Poems and artworks on the themes of dealing with insecurity and confinement – the homelessness and imprisonment we all share. Sharing their stories and their responses to this shared human predicament are the book’s three contributors:
(1) Prize-winning photographer and meditator, Laszlo Mihaly, uses words and images and an intimate knowledge of homelessness to illustrate his path through brokenness to creativity.
(2) The poems of Zen Master Julian Daizan Skinner, inspired by his own teacher’s joke that Zen life combines prison and homelessness, depict the pains and joys arising through his three decades in the Zen world.
(3) Zen artist Kazuaki Okazaki who, after eighteen years incarceration on death row was executed in July 2018, contributes a sequence of images depicting a spiritual journey from lostness and wandering, through the intense confinement of Zen training, and then onwards into a new homelessness a vastly expanded realm of liberation and service.
Under the motto, “Change your body; change your mind; change your life”, Zenways has been sharing meditation and yoga practice for over five years within homeless and prison charity, the St Giles Trust. In this field we’ve seen how powerfully beneficial these practices can be. The contributors and design team have created Rough Waking pro bono. All profits from the book go to supporting and expanding this work.
Whether you re behind visible or invisible bars, whether your addiction is to alcohol, sex or to the self right where you are is the path. In each word in this book there is a quickening. In each page Kwan Yin beckons you. Plunge into not-knowing and find compassion. I wish a Rough Waking to all. Zen Master, peacemaker and homelessness activist Bernie Glassman
Fresh and forthright poems, photographs and drawings from three collaborators working to help the community. Julian Daizan Skinner’s poems are well balanced with the illustrations, and there is plenty here to help you meditate and consider the homelessness and confinement that we all experience to some extent in our lives. Sally Evans, editor, Poetry Scotland Magazine
This book takes you from shock and deep sadness to redemption, peace, and a sense of empathy and connection with humanity. We are forever thankful for the reflection and repair that Zenways provides, helping us at St Giles to do our best work on the street, in prison and with our local communities. Maria McNicholl, head of prison work, St Giles Trust