Practicing Zen and All That Jazz

by Michael Elliston, author of The Original Frontier: A Serious Seeker’s Guide to Zen. Zen is more like jazz than classical music. More like a chart, lead sheet, or fake book of old standards outlining the key and time signatures, chord progressions, and suggested melodies around which we can improvise, rather than a sheet of notation spelling out each note and precise accents, emphasis, and feeling — e.g. adagio versus allegro — attempting to recapture…