The Way of Zen
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Here is something quite unfamiliar to the West, something which will appeal strongly to all who are trying to find deeper reality in life than philosophy and conventional religion can express. Historically, Zen is an aspect of Buddhism, but in itself it is so vital and elusive that it escapes definition. To be understood it must be lived. As a way of life it is the highest achievement of the Chinese spirit and the inspiration of its greatest art. Through Zen, Chinese culture reinforms our own with new meaning and offers us altogether new possibilities in a world of change. Contents Include: The Origins of Zen The Secret of Zen The Technique of Zen Life in a Zen Community Zen and the Civilization of the Far East
The Way of Zen begins as a succinct guide through the histories of Buddhism and Taoism leading up to the development of Zen Buddhism, which drew deeply from both traditions. It then goes on to paint a broad but insightful picture of Zen as it was and is practiced, both as a religion and as an element of diverse East Asian arts and disciplines. Watts's narrative clears away the mystery while enhancing the mystique of Zen. Since the first publication of this book in 1957, Zen Buddhism has become firmly established in the West. As Zen has taken root in Western soil, it has incorporated much of the attitude and approach set forth by Watts in The Way of Zen, which remains one of the most important introductory books in Western Zen.
There is a fine art to presenting complex ideas with simplicity and insight, in a manner that both guides and inspires. In Taking the Path of Zen Robert Aitken presents the practice, lifestyle, rationale, and ideology of Zen Buddhism with remarkable clarity. 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.
Zen is probably the most well known yet misunderstood version of Buddhism in the West. The Spirit of Zen presents the most basic principles and practices of Zen in a simple yet authentic fashion. The Spirit of Zen guides you down the path to enlightenment with stories, history and practical guidance from the masters of Zen. Often the stories contained in these teachings are an attempt to shake the student out of his or her complacent accepting of 'things as they are.' By bypassing the ordinary mindset, the often puzzling actions of the Zen master to his students awaken something in them they didn't know they had. This is all part of the attempt of the master to awaken the student to the reality of his or her own being and place in the great scheme of things. By using these radical forms of teaching, the master is jolting the student out of any preconceptions they may have about spiritual attainment. Thus the famous dictum 'If you see the Buddha in the road, kill him.' The stories are arranged according to theme: Gradual Enlightenment, Sudden Enlightenment, Teaching Stories, Paradoxical Teaching, Eccentric Masters etc. Most of them are from traditional sources with some original additions from Taoist expert Solala Towler. The simple yet profound truths of spiritual practice and awakening are often best learned from stories, rather than ponderous dissertation. These stories are profound and illuminating while also being entertaining, contain the kernel or true flavor of Zen.
A fervent, lifelong student of Zen, Alan Watts shows us that it is both an experience — a singular, powerful moment of realization — and a simple way of life, with an awareness that affects every moment of every day. Adopted by mainstream America in a way that carries only a vague association of its roots in Zen Buddhism, Alan Watts makes it clear that any exploration of Zen must understand and embrace its roots as a form of Buddhist practice derived from its Chinese and East Indian sources. Examining the background of Zen in East Indian religion, Watts shows us its evolution through the religion of China. Zen is a synthesis of the contemplative insight of Indian religion and the dynamic liveliness of Taoism as they came together in the pragmatic, practical environment of Confucian China. Watts gives us great insight into the living moment of satori and the release of nirvana, as well as the methods of meditation that are current today, and the influence of Zen culturally in the arts of painting and pottery.
The Zen life depicted by Kerouac's Dharma Bums had a strong appeal for the Beat generation. Alan Watts also saw that the Beat way of life could be described in Zen terms - desire for an unencumbered life beyond social constraints. This text is based on talks given by the author in the 1950s.
Describes, in plain language but without robbing the subject of its provocative subtlety, how one can prepare for a life of Zen.
The author investigates the philosophy, methodology, and cultural manifestations of Zen Buddhism, drawing upon his six years of training in Japan
According to Alan Watts, "Zen taste deplores the cluttering of a picture or of a room with many objects." In that sense, this minimalist book embodies the aesthetic of Zen itself. As with brushstrokes in a Japanese ink painting, the words have been used sparingly and arranged precisely, with no unnecessary detail. In seven brief chapters, Watts captures the essence of Zen Buddhism as a religion and a way of life. He explains fundamental Zen concepts, introduces revered Zen thinkers, places Zen within the broader context of Eastern religion, and traces the influence of Zen in the arts. Illustrated with calligraphy and drawings by the author, this reprint of an old classic will delight fans of Alan Watts, while introducing new readers to a legendary author who infused groundbreaking scholarship with literary brilliance.
