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The late Soen Nakagawa was indisputably one of the most influential Renzai Zen masters of our era. (His students, Robert Aitken and Phillip Kapleau, to name only two of the better known, are among the leading American teachers of Zen today.) Endless Vow focuses mostly on the poetic works that Soen Roshi himself suppressed during his lifetime. Nakagawa's classic hybung places him in the great tradition of Japanese Haiku masters. Nakagawa's hybung embodies some of the most powerful states of Renzai Zen. That is to say, this is potent reading: transformative and illuminative. For the general reader, the biographical portrait by Shimano introduces the master in more personal terms. But it is the postscript by Roko Sherry Chayat that introduces the reader to Nakagawa's "wild and crazy teaching" methods. This is an integral book for those who would come to know Soen Roshi's role in the transmission of Zen to America; but it is a must for serious students of Zen.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Japanese
I gave up everything to become a Zen monk. In London I met Sochu Suzuki Roshi, then sub-abbot under Soen Nakagawa of Ryutakuji monastery in Japan. Read morePublished on November 13, 2005 by Kerry Marshall