The Crow Flies Backwards and Other New Zen Koans

The Crow Flies Backwards and Other New Zen Koans

Ross Bolleter


  • Description
  • Author
  • Info
  • Reviews


Discover how the mysterious, powerful form of the koan—known for bringing about sudden enlightenment—can disrupt and illuminate your everyday understanding of life.

Traditionally, Zen koans—the teaching stories of Zen—are drawn from the words and teachings of ancient masters and primarily address the concerns of (male) monastic practitioners. In The Crow Flies Backward, Ross Bolleter changes all at. The 108 modern koans offered within address sexuality and childbirth, family, parenthood, work, money and even the nature time itself. These koans are drawn from a variety of modern sources: Western philosophy, the Bible, contemporary and classic literature from Proust to Lewis Carroll and Mary Oliver and Anne Carson, as well as stories provided by author’s encounters with his Zen students.

Bolleter’s commentaries provide guidance to the reader on how to engage with each koan and koans in general, and direct guidance to meditate with koans. An appendix offers rarely-seen intimate and in-depth accounts of the process of koan introspection, from four of the author’s senior students.


Ross Bolleter:
Ross Bolleter Roshi is a Zen teacher in the Diamond Sangha tradition teaching in Australia and New Zealand. He trained with Robert Aitken and John Tarrant and received transmission from them in 1997. He is also a composer with numerous CD releases, especially in the field of ruined piano. He’s also the author of The Five Ranks of Dongshan. Ross lives and teaches in Perth, Western Australia.