The Heart of Being: Moral and Ethical Teachings of Zen Buddhism

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The Buddhist Precepts are the vows taken as an initiation into Buddhism and reflect the Buddha's teachings on a wide range of social and moral issues. In The Heart of Being acclaimed Zen master John Daido Loori provides a modern interpretation of these precepts and explains the traditional precept ceremony, known as jukai. He also offers commentary on Master Dogen's own instructions about the precepts and discusses the ethical significance of these vows both within the context of formal Zen training and as ...
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The Heart of Being: Moral and Ethical Teachings of Zen Buddhism

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Overview

The Buddhist Precepts are the vows taken as an initiation into Buddhism and reflect the Buddha's teachings on a wide range of social and moral issues. In The Heart of Being acclaimed Zen master John Daido Loori provides a modern interpretation of these precepts and explains the traditional precept ceremony, known as jukai. He also offers commentary on Master Dogen's own instructions about the precepts and discusses the ethical significance of these vows both within the context of formal Zen training and as guidelines for living an enlightened life. This is an important text not only for those studying Buddhism but for all of us struggling to navigate the dilemmas of our modern lives. As Daido Loori demonstrates, the Buddha's teachings can serve as a true moral compass to wise, compassionate, and "right" action.
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Editorial Reviews

Damien Keown
...[T]he book is to be welcomed as a useful contribution to the field of Buddhist ethics and as a generally sound guide for practitioners of Zen. — Journal of Buddhist Ethics
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
What does it mean to become a Zen Buddhist? How does one enter the way? What kind of training is required? To answer such questions, few are better equipped than Loori, abbot of the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Tremper, N.Y., and founder and director of the Mountains and River Order of Zen Buddhism. Loori offers an explanation of the Buddhist precepts, or vows taken as an initiation into Buddhism, together with a commentary on the classic instructions of Master Dogen concerning moral and ethical behavior. From examinations of the Buddhist concepts of the Koan to Zazen, Loori's clarity is exceptional, and his ability to frame the discussion for contemporary Americans is striking in its utility. In a year of so many exceptional Buddhist publications, Loori's book is a welcome introduction to what it takes to enter Dharma. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Books on the ethical aspects of Zen Buddhism are infrequently offered, and Loori (Two Arrows Meeting in Mid-Air, LJ 6/15/94), an abbot in a Zen monastery, has written an excellent one. He focuses on how a few fundamental Zen principles contribute to and are applied from within enlightenment. The foundational principles are the Three Treasures (the Buddha; the Dharma, or teachings; and the Sangha, or order of monks and nuns), the Three Pure Precepts (not creating evil, practicing good, actualizing good for others), and the Ten Grave Precepts, which include affirming life, or not killing, and honoring the body, or not misusing sexuality. Loori uses a few selected teachings of Dogen (1200-53, founder of Soto Zen) and Bodhidharma (470-543, credited with taking Buddhism from India to China and Japan) as koans and explores the implication of all this for Zen ethics. An excellent glossary will be helpful for those unfamiliar with Buddhist terms. Because of Loori's thoroughness and clarity, this book is highly recommended for any library needing a book on Zen ethical teachings.David Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernardino
Damien Keown
...[T]he book is to be welcomed as a useful contribution to the field of Buddhist ethics and as a generally sound guide for practitioners of Zen.
Journal of Buddhist Ethics
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882795222
  • Publisher: Dharma Communications
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 237

Meet the Author

Stephen F. Kaufman, Hanshi 10th Dan, holder of the highest rank attainable in the martial arts, is an acknowledged "Founding Father of American Karate." A motivational speaker, self-defense expert, and author, Hanshi Kaufman has studied Eastern philosophy for over forty years. He is the founder of the widely recognized Dojo No Hebi (School of the Snake) and is the author of The Martial Artist's Book of Five Rings, The Shogun Scrolls, and Living Tao. He lives in New York City.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
Pt. I Jukai: The Ceremony of Precepts 1
Introduction: Right Action: Giving Life to the Buddha 2
Ch. 1 Sacred Space: The Heart of Being 11
Ch. 2 Kyojukaimon: Commentary on Master Dogen's Teachings on the Precepts 18
Ch. 3 Invocation: Practicing Buddha 27
Ch. 4 Atonement: Taking Responsibility 35
Ch. 5 Taking Refuge in the Three Treasures: Waking Up 42
Ch. 6 The First Pure Precept: Not Creating Evil 50
Ch. 7 The Second Pure Precept: Practicing Good 63
Ch. 8 The Third Pure Precept: Actualizing Good for Others 75
Ch. 9 The Ten Grave Precepts: Wisdom Mind 82
Ch. 10 The Precepts and the Environment: Teachings of Mountains and Rivers 108
Ch. 11 Verse of the Kesa: The Robe of Liberation 117
Ch. 12 Lineage of the Ancestors: Endless Circle 124
Ch. 13 Dharma Name: Spiritual Identity 128
Ch. 14 The Four Great Bodhisattva Vows: Meticulous Effort 132
Ch. 15 Jukai: Opening Our Eyes 166
Pt. II Koans on Moral and Ethical Teachings 169
Ch. 16 Sexuality: Practicing the Red Thread 170
Ch. 17 Self-Styled Zen: T'ou-tzu's All Sounds 183
Ch. 18 Cause and Effect: Pai-chang and the Fox 193
Ch. 19 Giving: Chin-niu's Thanksgiving 213
Pt. III Questions and Answers 227
Ch. 20 Questions and Answers: From an Evening at the Monastery 228
Glossary 251
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