The Key to the Castle: Zen and Travel Stories of Trust
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What happens to a beginning student of Zen as she sits and watches her mind? How is a Zen retreat like a vacation? Whether visiting her aging mom, hiking in northern Thailand, crossing a rain-swelled creek in South Africa, or eating formal meals at a Zen retreat, Schleifer asks, “What is going on here?” Her discoveries become ours in this clear and poignant account of inner and outer journeys. More
How did a Santa Barbara, California native end up living south of the south? Just what happens to a beginning student of Zen as she sits down on a cushion and watches her mind? How is a Zen retreat like a vacation? These are a few of the questions posed and artfully explored in this journey of self-discovery.
“What is going on here?” is the question Schleifer asks herself when visiting her aging mom, hiking in northern Thailand to hill tribe villages, navigating a rain-swelled creek bed in South Africa, crossing a desolate plains checkpoint between Chile and Argentina, and eating four-bowl meals at a Zen retreat. Her discoveries become ours in this clear and poignant account of inner and outer journeys.
“The Key to the Castle: Zen and Travel Stories of Trust is not a book about miracles, or about the cathartic purgings that come with tragic engagement; not about hopeless romance or romance finally found. But it is a book about the quiet miraculous found in paying attention to our lives, about what travel does to the nerve endings. This book brings us to the vast landscape of the journey and how the well-traveled soul is the soul that trusts the intelligence of spirit, or psyche, or mind, or heart---whatever you choose as the dominant guide in your own life.” Darrell Bourque, author of Megan's Guitar and Other Poems from Acadie, and other books, Louisiana Poet Laureate, 2007-09 and 2009-11
"Zen at its essence is about finding freedom and spontaneity in our lives. Travel is one way many of us get a taste of this experience. In her new book, Sue Schleifer brings together her experiences of Zen and travel to reveal the wonders of a life lived freshly in the moment." Zen Master Bon Soeng, Empty Gate Zen Center
“With some trepidation, I read Sue’s chapters that describe the early days of Backroads and was immediately transported back in time by her thoughtful prose. It also gave me a chance to reflect on how much Backroads has changed, for the better. Her insider's look at active travel will give both armchair travelers and adventure seekers an appreciation for how experiencing new places encourages us to ask life's big questions.” Tom Hale, Founder and President, Backroads, the active travel company