Dainin Katagiri (1928–1990) was a central figure in the transmission of Zen in America. His first book, Returning to Silence, emphasized the need to return to our original, enlightened state of being, and became one of the classics of Zen in America. In You Have to Say Something, selections from his talks have been collected to address another key theme of Katagiri's teaching: that of bringing Zen insight to bear on our everyday experience. "To live life fully," Katagiri says, "means to take care of your life day by day, moment to moment, right here, right now." To do this, he teaches, we must plunge into our life completely, bringing to it the same wholeheartedness that is required in Zen meditation. When we approach life in this way, every activity—everything we do, everything we say—becomes an opportunity for manifesting our own innate wisdom. With extraordinary freshness and immediacy, Katagiri shows the reader how this wisdom not only enlivens our spiritual practice but can help make our life a rich, seamless whole.
About the author
Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1928, Dainin Katagiri was trained traditionally as a Zen teacher. He first came to the United States in 1963, to help with a Soto Zen Temple in Los Angeles. He later joined Shunryu Suzuki Roshi at the San Francisco Zen Center and taught there until Suzuki Roshi’s death in 1971. He was then invited to form a new Zen center in Minneapolis, which, in addition to a monastery in the countryside of Minnesota, he oversaw until his death in 1990. He left behind a legacy of recorded teachings and twelve Dharma heirs. Katagiri is the author of several books, including Returning to Silence and You Have to Say Something.
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