"There is no better book to get you started climbing with the right mindset.”
        —Adam Ondra

First person to climb 5.15c and 5.15d, multiple World-Cup Gold Medalist, first person to flash 5.15a. The GOAT.

Amazon best-seller in 6 categories.

​Barnes & Noble best seller.

“Between the start and finish of every climb, big or small, is a vertical gulf we can see across but never fully chart beforehand. The Zen of Climbing provides a peerless working model of how to embrace the unknown, cross that gulf and come to know the crazy wonderful sorcery of ascent.”
                                                                         —John Long

                            Author of over 40 books, storyteller, stonemaster.

“A skillful and entertaining presentation of aspects of Zen that can make one a better climber and, at the same time, enhance one’s enjoyment of climbing. Top athletes, climbers and others, reveal how these traits improved their performance and led to deeper understanding and appreciation of their craft.”

—John Gill, father of modern bouldering, author, mathematician.

"It may be the single most insightful book about climbing ever written."    —Paul Sagar

          Climber, writer, thinker. Read his review here.

Where to find me:

   Amazon author page





Other books in the series include:

The author hard at work.

The Zen of Climbing

“A skilled and experienced climber, Francis Sanzaro writes about his long-time application of Zen Buddhist mind-training techniques to overcome the difficulties of fear and enhance performance in life-challenging, climbing situations. These same techniques and insights enabled samurai warriors of ancient Japan to live and soldier fearlessly, with simplicity, integrity, clarity of mind, skill, grace, and even kindness. The lesson: we could bring this wisdom not only into climbing and other athletic pursuits but also into modern-day life in all its many aspects.”

—John Baker, Buddhist, meditation teacher, co-founder of the Karma Dzong Meditation Center and Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado; co-editor of Cutting through Spiritual Materialism and The Myth of Freedom.

"If you really want to level up your climbing, want to connect with your every movement on the rock, The Zen of Climbing is essential to creating that experience. It's a book we can all read, learn from, and then revisit time after time.”
                                                                       —Steve Bechtel

Founder of Climb Strong and author of Logical Progression: Using Nonlinear Periodization for Year-Round Climbing Performance.

What do Zen masters, 16th-century Samurai, and Alex Honnold have in common? They are masters of awareness. Climbing is a sport of perception, and our successes and failures are matters of mind as much as body.

Written by life-long climber and philosopher Francis Sanzaro, The Zen of Climbing explores the roots of climbing, delving into sports psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, and Taoism. Awareness, he argues, is the alchemy of climbing, allowing us to merge mental and physical attributes in one embodied whole. Written by the author of the classic The Boulder, this book puts the climber’s mind centre stage.

The Zen of Climbing is part of a series. The previous titles are The Boulder: A Philosophy for Bouldering and Zen of the Wild: A Philosophy for Nature.