Awakening to the Deep Wisdom Hidden in Classic Literature with Dean Sluyter

Product Description
$ 1.99

MP3 Download

“Perhaps you've had the experience of being elevated by the act of reading, feeling lifted almost literally to a higher level, where the air is rarefied, and the view is vast.” writes Dean Sluyter, who, in this deep dialogue, offers a banquet of literature that we, most likely, have not tasted or considered since our assigned reading lists in high school or college. For those of us who have been committed to a life of awakening and truth, Sluyter gives us deep insight into the writings of such luminaries as Mark Twain, William Blake, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, J.D. Salinger and many more as he takes us into the nature of reality and universal truth. You’ll not be bored in Sluyter’s class as he takes us deep into the spiritual insights hidden in the writings of these revered literary geniuses. He says, “By being innocently present to whatever presents itself, you discover that it's all a present, all nutritious and delicious, the kingdom of heaven spread upon the earth… Stay where you are, open your pores, process it right where you are, where you are is not a mistake. It's a, feature of this life. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Dean Sluyter lived in New Jersey for 33 years where he developed the Literature of Enlightenment Program at the Pingry School and worked with inmates at Northern State Prison and Mountain View Youth Correctional Facility. He now lives in Santa Monica, California and teaches natural methods of meditation and awakening throughout the United States and beyond. He's known for his funny, down-to-earth style and for making life-transforming teachings accessible and easy. 

Dean Sluyter is the author of many books including: 

  • The Zen Commandments (Tarcher/Putnam 2001)
  • Why the Chicken Crossed the Road and Other Hidden Enlightenment Teachings (Tarcher/Putnam 1998)
  • Cinema Nirvana: Enlightenment Lessons from the Movies (Three Rivers Press 2005)
  • Natural Meditation: A Guide to Effortless Meditative Practice (Tarcher/Penguin 2015)
  • Fear Less: Living Beyond Fear, Anxiety, Anger, and Addiction (TarcherPerigee 2018)
  • The Dharma Bum's Guide to Western Literature (New World Library 2022) 

To learn more about the work of Dean Sluyter go to 

Topics explored in this dialogue include: 

  • Why is William Blake the first entry in his book
  • How teaching for 33 years in a fancy prep school continued to give him insights into the classics
  • What is the wisdom gleaned from Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn
  • What Huck Finn teaches us about how to meditate
  • Where did the phrase “Dharma Bums” come from
  • What are thoughts on poetry as a pebble in a pond making rings that go out forever
  • How Ernest Hemingway writes like Japanese Haiku poets
  • What is our misconception regarding Haiku poetry
  • How Virginia Woolf’s genius of observation is unsurpassed in literature
  • How Woolf takes us to boundless beingness and empty awareness and luminous openness
  • How Dr. Suess’ first reader, Cat in the Hat, a lesson in Buddhist iconography
  • Why Sluyter compares Cat in the Hat with Caravaggio’s painting of Calling of St. Matthew
  • What are some chaos makers in film and literature
  • How the liberating travels of Gautama Buddha can be compared to Huck Finn’s 

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 4/1/2022  Program Number: 3755

Music Playlist

From Album: Himalayan Nights
Artist: Agni & Howard
1997 Clarity Sound & Light #CSL 02

Opening Essay: Track 01 Dhaulagiri
Music Break 1: Track 02 Annapurna
Music Break 2: Track 03 Kangchenjunga
Music Break 3: Track 04 Nanga Parbat