spiritual Book award from Today’s Librarian for his previous book, Uncovering the Wisdom of the Heartmind. He has taught writing in various colleges and universities for over twenty years, and continues to teach Buddhist ethics and practices at Chico State University. He is the founding teacher and senior teacher emeritus of the Chico Zen Sangha, in Chico, California, where he lives with his wife.
There’s a war on—and Lin Jensen isn’t gonna take it standing up. In 36 riveting scenes, Pavement shows how the Buddhist perspective can help us all, even in the toughest times.
Every day, Lin Jensen has gone down to the center of his small town of Chico, California, plopped down a meditation cushion, and sat “peace vigils” in protest of the US invasion of Iraq—his honest effort to change the world.
From his knee-level spot on the pavement, he has encountered a wonderful array of what Lin calls “uprights”: a heart-breakingly generous homeless man who offers Lin his only possession; hostile passers-by who shout “[email protected]#k you, Peace Wimp!”; “White Wolf,” who punctuates every comment (always shouted!) with a sharp poke to Lin’s chest; compassionate soldiers; and more—all amid rain and bright sun, exhaust fumes, and the scent of azaleas.
Jensen, the author who so moved readers with his acclaimed memoir Bad Dog!, here shares what sidewalk-dwelling has taught him about humility, generosity, and what it really means to love our neighbors. It’s inspiring, good-humored reading—especially for anyone who might work or wish for change but doesn’t want to be just spitting into the wind.
Together Under One Roof
In Together Under One Roof, Lin Jensen turns his keen eye and powerful prose explicitly to the teachings of the Buddha, to traditional Zen stories, and to the practices of meditation and compassion—as well as the intricacies of everyday language and the natural world, truth and beauty, family, and the myriad ways our simplest actions affect our whole lives. His previous two works, memoirs of growing up and growing old and of the hard-won but gentle wisdom gained in his daily public meditations for peace, were both critical successes earning a special place in readers’ hearts. This book takes up symphonic variations on one main theme: we are all “in it” together, we are all living under one roof—and there’s always a glowing hearth right here in this, the Buddha’s household.
Deep Down Things
Beloved and critically acclaimed author Lin Jensen returns with this bounteous volume exploring what the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins calls “deep down things.” Richly informed by deep ecology, Lin’s writing explores our intimate connection to the land, to the specificities of place, and to the living earth itself-all as Lin uncovers our own deepest nature, the true heart of what it means to be human. There is much in what’s happening in our environment now that can and perhaps should be cause for dismay—and Deep Down Things looks squarely at all of this and nonetheless gives us ample cause for celebration.