A Sense of Something Greater

Published September 25, 2018

A Zen Teacher’s Insights on the Search for Fulfillment Including Personal Stories of Silicon Valley Professionals

A Sense of Something Greater goes deeper than the current mindfulness trend, into the heart of Zen practice. For Les Kaye, Zen is more than awareness–it’s also “the continued determination to be authentic in relationships, to create meaningful, intimate, intentional bonds with people, things, and the environment.” Kaye’s teachings are paired with interviews with current tech employees and Zen practitioners, conducted by journalist Teresa Bouza. A Sense of Something Greater is an essential book for business leaders,  meditators, and Zen practitioners alike.


Where to find the book

Print copies can be bought online at: Parallax Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound


The Kannon Sangha took on the project of recording the audiobook, with a chapter per member. You can find the book here:


Listen to a sample chapter:

Talk about the book at the San Francisco Zen Center Feb 2 2019


About the Authors

LES KAYE worked for IBM in engineering, sales, and management for over 30 years. He started Zen practice in 1966 and is teacher at Kannon Do Zen Center in Silicon Valley. His first book, Zen at Work, is a classic in its own right.

TERESA BOUZA worked for the Wall Street Journal as well as Spain’s global news agency EFE and the Spanish business daily Cinco Días. She received the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford.


A truly surprising, brilliant, and wonderful book, reading it, suddenly you see that there is something greater that is before us, right here, right now. Les Kaye and co-author Teresa Bouza reveal up a different kind of mind (and heart) in the midst of Silicon Valley and of our lives. This marvelous book is not only about the search for balance but for meaning in the midst.

 — Joan Halifax, abbot of Upaya Zen Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Zen meditation may call forth images of Japanese rock gardens and old monasteries, but Les Kaye places it naturally in the midst of twenty-first-century urban American life. Using interviews with individual practitioners by Teresa Bouza, A Sense of Something Greater vividly illustrates how this simple practice can offer remarkable clarity and ease to those who work in competitive, high-tech, high-stress settings.
 — Kazuaki Tanahashi, Painting Peace at a Time of Global Crisis
A warm, remarkably intimate introduction to a spiritual community in the heart of Silicon Valley. Through personal interviews with the community’s members, we meet the real people of the Valley, as they struggle to find their bearings in the fast lane of the high tech world; through the wise counsel of the community’s leader, Les Kaye, we are welcomed into the ancient tradition of Soto Zen, where meditation is our most natural act and spiritual practice is its own reward.
 — Carl Bielefeldt, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Stanford University

Review from Publishers Weekly

Kaye, abbot of Kannon Do Zen Meditation Center in Mountain View, Calif., and journalist Bouza provide teachings for integrating the spiritual and ordinary dimensions of life in this guide to Zen for the overworked. Kaye’s teachings emphasize slowing down, letting go of the desire to control, accepting change, and cultivating a nonjudgmental attention to life as it presents itself. His teachings are accompanied by Bouza’s interviews with Silicon Valley executives, engineers, therapists, and teachers who incorporate Zen meditation practices into their daily lives. The interviews offer current and useful perspectives on how Zen practice can be applied to everyday work-life balance problems, focusing primarily on how to practice being content, centered, and connected while also confronted with things, desires, possessions, deadlines that run the risk of corrupting one’s personal balance. Kaye and Bouza’s book is ambitious in scope and wavers frustratingly among three different identities:  an investigation of the relationship between work and spiritual life, a portrait of the Zen movement in California, and a book of Zen teachings. However, by situating these insightful teachings and interviews in the world of Silicon Valley, they offer a useful and compassionate spiritual salve for those in stressed work environments.