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Book Review: Letters to a Dead Friend About Zen

Inmo Joe LaBrecque kicks-off our new Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha Tuesday Night Book Review. Inmon-san is a Librarian and follower of Brad Warner. transmitted priest in the

Gudo Wafu Nishijima lineage. Inmo will be reviewing Warner's latest book, Letters to a Dead Friend about Zen:

The night Brad Warner learns that his childhood friend Marky has died, Warner is about to speak to a group of Zen students in Hamburg, Germany. It’s the last thing he feels like doing. What he wants to do instead is tell his friend everything he never said, to explain Zen and what he does for a living and why he spends his time “Sitting. Sitting.

Sitting. Meditating my life away as it all passes by. Lighting candles and incense. Bowing to nothing.” So, as he continues his teaching tour through Europe, he writes to his friend all the things he wishes he had said. Simply and humorously, he reflects on why Zen provided him a lifeline in a difficult world. He explores grief, attachment, and the afterlife. He writes to Marky, “I’m not all that interested in Buddhism. I’m much more interested in what is true,” and then proceeds to poke and prod at that truth. The result for readers is a singular and winning meditation on Zen — and a unique tribute to both a life lost and the one Warner has found.

Please join us on Zoom June 8, 2021 for our service and Dharma discussion around this book. You can find more information about our Sangha at:



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