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Lions Roar : July 2017
By John DeMont A REALLY BIG LUNCH The Roving Gourmand on Food and Life By Jim Harrison Grove Press, 2017; 275 pp., $26 (cloth) Jim Harrison, the late American poet, novelist, and Zen Buddhist, had a rather loose interpretation of the precept about abstaining from intoxicants. In this posthumously published collection, Harrison writes of epic meals where the courses numbered in the dozens and were washed down by all manner of wines. Pico Iyer wrote in Lion’s Roar that Harrison drew on his Zen practices “to express a wide-awake, embracing transcription of all that the natural world might offer us.” His Buddhism shines in essays such as “Everyday Life: The Ques- tion of Zen,” in which he notes that poets fear that if they lose the self, they lose their art. What Harrison discovered was that “what you thought was the self had little to do with your own true nature. Or your art, for that matter.” THEZENOFYOU&ME A Guide to Getting Along with Just About Anyone By Diane Musho Hamilton Shambhala, 2017; 194 pp., $12.95 (paper) As humans, we’re programmed to see threats from those who don’t share our DNA, values, and inter- ests, and to fear those who look and sound different than us. But it doesn’t have to be that way, says Diane Musho Hamilton in The Zen of You & Me. Hamilton’s years as a Zen teacher and professional mediator have taught her that embracing difference and working though conflict creates harmony with partners, parents, children, and colleagues. Mindfulness is at the centre of her common- sense guide to better relationships. She also counsels us to listen in a non-judgemental fashion, appreciate the other person’s point of view, and treat them with openhearted compassion. LION’S ROAR | JULY 2017 79