Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Zen Meditation in Plain English

Zen Meditation in Plain English

4.5 2
by John Daishin Buksbazen, Peter Matthiessen (Foreword by)

See All Formats & Editions

An excellent, practical introduction to Zen meditation. Written in a warm and easily accessible style, this book appeals to anyone with an interest in meditation, Zen, or, as is often the case today, a combination of the two. The book emphasizes the importance of receiving good instruction and of finding groups to practice with, yet it lays out the necessary steps to


An excellent, practical introduction to Zen meditation. Written in a warm and easily accessible style, this book appeals to anyone with an interest in meditation, Zen, or, as is often the case today, a combination of the two. The book emphasizes the importance of receiving good instruction and of finding groups to practice with, yet it lays out the necessary steps to practice Zen meditation on your own. The book includes easily followed exercises to help the reader along. For anyone looking to uncover a clear and insightful path into the philosophy and practice of Zen meditation, this book represents the culmination of that search.

Editorial Reviews

Brian Bruya
"The jolt of confidence you get when discussing a day's performance with a seasoned veteran can take any activity to a higher level. In his concise and informative Zen Meditation in Plain English, meditation veteran John Daishin Buksbazen gives detailed directions for each step of Zen-style meditation, from getting into the different postures and developing breath concentration, all the way up to intensive training periods. His focus is on getting the fundamentals right. He also offers a rare introduction to the importance and mechanics of group practice and a well-selected Frequently Asked Questions" section at the end. While Buksbazen repeatedly says that there is no substitute for a good teacher, until you find one, Zen Meditation in Plain English will do nicely."
Dennis Gempo Merzel Roshi
"John Buksbazen's book is an authentic presentation of a universal and timeless teaching, particularly valuable because of the practical clarity and warmth of its style."
John Daido Loori
"Here is a lucid guide to the first step of any serious spiritual journey. All of the usual fat that accompanies works of this type has been trimmed away, leaving the bones and marrow--the essentials that any new practitioner needs to know to enter the way."
New York Resident
"An engaging introduction to bringing Zen meditation to a contemporary lifestyle. Comprehensive and step-by-step, the book also puts this practice into its proper historic and theological place. Thus, the book offers twin streams of thought that will enchant those seeking physical ease and those who wish to understand the basic foundations of the Zen Buddhist way. Buksbazen spices his book with light humor, recognizing questions and concerns that some people may not feel comfortable openly addressing (falling asleep, getting 'addicted' to meditation) and noting ways the Zen mind can put oomph into even boring chores. Buksbazen never hard-sells his faith to the reader but rather outlines its basic tenets and allows the reader to respond based on individual disposition."
Bernie Glassman
"Clear, simple and well grounded in years of experience, Daishin's book is a real gift to anyone interested in Zen practice."
Robert Aitken
"John Daishin Buksbazen has brought the practice of Zen home to us all. It is as simple as stretching exercises, as intimate as counting the breaths, as uncomplicated as accepting one's self, as ordinary as enjoying one's friends."
Publishers Weekly
Buksbazen, a psychotherapist who was ordained a Zen priest in 1968 and is affiliated with the Zen Center of Los Angeles, offers practical and down-to-earth advice about the specifics of Zen meditation. He begins by encouraging readers to get involved with meditation and not just read books about Buddhism: "After all, cookbooks are fun to read, but... they are most helpful to somebody who is actually involved in cooking." The bulk of this short primer is concerned with introducing the basics of zazen, or seated meditation: how to position the body, particularly the legs; how and when to breathe; what to think about. Helpful diagrams illustrate the full lotus, Burmese, kneeling (seiza) and other positions. Buksbazen even provides a "zazen checklist" to help beginners remember all of the steps involved in zazen, which as he notes is more difficult than it appears. What distinguishes this book from any number of Zen self-help books is its final section, which focuses on community. Arguing that "true Zen practice cannot be fully experienced in all its diversity and richness by just one person alone," Buksbazen builds a strong case for the powerful effect of being involved with a community of other practitioners. He follows this ideological argument with concrete information about group practice, including meditation retreats and other intensive training periods. In all, this is a fine introduction to Zen meditation practice, grounded in tradition yet adapted to contemporary life. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Wisdom Publications MA
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.88(h) x 0.44(d)

Meet the Author

Sensei Daishin was born in London, England, to a Jewish-Christian family of Eastern European backgrounds. He began Zen practice in Philadelphia in 1967, receiving both lay and Priest ordination in the Korean Chogye Order of Zen from the Venerable Seo Kyung-bo. He later practiced with (then) Maezumi Sensei at the Zen Center of Los Angeles (ZCLA), where he was in residence until 1979. He served as pastoral counselor, and was publishing editor of the ZCLA Journal and the Zen Writings Series. In 1999, Daishin renewed his Priest vows with Sensei Yoshin Jordan, and returned to ZCLA to study with Roshi Egyoku. In 2003 he received Preceptor Transmission and was empowered as Dharma Holder, and subsequently received Dharma Transmission in June 2008. Sensei Daishin has a PsyD in Psychology from the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute. He is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private clinical practice. He leads an affiliated sitting group, the Ocean Moon Sangha, in Santa Monica and teaches Buddhist psychology and zazen to mental health professionals. Daishin is the author of To Forget the Self and Zen Meditation in Plain English (Wisdom, 2002) and is co-editor with Roshi Egyoku of the On Zen Practice collection). He is married to Concetta Getsuren Alfano, a Zen practitioner, psychoanalyst and co-founder of the Center for Mindfulness and Psychotherapy. Daishin has one son.

Peter Matthiessen is a three-time National Book Award-winning American novelist and nonfiction writer, as well as an environmental activist. His nonfiction has featured nature and travel, as in The Snow Leopard, or American Indian issues and history, as in his detailed study of the Leonard Peltier case, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. He lives with his wife in Sagaponack, New York.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Zen Meditation in Plain English 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had never practiced any form of meditation and this book is a perfect guide of how and why. Quick and easy informal read. I only wish it went into more detail on Zen itself but of course that isn't the books goal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago