Everybody loves Novice to Master! As you'll see in the glowing endorsements and reviews included below, this modern spiritual classic has been embraced by readers of all types.
In his singularly humorous and biitingly direct way, Zen abbot Soko Morinaga tells the story of his rigorous training at a Japanese Zen temple, his spiritual growth and his interactions with his students and others. Morinaga's voice is uniquely tuned to the truth of the condition of the human mind and spirit and his reflections and interpretations are unvarnished and succinct. His great gift is the ability to lift the spirit of the reader all the while exposing the humility and weakness in the lives of people, none more so than his own.
Read on to see what everyone from Publishers Weekly to well-known Buddhist figures and even New York Times bestselling author Anthony Swofford have to say about this one of a kind book!
Soko Morinaga, was head of Hanazono University and abbot of Daishu-in in Kyoto, one of the twenty-four sub-temples of Daitoku-ji. After finding himself adrift following World War Two, he took up Zen training at Daishuin under Goto Zuigan, formerly abbot of Myoshin-ji and at that time abbot of Daitoku-ji. Morinaga later became the Dharma successor to Oda Sesso Roshi, becoming head monk of Daitoku-ji. He taught regularly at Rinzai temples in California and in England during the latter part of his life. He is author of Pointers to Insight: Life of a Zen Monk, The Ceasing of Notions: Zen Text from the Tun-Huang Caves, and Novice to Master: An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of My Own Stupidity. Morinaga Roshi passed away in 1995.
"A spiritual autobiography by an accomplished master of Zen, and also a compelling story of coming of age in post-war Japan. One can't help but be drawn to the genuine tone of Morinaga's voice and his sense of humor."
– Shambhala Sun
"Marvelous and a complete inspiration! I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. Just eat it up like chocolate!"
– Joan Halifax, Ph.D, Head Teacher, Upaya Zen Center
"This wise and warm book should be read by all."
– Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead
"The volume has a soft poignancy and a certain presence within a tale well-told."