A Zen Buddhist story for all ages on how to cultivate harmony amid our differences.
“It’s true that we are all different squashes . . . some are bigger and some are smaller . . . some are rounder and some are longer. But even if we are different, we are all connected. We are all growing together. We don’t have to be such squabbling squashes.”
A story for children of all ages about interconnection and learning to live in harmony amid differences, from a leading light of contemporary Zen—based on a parable from Kosho Uchiyama’s classic bestseller Opening the Hand of Thought.
Shohaku Okumura is a Soto Zen priest and Dharma successor of Kosho Uchiyama Roshi. He is a graduate of Komazawa University and has practiced in Japan at Antaiji, Zuioji, and the Kyoto Soto Zen Center, and in Massachusetts at the Pioneer Valley Zendo. He is the former director of the Soto Zen Buddhism International Center in San Francisco. His previously published books of translation include Shobogenzo Zuimonki, Dogen Zen, Zen Teachings of Homeless Kodo, and Opening the Hand of Thought. Okumura is also editor of Dogen Zen and Its Relevance for Our Time and SotoZen. He is the founding teacher of the Sanshin Zen Community, based in Bloomington, Indiana, where he lives with his family.
"An essential teaching for all children, told with delightful, relatable warmth."
– Sumi Loundon Kim, author Sitting Together: A Family-Centered Curriculum on Mindfulness, Meditation, and Buddhist Teachings
“Squabbling Squashes is a delight from start to finish, both funny and wise. The illustrations are so warm and inviting that children of all ages will want to step into the scenes and sit with the squashes. And then it’s easy to take in the gentle point of this classic story of the deep connections among us all.”
– Jisho Warner, Soto Zen priest and guiding teacher of Stone Creek Zen Center
“Super enjoyable to hear, read, and savor for people of all ages, Squabbling Squashes helps our future generations to be aware of a universal mutual tie in society and nature.”
– Kazuaki Tanahashi, author of Painting Peace: Art in a Time of Global Crisis
“This sweetly illustrated parable of the squashes beautifully reveals that we are simultaneously wondrously different and intimately connected. A deeply meaningful story that children and their parents will repeatedly delight in.”
– James V. Cordova, PhD, author of The Marriage Checkup and The Story of Mu
“An ancient tale cultivating mindfulness today.”
– Lauen Alderfer, author of Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda