David Landis Barnhill is Director of Environmental Studies and Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. He is the coeditor (with Roger S. Gottlieb) of Deep Ecology and World Religions: New Essays on Sacred Ground, also published by SUNY Press, and the editor of At Home on the Earth: Becoming Native to Our Place: A Multicultural Anthology.
Listen, for instance, to Chiyojo, who worked in what has been long thought of as the dark age of haiku during the eighteenth century, but who composed exquisitely fine poems tracing the smallest workings of nature. Or Katsuro Nobuko, who wrote powerfully erotic poems when she was widowed after only two years of marriage. And here, too, is a voice from today, Mayuzumi Madoka, whose meditations on romantic love represent a fresh new approach to haiku.
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.