A Guide to Zen: Lessons from a Modern Master

A Guide to Zen: Lessons from a Modern Master

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by Katsuki Sekida
     
 

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Katsuki Sekida was both a great writer and a great Zen master, and his books on Zen are among the most comprehensive ever written in English. In these pages, his former student Marc Allen culls the finest pieces from the original works to create a beautifully readable, brilliantly illuminating guide to Zen meditation. It begins with a summary of Zen, continues with

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Overview

Katsuki Sekida was both a great writer and a great Zen master, and his books on Zen are among the most comprehensive ever written in English. In these pages, his former student Marc Allen culls the finest pieces from the original works to create a beautifully readable, brilliantly illuminating guide to Zen meditation. It begins with a summary of Zen, continues with a complete course in Zen meditation, and ends with comments on a Zen classic, In Search of the Missing Ox. Specific practices are featured throughout, such as “One-Minute Zazen” and other gems that are the result of a lifetime of study. For students of Zen both new and old, Sekida’s teachings are an endless source of insight and wisdom.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608681716
Publisher:
New World Library
Publication date:
02/05/2013
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
1,307,837
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.60(d)

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From the Publisher
“Simple and elegant.”
Publishers Weekly

"You are suddenly awakened to a new world. . . . You find your true nature within yourself, and at the same time in the external world." — from the book

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