"Subtle and imaginative … dazzling us with epiphanies … a surefire demonstration of why play is an essential ingredient in spiritual growth."
– VALUES & VISIONS
The great spiritual truths are right under your nose — in the songs, jokes, proverbs, and nursery rhymes you've known all your life.
You're invited to join in the seriously playful adventure of "digging the cosmic ordinary" — exploring our cultural backyard to discover the profound wisdom hidden there in plain sight. In 33 illustrated mini-chapters, Why the Chicken Crossed the Road traces the startling, sometimes hilarious connections between the highest revelations and the lowliest jingles, jokes, and cliches.
Among them: "Knock-Knock, Who's There?" teaches the same process of radical self-inquiry advocated by Advaita masters … "Mary Had a Little Lamb" expounds the way of love and devotion as eloquently as the Psalms or the Gospels … "Easy Does It" describes both the workings of the universe and the mechanics of meditation … "Home on the Range" celebrates the anarchic freedom of enlightenment.
Author Dean Sluyter shows us that Christ and Buddha bring the same good news of cosmic liberation — and so do Mick Jagger and Bugs Bunny. Along the way, he tells lively stories that incorporate basketball and Sufi dancing, cowboy movies and Sabbath mysticism, bebop saxophone practice and Tibetan compassion practice. And he shares spiritual exercises (some traditional, some home-brewed) that are powerfully transformative.
"Sluyter's fresh, enticing and Dada-esque manifesto of found wisdom from the scrap heap of popular culture highlights the right stuff. This dean's instruction goes down easy, nourishes both heart and mind, and tickles the funny bone too. I found plenty of good eggs in his basket."
– Lama Surya Das, author of Awakening the Buddha Within
"A brilliant, funny, profound and crazy vision of the sacredness in everyday life. I didn't know whether to laugh at its wit or cry at its insight. If Franny and Zooey are your friends, this book will mean a lot to you."
– Jane Cavolina, co-author of Growing Up Catholic
"This is a witty and wonderfully wise presentation of the freedom of non-desire (but I cannot guarantee that it liberates completely, because I often wished I had written it)."
– Sylvia Boorstein, author of It's Easier Than You Think
"Dean Sluyter is an enthusiast: for language, for life, and for the juice of it all: the rich living gravy that oozes out of every nuance of experience. The nature of reality is our most fundamental teacher and it speaks of itself everywhere and in everything; Dean Sluyter has listened to the rumours for years and now he presents them with delicious fun and lightness."
– Ngakpa Chogyam Rinpoche, author of Wearing the Body of Visions