You could call him the first patriarch of Zen in America, and American he is. The beauty of Awakening to Zen
is Philip Kapleau's attention to the concerns of a Western seeker. Using examples as diverse as Vladimir Horowitz, the Rocky Mountains, and a common wristwatch, Kapleau answers questions about Zen in a compassionate, readily accessible way. His decades as head of an American Zen monastery, not to mention his broad-reading and sharp intellect, yield an abundance of valuable guidance for a Westerner who struggles with Zen's foreignness.
From Library Journal
This book would be a significant addition to any library for three reasons. First, it is a collection of teachings on Zen (previously published but in specialized works without broad exposure) by Kapleau, whose Three Pillars of Zen (LJ 6/1/66) became a classic. Second, the wide range of subjects covered makes it especially useful for understanding the perspective of Zen on several issues of great interest, including sex, drugs, dying, our relationship with animals, and common impediments to Zen practice. Third, Kapleau's presentation of Zen concepts and their implications is so interestingly and clearly done that the reader is able to understand some basic but complex Zen concepts. Major points are illustrated by stories, examples, or koans, which make for engaging reading. Highly recommended for any library wishing to enrich its collection on Zen Buddhism.?David Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernadino
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