In the most intimate voice, this book offers the wisdom and compassion of a great-hearted American Zen master. The promise Shunryu Suzuki saw decades ago in his young student Jakusho Kwong has been lovingly cultivated into a lifetime of conscious compassion, wisdom and care. Chapter after chapter offers the benefits of such a life in a way that makes the book a real page turner, though I suggest you read it slowly. Let the teachings, the vision and the kindness seep in.
So many spiritual books based on their author's talks fall short of allowing the reader to feel included. They make you feel that you wish you had been at the actual event. This book is the opposite. Each chapter made me feel I was actually sitting with a true Zen master who was helping me to understand my life and parts of myself in ways I never had. It was like having a private interview with someone who really saw me for who I was and wanted to help me to become whole.
One last thing. I have read gazillions of Zen books. I look to them as a kind of spiritual companion or friend. Often the relationship is pretty good, but not quite the perfect fit. This book, however, like Suzuki's Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, is that friend. We go places together. I take it with me when I want to be with someone who understands me, and I find that it helps me to understand myself in new ways each time. Books that are called "classics" are books that "last a lifetime." For me, No Beginning, No End is one of these
This work is a wonder-filled accomplishment. Jakusho Kwong has succeeded in writing a book that not only does a masterful job in communicating the essence of Zen Buddhism - but he writes in such an arresting and accessible voice that readers on all paths will be able to relate and apply what they find here.
Kwong writes that "if you come to listen to a talk as if you are going to hear something great from somebody else, this is a big mistake." And yet I found that, in reading this book, truths buried deep within myself began to emerge. I have already applied stories and lessons learned from Kwong's work to my daily life - in the business world, with friends, and family. I feel as though this book has helped me access a place inside of myself that is calm, vibrantly alive, and simply feels true.
My grateful thanks to Jakusho Kwong for putting to paper words that have the transformative power to touch readers the world over.