A comprehensive, accessible guide to the fascinating history of Zen Buddhism--including important figures, schools, foundational texts, practices, and politics. Zen Buddhism has a storied history--Bodhidharma sitting in meditation in a cave for nine years; a would-be disciple cutting off his own arm to get the master's attention; the proliferating schools and intense Dharma combat of the Tang and Song Dynasties; Zen nuns and laypeople holding their own against patriarchal lineages; the appearance of new masters in the Zen schools of Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and later the Western world. In The Circle of the Way, Zen practitioner and popular religion writer Barbara O'Brien brings clarity to this huge swath of history by charting a middle way between Zen's traditional lore and the findings of modern historical scholarship. In a clear and often funny style, O'Brien parses fact from fiction while always attending to the greatest interest of contemporary practitioners--the development of Zen doctrine and practice as a living tradition across cultures and centuries.
Zen philosophy tells us that the great truth of the universe applies to all things at all times. Every moment of life, from guitar playing to working at the computer, to making love, offers a chance for Zen realization. Just awaken to that truth, Zen masters say; how and where do not matter. Sex offers the same opportunity for enlightenment as anything else. Zen Sex guides readers to the realization of that opportunity with "The Ten Stages of Zen Sex" and "The Six Principles in the Way of Making Love." Philip Sudo reminds our sex-obsessed age that not only is sex a fundamentally spiritual endeavour, it is indeed sacred. This elegant, gorgeous book will appeal not only to Zen practitioners, but to any one looking for enlightenment and spirituality in all aspects of life. Great gift potential. Good for the sex book audience, Zen practitioners and readers looking for meaningful sex. While there are quite a few books that deal with spirituality and sex from the Tantric and Taoist tradition, no other book has brought together Zen and sex. Easy-to-do practices help readers learn and experience Zen sex.
An important figure in the transmission of Zen to America, Dainin Katagiri Roshi (1928-1990) was assistant to the legendary Zen master Suzuki Roshi (author of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind) before founding the Minnesota Zen Center in Minneapolis. Katagiri Roshi was known for his direct, rousing, no-nonsense teaching style, urging his students along with statements like: "You are Buddha, so learn to behave as a Buddha," and "Don't expect enlightenment-just sit down!" In this new book, Katagiri presents Zen Master Dogen's classical teachings on being and time (uji). Most Westerners consider time a commodity or resource, thinking of it as something they can save, spend, make, buy, use, or waste. In Zen, time is considered a creative force and a gateway to freedom. In Each Moment Is the Universe, Katagiri explains time as something internal and integrated with all of life. Time is understood as a dynamic process that continuously produces the universe. Although this may seem like a metaphysical abstraction, in Zen practice this can be perceived through direct experience.
Comprised of Watts’ acclaimed (and never before published) radio transcripts, this remarkable volume offers unique insights. With wit and lucidity, he discusses the nature of the self and the mystery of existence, presenting Zen both from his standpoint as a scholar with a deep understanding of Judeo-Christian traditions and as a Westerner who found meaning in Buddhism.
The Way of True Zen is a compilation of the most influential writings of Master Deshimaru, covering a broad array of Zen and Buddhist related ideas. Explored are such topics as the "Fukanzazengi" (Dogen's instructions on zazen sitting practice), "The Spirit of Zen", and "Hishiryo" (beyond thinking and non-thinking). These are core teachings in Soto Zen, and Deshimaru offers them in a very readable modern dialogue.
Alan Watts helped shape the thinking of a generation through his efforts to introduce and interpret Asian wisdom in the West. This collection of essays and lectures spans his career, from his first essay on Zen Buddhism in 1955 to his final seminar, given only weeks before he died in 1973. The last essay The Practice of Meditation is written and illustrated in his own hand.
Six revolutionary essays exploring the relationship between spiritual experience and ordinary life—and the need for them to coexist within each of us. With essays on “cosmic consciousness” (including Alan Watts’ account of his own ventures into this inward realm); the paradoxes of self-consciousness; LSD and consciousness; and the false opposition of spirit and matter, This Is It and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience is a truly mind-opening collection.