News

June 5, 2022
The Garden of Flowers and Weeds Wins a Nautilus Gold Medal

The Garden of Flowers and Weeds has won the Gold Prize from the Nautilus Book Awards! We won in the 2022 category for Religion/Spirituality of Eastern Thought.

The Nautilus Awards began in 1998. The judging is done by three panels of expert reviewers, including editors, writers, librarians, psychologists, health professionals, poets, and bookstore owners. The Nautilus Awards are given to print books of exceptional merit that make a literary contribution to spiritual growth, green values, responsible leadership, positive social change, and social justice. It’s a highly prestigious award for books about spirituality, and we’re honoured by this prize.

You can get The Garden of Flowers and Weeds: A New Translation and Commentary on the Blue Cliff Record here!


June 3, 2022
The Garden of Flowers and Weeds Wins a Benjamin Franklin Award

The Garden of Flowers and Weeds has won the Silver Medal from the 34th annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards! The Benjamin Franklin Awards are regarded as one of the highest national honors for independent publishers.

The awards are administered by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), with help from over 160 book publishing professionals including librarians, bookstore owners, reviewers, designers, publicity managers, and editors. The Awards started in 1985 and are designed to recognize excellence and innovation in independent publishing.

You can find The Garden of Flowers and Weeds here!


May 31, 2022
The Garden of Flowers and Weeds Wins an IPPY Book Award!

The Garden of Flowers and Weeds has won the Bronze Medal from the 2022 Independent Publisher Book Awards!

Also knows as an IPPY Award, this prize is a “broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry”. It was started in 1996 to “reward those who exhibit the courage, innovation, and creativity” in book publishing.

We won in the category for Religion Eastern/Western and are honoured to be listed with so many other great titles.


March 28, 2022
The Garden of Flowers and Weeds is a Finalist in the Benjamin Franklin Awards

The Garden of Flowers and Weeds is a finalist for the 34th annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards! It is one of three finalists in the Religion category. The Benjamin Franklin Awards are regarded as one of the highest national honors for independent publishers.

The awards are administered by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), with help from over 160 book publishing professionals including librarians, bookstore owners, reviewers, designers, publicity managers, and editors. You can find The Garden of Flowers and Weeds here!


March 13, 2022
The Garden of Flowers and Weeds is a Winner of the Best Spiritual Books of 2021

2021 S&P Award Winner

Spirituality and Practice Magazine has awarded The Garden of Flowers and Weeds as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2021!

Spirituality and Practice Magazine has awarded The Garden of Flowers and Weeds as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2021!

Read the review in Spirituality and Practice Magazine here.

I’m honored to be in company with other excellent winners of this award, including When You Greet Me I Bow by Norman Fischer, Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman, and Zen Is Right Now by Suzuki Roshi (David Chadwick, editor).


December 14, 2021
The Book Trailer for The Garden of Flowers and Weeds is Live!

Check out the book trailer that Monkfish Book Publishing Company has created for the release of The Garden of Flowers and Weeds:

Thanks to all of you who have bought the book! It’s been a tremendous first month!


November 18, 2021
The Garden of Flowers and Weeds is shipping!

Photo of Book Garden of Flowers and Weeds at Shambala Centre
Garden of Flowers and Weeds at Shambala Centre

The Garden of Flowers and Weeds is now available in the USA. Many thanks to all of you who have pre-ordered the book from Amazon and Bookshop!

Here we see a copy of the Garden of Flowers and Weeds enjoying its new home at the Shambhala Mountain Center.


September 14, 2021
Latest Review! “A generation-defining rendering of one of the great Zen Buddhist scriptures.”

Jon M. Sweeney, a book reviewer at Spirituality and Practice, just released his review of The Garden of Flowers and Weeds. He called it “A generation-defining rendering of one of the great Zen Buddhist scriptures.”

Jon M. Sweeney, a book reviewer at Spirituality and Practice, just released his review of The Garden of Flowers and Weeds. He called it “A generation-defining rendering of one of the great Zen Buddhist scriptures.”


August 6, 2021
Banyen Books

The Garden of Flowers and Weeds is now available for pre-order at Banyen Books, one of Canada’s best independent booksellers. And right now, Banyen offers free shipping across Canada for orders over $50 CAD.

When I was a student in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia, Banyen was a sanctuary for me. Browsing in that tranquil and homey store was one of my favourite activities. It’s an honour to think that the Garden of Flowers and Weeds will be on those shelves.


July 31, 2021
New Review! “An intriguing, challenging crash course in Zen Buddhism”

The Kirkus Indie has released its review of The Garden of Flowers and Weeds: A New Translation and Commentary on the Blue Cliff Record:
 
Many insights have grown from Sullivan’s years of grappling with such material, and he notes, “subtle feelings reveal illumination.” Though these illuminations may be difficult to see initially, the reader is left with an understanding of an ageless, beguiling collection.
 
Read the whole review here.


July 10, 2021
In Memory of Thomas Cleary, Translator of The Blue Cliff Record

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On June 20, 2021, the great translator Thomas Cleary (1949–2021) passed away. Thomas’ first book was the iconic translation he made with his brother, J.C. Cleary, of The Blue Cliff Record (1977). He then went on to produce over 80 more translations, many of which remain in print. It is hard to imagine an individual who has done more than Thomas to introduce the scriptures of Buddhism and Daoism to an English speaking audience.

I feel a personal debt of gratitude to Thomas Cleary. When I was young, some of my earliest encounters with Zen were phrases fashioned by him and his brother. The Elk of Elksthe Upside Down Statement and the Unjust Beating (to give just three examples) are more than perceptive translations from Classical Chinese characters. They are an original dharma and a profound contribution to world literature.

Many years later, when I turned to creating my own translation of The Blue Cliff Record, I felt the constant presence of the Cleary brothers. Often our paths through the Chinese thickets diverged, sometimes by a few steps, sometimes by many strides. However, nothing gave me greater pleasure than treading the ground that they pioneered and seeing the signs they left on the landscape.


June 19, 2021
Congratulations to Kelly Pryde — My New Dharma Sister!

On June 19, 2021, my teacher, the Venerable Hwasun Yangil Sunim, performed a transmission ceremony in which he recognized Kelly Pryde as a Zen Master and his latest dharma heir. Zen Master Greg Samuelson and I were there to assist in the ceremony and welcome our newest dharma sister. 

Sunim’s commendation to Kelly on her Inka was beautiful:

Just as enlightenment is boundless, practice is also boundless.
The circle of practice and enlightenment continues endlessly.
Vast is the lnka of liberation: a formless field of benefaction!

It is an honour to have Kelly join us. 


June 27, 2021
Endorsement by Venerable Hwasun Yangil Sunim

My teacher, the Venerable Hwasun Yangil Sunim, issued an endorsement for The Garden of Flowers and Weeds: A New Translation and Commentary on the Blue Cliff Record.

Read Yangil Sunim’s letter.