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.
Zen rituals—such as chanting, bowing, lighting incense before the Buddha statue—are ways of recognizing the sacredness in all of life. A ritual is simply a deliberate and focused moment that symbolizes the care with which we should be approaching all of life, and practicing the Zen liturgy is a way of cultivating this quality of attention in order to bring it to everything we do. Here, John Daido Loori demystifies the details of the Zen rituals and highlights their deeper meaning and purpose. We humans are all creatures of ritual, he teaches, whether we recognize it or not. Even if we don’t make ritual part of some religious observance, we still fall into ritual behavior, whether it be our daily grooming sequence or the way we have our morning coffee and paper. We run through our personal rituals unconsciously most of the time, but there is great value to introducing meaningful symbolic rituals into our lives and to performing them deliberately and mindfully—because the way we do ritual affects the way we live the rest of our lives. The book includes instructions for a simple Zen home liturgy, as it is practiced by students of the Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen.
A treasury of the most notable, profound, and thought-provoking Buddhist-inspired writing published in the last year.
The Best Buddhist Writing 2012 includes:
Conflict is going to be a part of your life—as long as you have relationships, a job, or dry cleaning to be picked up. Bracing yourself against it won’t make it go away, but if you approach it consciously, you can navigate it in way that not only honors everyone involved but makes it a source of deep insight as well. Seasoned mediator Diane Hamilton provides the skill set you need to engage conflict with wisdom and compassion, and even—sometimes—to be grateful for it. She teaches us how to:Cultivate the mirror-like quality of attention as your base Identify three personal conflict styles and determine which ones you fall into Recognize the three fundamental perspectives in any conflict situation and learn to inhabit each of them Turn conflicts in families, at work, and in every kind of interpersonal situation into win-win situations Her unique approach unites Zen wisdom and Integral Spirituality with her own story and her experiences as a professional mediator in a way that shows you how to look at conflict in a new way: as an essentially spiritual practice.
For anyone curious about the teachings of Buddha and modern Buddhist practice, Tell Me Something about Buddhism offers the perfect introduction. Written by Soto Zen priest Zenju Earthlyn Manuel and organized in an easy-to-use Question and Answer format, this brief book answers the many common questions people have about Buddhism, everything from who was Buddha to why do monks, nuns, and priests shave their heads.
Manuel, who was been involved in Buddhist practice for over twenty years, after an L.A. upbringing in an African-American Christian church, intertwines throughout the book her personal experiences as one of the first African-American Zen priests. Her life in the Sangha, her teaching in local communities, and her travels around the world meeting other Buddhist practitioners enliven her answers to the most fundamental questions about Buddhist practice. She writes, "Had I not opened myself to the many teachings from the earth, such as Buddha's wisdom, it would have been nearly impossible to survive the fires of my soul." Included are about 20 illustrations by the author in charcoal-and-pencil style.