This is the spiritual journey of the author, Natalie Goldberg. Natalie goes from high school teaching, to a commune in Taos, to a Zen center in Minnesota. She learns how to write, and teach others to write. The book focuses on a relationship that develops between Natilie and her spiritual teacher, a Zen monk. Natalie questions her spirituality, as a student of Zen, a member of the Jewish faith, and a grieving writer. Her attention to minute details, her description of her spiritual dilemnas, and her grief for a man who gave her his love leave the reader with an understanding of what makes life special and worth living. I was left with an overwhelming feeling of Natalie's loss, and the illumination of what it means to be alive, and present. Natalie's prose is beautiful, that alone is worth the read.