The Practice of the Wild – Essays by Gary Snyder was published in 1990 and they stand as a cornerstone of Gary Snyder’s work and thought. Gary Snyder was a beat poet who turned to Zen and became a serious practitioner of traditional Japanese Zen Buddhism. These essays presented here have already become a modern classic and central texts on wilderness and the interaction of nature and culture. From the book:
The lessons we learn from the wild become the etiquette of freedom. We can enjoy our humanity with its flashy brains and buzz, its social cravings and stubborn tantrums, and take ourselves as no more and no less than another being in the Big Watershed. We can accept each other all as barefoot equals sleeping on the same ground. We can give up hoping to be eternal and quit fighting dirt. We can chase off mosquitoes and fence out varmints without hating them. No expectations, alert and sufficient, grateful and careful, generous and direct. A calm and clarity attend us in the moment we are wiping the grease off our hands between tasks and glancing up at the passing clouds. Another joy is finally sitting down to have coffee with a friend. The wild requires that we learn the terrain, nod to all the plants and animals and birds, ford the streams and cross the ridges, and tell a good story when we get back home.
Get Into the Wild – Download the book here: