Embark on a poignant and sometimes comic journey through Zen, poetry, and the transformative, personal practice of writing.
In Zen Encounters with Loneliness Terrance Keenan weaves together poetry, memoir, and raw insight to give voice to the lonely “nobody” in everyone. From his memories of early childhood to his struggles with addiction, writer’s block, and human relationship, Keenan delivers a heart-rending portrayal of the human hunger for selfhood and connection. Through his beautifully crafted literary reflections, he finds that Zen does not comfort our dream of being somebody, rather, it reveals connection only when we face who we really are—nobody. Zen Encounters intimately calls us to recognize that the well of emptiness is also a well of potential—to grow, learn, and overcome adversity.
"An exceptionally fine and engaging work; recommended for most collections"
– Library Journal
"This book is worth reading for Keenan's flowing reflections on topics ranging from karma to Kafka. Particularly intriguing are his thoughts on writer's block, meditation, Japanese poetry and fatherhood."
– Publishers Weekly
"Following in the great tradition of Basho, Keenan combines prose and poetry to create a journey through the interior, drawing from the anecdotal and the philosophical, from the great teachings of the Zen tradition and others, and from those he encounters along his way. He has made the journey itself his home."
– Sam Hamill, author of Crossing the Yellow River
"Every few years, if you’re lucky, a book comes along that changes your life. Zen Encounters with Loneliness is one of those books. It gives us permission to be honest with ourselves about our own frailties, and, through this acknowledgement, to find our own salvation."
– Satya Robyn, author of The Most Beautiful Thing
"It is one of these rare books that even when it speaks about the most personal and intimate, it still speaks with a voice from nowhere. This is one of the best nonfiction books I have read in a long time."