By Katsuki Sekida
Edited through Marc Allen
Katsuki Sekida was once either an excellent author and a superb Zen grasp, and his books on Zen are one of the such a lot entire ever written in English. In those pages, his former scholar Marc Allen culls the best items from the unique works to create a fantastically readable, brilliantly illuminating advisor to Zen meditation.
It starts with a precis of Zen, maintains with a whole direction in Zen meditation, and ends with reviews on a Zen vintage, looking for the lacking Ox. particular practices are featured all through, akin to “One-Minute Zazen” and different gemstones which are the results of a life of research. for college students of Zen either new and outdated, Sekida’s teachings are an never-ending resource of perception and knowledge.
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Extra info for A Guide to Zen: Lessons From a Modern Master
It is not achieved in some other, external, heavenly realm. The earth we sit on is rich and fertile, teeming with life and awareness. In Shin Buddhism, we have a type of person called a myokonin. Basically, these are just regular people—often totally uneducated— who express their awakening through the ordinary activities of their lives. Tales of these famous laypeople, usually collected from oral folklore, are an important part of our tradition. One famous myokonin, Saichi, said something similar to Leighton, though in fewer words: O Saichi, where is your Land of Bliss?
And if we are genuine before the Buddha, then our offering, bow, and nembutsu truly touches the heart of reality. Mindfulness of the Land of Bliss I was thinking recently of an important passage in the famous scripture known as the Contemplation of Amida Sutra. According to the story, this sutra was preached to Queen Vaidehi by Shakyamuni Buddha after she was imprisoned by her wicked son Ajatasatru. It is thus significant because it is directed to someone who is (1) a layperson, (2) a woman, and (3) an imprisoned criminal (she had committed the crime of high treason by helping her imprisoned husband survive).
He realized that any practice that strives for individual attainment, individual buddhahood—even practicing the nembutsu—is a possible avenue for further ego attachment. The problem is that we can begin to congratulate ourselves over how many times we’ve said nembutsu, or obsess over whether we should be saying it more,or feel pride that our chanting is so beautiful, and so on. Really, there are an infinite number of ways that the ego can spin traps, and spiritual practice is a fertile area for such foolishness.
A Guide to Zen: Lessons From a Modern Master by Katsuki Sekida