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Lions Roar : July 2019
REVIEWS GREEN BUDDHISM Practice and Compassionate Action in Uncertain Times By Stephanie Kaza Shambhala Publications 2019; 264 pp., $18.95 (paper) Stephanie Kaza, professor emerita of environmental studies, likes to say that she first took the path of Green Buddhism when, at age five, she was sitting on the deck off her bedroom and found herself spellbound by the shimmering leaves and soft shadows of an apple tree. “This light show was the center of the universe,” she remembers. “Some great mystery penetrated my young consciousness.” Today, Kaza is still exploring the spiritual dimen- sion of the natural world. In part one of Green Buddhism, she examines intimacy when it’s free of the usual conditioning of the self. In part two, she shines a light on the historical connection between Buddhism and ecology and considers the possibility of a greener future. Finally, in part three, Kaza brings compassion to bear on climate change, runaway consumption, and other thorny issues. Her beautiful book Conversations with Trees has also just been reissued by Shambhala Publications. JUST ENOUGH Vegan Recipes and Stories from Japan’s Buddhist Temples By Gesshin Claire Greenwood New World Library 2019; 232 pp., $17.95 (paper) Oryoki, which means “just enough,” is a meditative form of serving and eating meals that’s practiced in Zen Buddhism. Highly ritualized, it involves each diner using their own set of nested bowls, with just a small amount of tasty food in each. For most lay practitioners, it isn’t feasible to practice oryoki in daily life, but according to Gesshin Claire Greenwood, if we adopt the spirit of oryoki, we can be fulfilled by less, and she isn’t simply speaking about food. Instead of constantly craving more food—or more money, more recognition, more love—we can plate our life differently and find satis- faction in what we already have. Just Enough is Greenwood’s memoir of learning to cook while living as a nun in a Zen monastery in Japan. It’s also a cookbook with recipes for such delicacies as daikon “steak,” dumplings, and tofu and walnut-stuffed mushrooms. By Andrea Miller LION’S ROAR | JULY 2019 79