Art of Just Sitting: Essential Writings on the Zen Practice of Shikantaza / Edition 2

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Shikantaza--or "just sitting"--is one of the simplest, most subtle forms of meditation, and one of the most easily misunderstood. This peerless volume brings together a wealth of writings, from the Buddha himself to Bodhidharma and Dogen and many of modern Zen Buddhism's most influential masters, all pointing directly to the heart of this powerful practice. Edited by one of America's pre-eminent Zen teachers, this book is a rich resource for wisdom seekers and scholars alike.
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Editorial Reviews

Joan Halifax Roshi
"At last a book that brings together writings on the subtlest and most fundamental Zen practice: just sitting. For the first time, now gathered in one volume, we can read 1500 years of the discovery of true path of discovery and realize what it means to be truly present for life as it is. Zen Master Daido Loori has gathered the essence of true meditation into this jewel of a book. We should not miss it."
Professor Francis Dojun Cook
"A valuable collection from an authority on this subtle and profound form of Zen. We have needed a book like this for a long time."
John Daishin Buksbazen
"This is the single most comprehensive treasury of writings on the subject in English. It is likely to remain the most important collection for many years to come. Often misunderstood, the practice of shikantaza is authoritatively presented and carefully examined in two dozen essays by Chinese, Japanese, and American masters, along with an appendix of six seminal classic texts. This volume, spanning the centuries since Shakymuni Buddha to the present day, will prove indispensable to meditators and scholars alike. Roshi John Daido Loori has given us a rare treasure."
"'Just sit' is one of the most commonly heard --and least understood--phrases associated with Zen Buddhism. And yet 'just sitting,' or shikantaza--along with koan practice--is one of the two primary methods of Zen meditation. Zen master John Daido Loori brings together teachings of some of the most prominent ancient and modern teachers, including Dogen Zenji, Shunryu Suzuki, Sheng-yen, and Maezumi. The book also includes an appendix of foundational texts relating to the practice of shikantaza."
John Tarrant
"Wisdom is putting out good, interesting books, and here is one devoted to the meditation of just sitting, edited by John Daido Loori, who has done a fair amount of it. It's a cool book, an anthology drawing from a variety of authors, and it takes the risk of going deep."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861713943
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 7/10/2005
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 717,833
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

John Daido Loori was, until his death in 2009, the spiritual leader and abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Tremper, New York. Trained in koan Zen as well as in the subtle school of Master Dogen's Zen, he was the Dharma heir of Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi Roshi. Devoted to maintaining authentic Zen training, he developed a distinctive style, called the Eight Gates of Zen, based on the noble eightfold path. Drawing on his background as scientist, artist, naturalist, and Zen priest, Abbot Loori was an American master who spoke directly to students from the perspective of a common background. His books include Mountain Record of Zen Talks and The Heart of Being.

Taigen Dan Leighton, Soto Zen priest and successor in the Suzuki Roshi lineage, received Dharma Transmission in 2000 from Reb Anderson Roshi and is Dharma Teacher at Ancient Dragon Zen Gate in Chicago. After residing for years at San Francisco Zen Center and Tassajara monastery, Taigen also practiced for two years in Kyoto, Japan. Taigen is author of Zen Questions: Zazen, Dogen, and the Spirit of Creative Inquiry, Faces of Compassion: Classic Bodhisattva Archetypes and Their Modern Expression, and Visions of Awakening Space and Time: Dogen and the Lotus Sutra. He has edited and co-translated several Zen texts including: Dogen's Extensive Record: A Translation of Eihei Koroku, Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi, Dogen's Pure Standards for the Zen Community, and The Wholehearted Way, and has contributed to many other books and journals. Taigen teaches online at Berkeley Graduate Theological Union, from where he has a PhD. He has taught at other universities including Saint Mary's College, the California Institute of Integral Studies, and in Chicago at Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary and Loyola University Chicago. Taigen has long been active in social justice programs, including Peace and Environmental Activism.

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Table of Contents

Editor's Preface vii
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction: Hongzhi, Dogen, and the Background of Shikantaza 1
Editor's Note 11
Guidepost of Silent Illumination 13
Cultivating the Empty Field 15
Zazengi: Rules for Zazen 19
Fukanzazengi: Universal Recommendations for Zazen 21
Zazenshin: Lancet of Seated Meditation 25
Zazen Yojinki: What To Be Aware of in Zazen 41
Shikantaza 51
The Tenzo Kyokun and Shikantaza 55
The Wholehearted Way 63
No Dualism 67
Commentary on Fukanzazengi 71
How to Sit 95
To Live Is Just to Live 101
To Study the Self 105
On "Silent Illumination" 117
Nanyue Polishes a Tile 127
Yaoshan's Non-Thinking 135
Suzuki Roshi's Practice of Shikantaza 145
A Coin Lost in the River Is Found in the River 149
Just Sitting 155
Will You Sit with Me? 161
Yangshan's State of Mind 167
Appendix Foundational Texts
Satipatthana Sutta: The Foundations of Mindfulness 177
Bloodstream Sermon 187
The Fundamental Expedient Teachings for Calming the Mind That Attains Enlightenment 191
Treatise on the Essentials of Cultivating the Mind 205
The Platform Sutra 219
Jewel Mirror of Samadhi 223
Who's Who 227
Permissions Credits 233
Index 237
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