Zen Peacemakers International (ZPI) Journal Article

By Stephen Billias

More than twenty-five years ago, I wrote The American Book of the Dead, a black comedy about World War III.

The American Book of the Dead book coverThe main character, Bertie Rupp, suffers from nucleomituphobia, the exaggerated fear of being blown up by nuclear weapons.

A monk tells Bertie: “In the words of the great Yasutani-roshi of Japan, ‘Become one with the Bomb and what is there to fear?’…He also said: ‘Whether you want to or not, you will do so anyway, so embrace it.’”

This past May, Zen Peacemakers International published a piece of mine in their Journal about Yasutani-roshi, the novel and Zen. I included the following poem.

still point. endless time

intersects limitless space

right where you are now

I’m a student, a practitioner of zazen, and a writer. Writing is my way of expressing what I believe. I pray that peacemakers achieve a unification less cataclysmic than becoming one with the bomb.

If you would like to read the complete article, you can check it out at: https://zenpeacemakers.org/2021/05/yasutani-roshi-zen-and-haiku/