Why practice Zen? What sets Zen apart from religion? What are its different practices?
These questions, and more, are examined and answered by Zen Master Koun Yamada, whose Dharma heirs include Robert Aitken, Ruben Habito, and David Loy. Through compelling stories and a systematic approach, he guides the reader through creating and sustaining a lifelong practice. Warm and ecumenical in tone, Koun uses the insights of Zen to bring a deeper understanding of faith.
Zen: The Authentic Gate is an easy-to-follow guide to creating an effortless and natural practice regardless of background, tradition, or religion.
—Master Kido Inoue
To fully understand the meaning of the Heart Sutra, one cannot simply follow, or have faith in what it is says, without detailed analysis. The Heart Sutra cannot be fully grasped with pure intellect alone. Practicing the True Way requires you to throw away all things and to forget the ego.
When the words are approached with both the mind and the heart, its full understanding will naturally be revealed through practice. Because of this, the guidance of a real Dharma Master (or Roshi)—such as Master Kido Inoue—is required. Here, he shares his teachings in a straightforward and honest fashion.
Eminent Nuns is an innovative interdisciplinary work that brings together several of these important seventeenth-century trends. Although Buddhist nuns have been a continuous presence in Chinese culture since early medieval times and the subject of numerous scholarly studies, this book is one of the first not only to provide a detailed view of their activities at one particular moment in time, but also to be based largely on the writings and self-representations of Buddhist nuns themselves. This perspective is made possible by the preservation of collections of discourse records (yulu) of seven officially designated female Chan masters in a seventeenth-century printing of the Chinese Buddhist Canon rarely used in English-language scholarship. The collections contain records of religious sermons and exchanges, letters, prose pieces, and poems, as well as biographical and autobiographical accounts of various kinds. Supplemental sources by Chan monks and male literati from the same region and period make a detailed re-creation of the lives of these eminent nuns possible.
Beata Grant brings to her study background in Chinese literature, Chinese Buddhism, and Chinese women s studies. She is able to place the seven women, all of whom were active in Jiangnan, in their historical, religious, and cultural contexts, while allowing them, through her skillful translations, to speak in their own voices. Together these women offer an important, but until now virtually unexplored, perspective on seventeenth-century China, the history of female monasticism in China, and the contributionof Buddhist nuns to the history of Chinese women s writing."
The foundation of Zen is the practice of zazen, or mediation, and Aitken Roshi insists that everything flows from the center. He discusses correct breathing, posture, routine, teacher-student relations, and koan study, as well as common problems and milestones encountered in the process. Throughout the book the author returns to zazen, offering further advice and more advanced techniques. The orientation extends to various religious attitudes and includes detailed discussions of the Three Treasures and the Ten Precepts of Zen Buddhism.
Taking the Path of Zen will serve as orientation and guide for anyone who is drawn to the ways of Zen, from the simply curious to the serious Zen student.