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The Zen of Creativity

Kenneth Wapner

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The Zen of Creativity: Cultivating Your Artistic Life

Zen master John Daido Loori’s illustrated exploration on the sources of human creativity.

(Ballantine, 2004; a Peekamoose Book).

Wapner’s roles:

• Concept development   • Proposal development and writing  • Editor

From the Acknowledgments:

“My gratitude to my day to day team of editors: Konrad Ryushin Marchaj and Vanessa Zuisei

Goddard and Kenny Wapner, whose language skill and commitment to this project helped bring my

words to the page without ever losing track of my voice.”Sold in multiple foreign territories.A national


“The real aim of artistic expression is to point the way to the truth, Loori shows. True originality can

arise only from having a real contact with our origins, with the ground of our being—and this is the

aim of Zen practice. “Give yourself permission to be yourself, and don’t be frightened by the

unknown,” writes Loori, and here he is writing of creativity, of Zen and of life itself. Loori offers a

superb overview of the spirit and meaning of the Zen arts. More than that, he has created a fresh

and persuasive (for he obviously practices what he preaches) guide to the art of waking up to the

beauty and mystery of our own lives.”

--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[Loori] uses anecdote, exercises, and visual tools to illustrate the tenet that Zen arts live in people;

that the making of a poem or calligraphy, or the performing of the tea ceremony, can and does shift a

whole being. Loori’s handsome and practical book will find crossover audiences from self-helpers

and artists of all stripes.


“A well-written, wise, insightful book on creativity and Zen, a subject made all the more intriguing and

persuasive by Daido Loori’s long experience as a student and teacher in both. The text is enhanced

by fine Zen dialogues and stories, poems, koan, photographs, and illustrations as well as apt,

stimulating quotations from many writers and Zen teachers. An altogether excellent book.”


“Zen is the immediate suchness and spontaneity of life, a creativity that is art itself. John Daido Loori,

one of the truly great American Zen masters, has given us a simple yet profound guide to art,

creativity, and life itself—for they all spring from the same source, the same ordinary magic of this

and every moment. The Zen of Creativity is a rare, elegant, beautiful book, highly recommended.”

—KEN WILBER, author of A Brief History of Everything


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