Zen on the Trail

Hiking as Pilgrimage

Discover how hiking can be a kind of spiritual pilgrimage—calming our minds, enhancing our sense of wonder, and deepening our connection to nature.



192 pages, 6 x 9 inches


ISBN 9781614294443

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eBook Bundle (PDF, epub, mobi)


ISBN 9781614294603

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“Like John Muir, Chris Ives knows that going out into the natural world is really going inward. This book about pilgrimage is itself a pilgrimage: we accompany the author as he leaves civilization behind to enter the wilderness and encounter his true nature and original face.”

—David R. Loy, author of Money, Sex, War, Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution



“Ives’s thoughtful analyses of Zen meditation and the Zen view emerge seamlessly from a well of nature writing that recalls his hiking adventures around the world. Part Transcendentalist memoir, part Japanese Zen ethnography, and part dharma teaching, Zen on the Trail makes a bold vow: to ‘help us realize our embeddedness in nature and, ultimately, realize ourselves as nature.’”

Tricycle: The Buddhist Review

Wed, 06/06/2018 - 11:17 -- Dana Guth

Evoking the writings of Gary Snyder, Bill Bryson, and Cheryl Strayed, Zen on the Trail explores the broad question of how to be outside in a meditative way. By directing our attention to how we hike as opposed to where we’re headed, Ives invites us to shift from ego-driven doing to spirit-filled being, and to explore the vast interconnection of ourselves and the natural world. Through this approach, we can wake up in the woods on nature’s own terms.

In erudite and elegant prose, Ives takes us on a journey we will not soon forget.

This book features a new prose poem by Gary Snyder.

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