A Guide to Zen: Lessons from a Modern Master [NOOK Book]

Overview

Very few masters of Zen have been writers; very few writers about Zen have been masters. Katsuki Sekida was both. His finest work, Zen Training, remains one of the most comprehensive books on Zen ever written in English. In A Guide to Zen, Marc Allen, a former student of Sekida, presents selections of the original work to produce a beautifully readable, brilliant guide to Zen meditation. Includes a summary of Zen and a complete course in Zen meditation, with specific practices and commentaries on higher states of...
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A Guide to Zen: Lessons from a Modern Master

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Overview

Very few masters of Zen have been writers; very few writers about Zen have been masters. Katsuki Sekida was both. His finest work, Zen Training, remains one of the most comprehensive books on Zen ever written in English. In A Guide to Zen, Marc Allen, a former student of Sekida, presents selections of the original work to produce a beautifully readable, brilliant guide to Zen meditation. Includes a summary of Zen and a complete course in Zen meditation, with specific practices and commentaries on higher states of consciousness and on a classic series of Zen pictures.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For Sekida, the attainment of samadhi, a "state in which the activity of consciousness-including all thought-ceases and absolute... stillness reigns," is intimately tied to one's body. The early chapters of this book, a condensed and edited version of Sekida's 1975 classic Zen Training, are devoted to detailed descriptions of practical concerns for the Zen student, such as breathing techniques and posture during meditation. By developing physical tension in a region of the abdomen known as the tanden (traditionally believed to be the center of human spiritual power) via these techniques, one generates a certain strong mental concentration, which, Sekida asserts, "ultimately proves to be spiritual power." He then turns his attention to teasing out subtly different states of samadhi, and a provocative discussion of "pure existence" itself. Finally, he offers a commentary on a time-honored piece of Zen literature, "In Search of the Missing Ox," a series of pictures symbolizing one's progress through Zen training. Here, Sekida shines: his descriptions focus first on each picture's general figurative lesson, then on how the picture serves as a specific demarcation of one's actual practice of Zen meditation. These descriptions, and Sekida's style overall, are simple and elegant, but the early portions of the book are too detailed for an introductory guide: discussions of the "expiratory reserve volume" (and the like) of one's breathing patterns beg the assistance of a teacher. (Oct. 23) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608681723
  • Publisher: New World Library
  • Publication date: 1/15/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 144
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Katsuki Sekida (1903—1987) began his Zen practice in 1915 and trained at the Empuku-ji Monastery in Kyoto and the Ryutaku-ji Monastery in Mishima, Japan, where he had deep experience of samadhi early in life. He became a high school teacher of English until his retirement, then he returned to a full-time study of Zen.

He taught at the Honolulu Zendo and Maui Zendo from 1963 to 1970 and at the London Zen Society from 1970 to 1972. Then he produced his two great works, both published in America and Japan by Weatherhill, Inc., Zen Training in 1975 and Two Zen Classics in 1977.
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