Together Under One Roof

Lin Jensen

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Lin Jensen—a widely known local Buddhist who teaches at Chico Zen Sangha and is senior Buddhist chaplain at High Desert State Prison in Susanville— is the author of the well-received 2005 book Bad Dog!: A Memoir of Love, Beauty, and Redemption in Dark Places and 2007’s Pavement: Reflections on Mercy, Activism, and Doing “Nothing” for Peace. In 2008, Jensen came out with another book with a lengthy title: Together Under One Roof: Making a Home of the Buddha’s Household—a collection of thoughtful essays centered around the theme of being at home in this world we all share. Jensen calls attention to the splendor of the everyday, such as when he writes about raking leaves by hand, “a task where one falls into the rhythm of it, stroking away at the ground with smooth sweeping movements, the drag of the rake, the musty smell of the leaves …” Certain sentences jump out as quotable pieces of wisdom: “Personally I think comfort is overrated.” “There’s something about doing the best you can while knowing it won’t be right that takes the stiffness out of one’s spine and softens the hard edges of ambition and intent.” And, fittingly, “It’s beauty that recognizes beauty.”