Intriguing encounters between Zen practitioners and samurai warriors are recaptured in this breviloquent collection of short stories drawn from the literature of feudal Japan. These encounters deal with the nature of immediacy and its role in understanding the essence of human existence. For the martial artist faced with a conflict, the Zen state of mind, without distractions and illusions, can determine the difference between life and death. The warrior experience, as revealed in these traditional stories, is retold in a style that is relevant and graspable to the contemporary American martial artist. No particular religious background is required to appreciate these stories, but rather a curiosity about what allows people to achieve extraordinary performance when faced with life and death circumstances. Zen ink paintings by John Hrabushi offer a meditative and intellectual “cross training” throughout the collection. Foreword by noted Aikido Shihan Lorraine DiAnne.