Kanja Odland Roshi is a ZenBuddhist priest in the lineage of Harada-Yasutani. She has been a student of both Roshi Philip Kapleau and his successor Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. She was ordained as a priest in 1999, and was given permission to teach by Roshi Kjolhede in 2001. Together with Sante Poromaa Roshi, she has been instrumental in the creation of a full-time training temple in rural Sweden called Zengården, as well as the growth and development of a network of City Zen Centers in Sweden, Finland and Scotland. This, her first book, was published in 2013.
In the book you will find retreat diaries, a description of how to perform Zen meditation, excerpts from instructions to a student, a tale from Japan and a depiction of the first meeting of zen. These things are all very good, but the book also contains Kanja Odlands own images, which add an extra layer upon this creation of hers.
The pictures are alone enough to buy the book. They often give more than the text itself, although the texts are not bad, at all, the pictures are somewhat brilliant. I really look forward to seeing more books from Odland, even one with only pictures and reflections around them.
Kanja Odland has an talent for making good stories. A talent that really shines through in this book. The stories presented are almost all about herself and her experiences, but nevertheless are they, each on their own, an object of a good, thoughtprovoking, tantalizing, teaching.
Some may say that retreatnotes, or any diarynotes are not worth reading, and i sometimes agree, but with this book, Odland has proven that there are gems out there, and this is one of them.
My only wish were that there were more...
If there is one thing I think the book lacks, aside from more digressions on some places is that it should have been written in english. But considering the language used sometimes, I foresee an english translation coming...
All in all, all I have left to say is thank you Kanja Odland for the book and for your practice.