The Dharma Bum’s Guide to Western Literature



Dean Sluyter

New World Library

Language of origin

Publication date

Infos :

5.5 in x 8.5 in
Format Paperback / softback
Page Count 312

Finding Nirvana in the Classics

Key Selling Points

Unveils the spiritual dimension of Western fiction and poetry, from Emily Dickinson and Ernest Hemingway to Toni Morrison and J. D. Salinger, from Macbeth and Moby-Dick to The Great Gatsby and The Cat in the Hat
Like Sluyter’s previous books and the workshops he teaches throughout the U.S., the Guide builds bridges between Dharma — authentic, traditional methods of awakening — and modern life
Sluyter’s media appearances have included National Public Radio, Oprah & Friends Radio, Coast to Coast AM, The New York Times, New York Magazine, USA Today, Prevention, InStyle, and O: The Oprah Magazine


Reveals the profound, often surprising ways the literature we love conveys the enlightenment we seek.
Some of us were lucky enough to have one terrific, passionate English teacher who helped us fall in love with books. Throw in a droll sense of humor, a love of quirky tangents, and decades of meditation with lamas and rishis, and you get Dean Sluyter. For thirty-three years, students sat in Sluyter’s classroom having their minds opened wide. Now The Dharma Bum’s Guide to Western Literature puts you in that classroom.
Sluyter’s habit of finding enlightenment in unexpected places started at the age of twelve, when a copy of Mad magazine triggered his first glimpse of deep transcendence. He went on to discover how “Eastern” spirituality — the light of nirvana — shines through Western classics as they explore themes of death and birth, despair and hope, fear and love. With sparkling wit and irreverent wisdom, Sluyter unpacks the Dharma of Blake, Beckett, Whitman, Woolf, Twain, Douglass, and more. His warm, down-to-earth approach will inspire you to deepen your own spiritual life and see literature in a fresh, new way: as a path of awakening.

Author’s Previous Titles

Natural Meditation : Dean Sluyter , 9780399171413 , Penguin Publishing Group , 02/24/2015 Fear Less : Dean Sluyter , 9780143130277 , Penguin Publishing Group , 03/20/2018, Cinema Nirvana : Dean Sluyter , 9781400049745 , Crown , 02/22/2005 9780874779059
The Zen Commandments : Dean Sluyter , 9781585420841 , Penguin Publishing Group , 03/19/2001

Review Quotes and Endorsements

“Dean Sluyter is in the grand tradition of authors who interpret traditional enlightenment teachings and apply them to modern Western life. In Natural Meditation, he accomplishes that task with a rare combination of insight, clarity, wit, and pragmatic common sense. … Sluyter knows as much about clear, concise, captivating prose as he does about the nuances of meditation.”

— L.A. Yoga “[ The Zen Commandments] is extremely well written and joyously entertaining.”
— Publishers Weekly “You’re not in for one hand clapping. Rather, it’s both hands clapping for joy in The Zen Commandments.”
— New York Times “Equal parts inspiring, quirky, fascinating, and fun, Cinema Nirvana will make you look at film and faith in a new light.”
— Dallas Morning News “With a knack for creative genius, Dean is a wonderful source of real-life, useful, news-you-can-use information. Dean is a buddha … a poet and a teacher.”
— Dr. Mehmet Oz, Oprah & Friends Radio



Dean Sluyter

Dean Sluyter (pronounced “slighter”) has led meditation workshops and retreats since 1970, at venues ranging from Ivy League colleges to maximum-security prisons. From 1977 to 2010, he taught English at the Pingry School in New Jersey. Sluyter has trained with Eastern and Western sages in many traditions, including Vajrayana (Tibetan) Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, and Bhakti Yoga. His five previous books include Cinema Nirvana, The Zen Commandments, and Natural Meditation. Sluyter now lives in Santa Monica, California, where he sings with the Threshold Choir, sits with dying people, and happily zips about on his Vespa.
Agence Schweiger

Agence Schweiger