Friday, September 26, 2014
7:45 - 9 pm
in the City Center dining room
The usual thinking about Moby Dick
is that it’s a dreary old story of a crazy old man and a whale. But at its heart, Melville’s book is the chronicle of a young man’s awakening—not of self-discovery, as one might expect, but rather the discovery of “no-self.”
Join us for a reading from author Daniel Herman, whose book Zen and the White Whale
considers Moby Dick
from a Zen Buddhist perspective: exploring the similarities between the whaling life and the monastic life, the attachment to fixed ideas that dooms its captain, and the meditation that allows its narrator to abide in uncertainty and doubt.
I have been traveling on the ocean for a long time, yearning to sight and closely encounter the great whale. Now with the aid of Daniel Herman’s brilliant work I have finally met the whale and looked into the whale’s eye, so calm and quiet, and have thereby more deeply shared and understood the struggles and enlightenment of Herman Melville.
—Tenshin Reb Anderson, Senior Dharma Teacher, San Francisco Zen Center
$10 suggested donation (no one turned away for lack of funds)
Daniel Herman, PhD
Daniel Herman, PhD, is a former resident of Green Gulch Farm and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. His new book, Zen and the White Whale: A Buddhist Rendering of Moby-Dick, is a study of the influence of Buddhist thought on Herman Melville's masterpiece, and an expansive consideration of the book from a Zen Buddhist perspective. He teaches American Literature in San Francisco.