This is a beautiful book by one of the progenitors of Zen in the West. The late Roshi Jiyu-Kennett, an Englishwoman who trained unstoppably(!) in Japan under Chisan Zenji, late abbot of Sojiji, indeed the first Western woman to do so, and received her transmission in Japan before coming to America and ultimately founding Shasta Abbey, a still flourishing Soto Zen abbey and training center at the foot of Mt. Shasta, of which she remained Abbess until her recent death. This book is both a manual of doctrine and practice, as well as a foray into historical aspects of Soto Zen. Everything is covered here- liturgy, training, practice, enlightenment, the transformations of Zen necessary to its success in the West, and the book is highly readable. Jiyu-Kennett is a gifted teacher taking us around every corner with ease, and even humor. Divided into three 'books', the third is a fascinating look at the teachings of her own teacher, Keizan Zenji; the chapters on the seventeen Ancestors is wonderful prose in itself, and an enlightening bit of teaching. Highest recommendation! Jiyu-Kennett's Japanese diaries ("The Wild, White Goose" in 2 volumes), written during her training and subsequent early priesthood in Japan, are indispensable books as well. Her immense intellect and unconquerable spirit are vividly apparent, and even more intimately given than in this excellent book.