Original Dwelling Place: Zen Buddhist Essays

Overview

Just as Taking the Path of Zen is the definitive handbook for Zen practice, the essays gathered in Original Dwelling Place are essential for the light they shed on Aitken Roshi's own journey and the effect he has had on American Zen Buddhism. Gathered here are essays about the Zen texts Aitken has studied with avidity and close attention throughout the years, texts that were early and lasting influences. In an opening section entitled "Ancestors," Aitken pays homage to the masters who influenced his own ...
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Overview

Just as Taking the Path of Zen is the definitive handbook for Zen practice, the essays gathered in Original Dwelling Place are essential for the light they shed on Aitken Roshi's own journey and the effect he has had on American Zen Buddhism. Gathered here are essays about the Zen texts Aitken has studied with avidity and close attention throughout the years, texts that were early and lasting influences. In an opening section entitled "Ancestors," Aitken pays homage to the masters who influenced his own development and Zen Buddhism generally. In other meditations, Robert Aitken writes on political revolution and matters of ethics. He helps illuminate the proper use of money, power, and sexual love in a modern world that is often tainted by materialism and decadence. He reflects on death, on marriage, and on Zen practice, always pointing out the path to pleasure in the everyday 'dewdrop' world.
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Editorial Reviews

Larry Smith
...[A] diverse collection of...essays [etc.] on Zen Buddhist figures and topics....[Its] core task [is] to "take up Buddhism as a religion of infinite compassion"....Robert Aitken confirms in his practice and his words that Buddhism is a transforming practice.
Parabola
Library Journal
Aitken, the first American Zen Roshi (master) and, since 1959, a teacher at the Diamond Sangha in Hawaii, continues to be one of the most articulate American presenters of Zen Buddhism. This collection of some of his previously published essays clearly shows why he has this reputation. In the first section, entitled "Ancestors," Aitken offers a marvelous look into his own spiritual development as he recalls some of the important things about his early teachers. In the second section, "The Classical Discourses," Aitken discusses three important Zen texts, including the Brahma Viharas, or "Four Noble Attitudes of Conduct." Though the texts may be unfamiliar to many, Aitken provides enough background to lead even the casual reader to a deeper understanding of their meaning and their importance in Zen. In the remaining two sections, "Practice" and "Taking Pleasure in the Dharma," Aitken discusses such diverse topics as koans, marriage, money, and "Wallace Stevens and Zen." -- David Bourquin, California State University, San Bernardino
Library Journal
Aitken, the first American Zen Roshi (master) and, since 1959, a teacher at the Diamond Sangha in Hawaii, continues to be one of the most articulate American presenters of Zen Buddhism. This collection of some of his previously published essays clearly shows why he has this reputation. In the first section, entitled "Ancestors," Aitken offers a marvelous look into his own spiritual development as he recalls some of the important things about his early teachers. In the second section, "The Classical Discourses," Aitken discusses three important Zen texts, including the Brahma Viharas, or "Four Noble Attitudes of Conduct." Though the texts may be unfamiliar to many, Aitken provides enough background to lead even the casual reader to a deeper understanding of their meaning and their importance in Zen. In the remaining two sections, "Practice" and "Taking Pleasure in the Dharma," Aitken discusses such diverse topics as koans, marriage, money, and "Wallace Stevens and Zen." -- David Bourquin, California State University, San Bernardino
Larry Smith
...[A] diverse collection of...essays [etc.] on Zen Buddhist figures and topics....[Its] core task [is] to "take up Buddhism as a religion of infinite compassion"....Robert Aitken confirms in his practice and his words that Buddhism is a transforming practice. -- Parabola
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781887178419
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 4.98 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 5
Nyogen Senzaki 7
Remembering Soen Roshi 15
Remembering Blyth Sensei 23
Openness and Engagement 27
The Legacy of Dwight Goddard 32
The Brahma Viharas 47
Emmei Jikku Kannon Gyo 54
The Virtue of Abuse 69
The Way of Dogen Zenji 79
Ultimate Reality and the Experience of Nirvana 86
Ritual and Makyo 97
Koans and Their Study 103
Marriage as Sangha 115
Death: A Zen Buddhist Perspective 119
The Path Beyond No-Self 131
Envisioning the Future 138
The Experience of Emptiness 153
Brahmadanda, Intervention, and Related Considerations 160
About Money 171
Herald Birds 179
Wallace Stevens and Zen 188
Play 194
Uphill Downhill 198
Notes 205
A Glossary of Buddhist Names, Terms, and Usages 225
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