Trust in Awakening
A Zen Teaching on Accessing the Absolute
A unique and fulfilling map to realization and Awakening offered by one of today’s finest spiritual teachers.
With Trust in Awakening, Zen and Theravada Buddhist teacher Stephen Doetsu Snyder presents a fresh and powerful reworking of the 7th century Zen poem, the Xin Xin Ming. This poem has guided and inspired serious Zen practitioners on the path to Awakening for centuries. Structuring its stanzas in koan-like meditations, Snyder interprets the poem’s directions to seeing the Absolute, the source, fully manifesting in each of us—to Awakening.
In addition, Snyder gives an insightful line-by-line commentary and questions us after each stanza, provoking an internal examination. He points us in the direction of the Absolute, in its many expressions, the source of all universes and realization. This distinct approach creates the space for us to dwell on each line, open ourselves to its significance, and take another step on the path of no path.
Trust in Awakening transmits the reality of the Absolute while encouraging us to keep following its map, unfolding the path to Awakening.
“With genuine spiritual and intellectual genius, Stephen Doetsu Snyder explores a revered Buddhist text in modern, radically liberating ways. I was jolted on every page with heart-opening joy at the good news of our true nature: the original nature of all things right under our noses, endlessly renewed by its mysterious source. This is a magnificent, breakthrough book that will be accessible and helpful to anyone at any point on their path.”
—Rick Hanson, PhD, New York Times best-selling author of Neurodharma and Buddha’s Brain
“With refreshing directness and clarity, Stephen Doetsu Snyder unpacks the teachings contained in the ‘Trust in Awakening’ poem, showing that awakening is accessible to all of us. One of those no-frills books that shows that all good teachings are simple in presentation, yet profound in scope.”
—Vanessa Zuisei Goddard, Zen teacher, author of Still Running
“In this book, Stephen Doetsu Snyder has produced a fresh and unusually open translation of the ‘Xin Xin Ming,’ one of Zen’s most poetic teachings of nonduality. He presents brief, easily understood, and poignant commentaries on each verse that constitute direct pointing out instructions for awakening. Students of Buddhadharma will find this book a fresh, modern perspective on an ancient classic.”
—Diane Musho Hamilton, Soto Zen teacher and author of Compassionate Conversations
“Stephen Doetsu Snyder’s long trainings in both Theravada and Zen practice mean that he is able to offer a very valuable perspective on this great Zen poem, often considered to be the first and still one of the greatest presentations of the discoveries of our fundamental nature that Zen/Chan has been opening up for practitioners throughout its long history.”
—Henry Shukman, author of One Blade of Grass and spiritual director of Mountain Cloud Zen Center
“Stephen Doetsu Snyder’s beautiful commentary on the ancient poem ‘Faith in Mind’ speaks with unusual clarity about the experience of meeting true reality. Snyder’s description of such experiences are inspiring to the beginning meditator and confirming to the experienced meditator. His book is a valuable addition to the literature on this subject.”
—Roshi Joan Hogetsu Hoeberichts, Abbot of Heart Circle Zen
“A truly unique book that speaks to the many facets of the spiritual path with potent authenticity. Snyder’s beautiful quatrains vibrate with direct transmission, and his skillful commentary effortlessly unfolds layers of meaning. This is a book of rare richness and clarity and is sure to be cherished by all who read it.”
—Steve James, educator, founder of the Movement Koan Method, and host of the Guru Viking podcast
“Stephen Doetsu Snyder draws on his own clear seeing to help us access greater freedom by experiencing our true identity. Snyder has a unique capacity to use language to transmit that which extends further and deeper than words but is always vibrantly alive and evolving within and around us. We are graced with the opportunity to invite his rendering of the ‘Xin Xin Ming’ and his commentary to land directly in our awareness so that we may be opened to, and trust in, our own awakening.”
—Marisa Mohrer, LMSW, MPH, trauma therapist and author of Songs of Awakening
“A wonderful and beautifully written book, based on the fascinating ‘Xin Xin Ming’ poem, where Stephen Doetsu Snyder describes the unconditioned reality from his own direct experience! With poetic and clear language, readers are invited to explore and align their mind with the source of all reality.”
—Thomas Jedensjö, Buddhist practitioner, Sweden
“Rooted in—but not limited by—tradition, Stephen Snyder’s authentic realization refreshes and enlivens us according to our capacity, increasing our ability to trust and persevere on the way. Trust in Awakening begins with one of the most revered poems in the long history of Cha’n Zen, and points directly to the heart of the matter, with refreshing conviction and trademark sincerity. I can’t recommend this work more sincerely.”
—Felicia Eiki Horne, LCSW, retired psychotherapist, award-winning storyteller and playwright