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Taking the Path of Zen Paperback – January 1, 1982
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“I welcome with great pleasure Robert Aitken Roshi's introduction to Zen practice, Taking the Path of Zen. I feel this will be a valuable source of information and inspiration both for those who have a passing interest in the subject and those who have determined to set out on the path of Zen themselves.
As an American who has trained in Zen practice for many years Aitken Roshi has a special understanding of the problems and questions which plague Western students of Zen. His book will thus be a godsend for people who have sought an introduction to Zen in their own language, free of the foreignisms that cultural differences can produce.
It is my sincere wish that this work will gain the wide readership it so deserves.” ―Yamada Koun Roshi
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Top Customer Reviews
Like the saying goes, "Meditation: it's not what you think," so if you are attracted to Zen but aren't actually sitting zazen, give up the critiquing and dabbling, find a teacher, and get to work. This book helps both in choosing a teacher and in addressing random questions and common pitfalls for the beginning meditator.
Zen, I stumbled on this work by Robert Aitken. By far, Aitken puts into words what many authors have failed to. His easy-to-understand writing style makes what was once an impossible task; putting Zen into a western context, seem natural.
Aitken helps those of us who do not understand Japanese get a glimpse into the world of Zen and
its philosophies. There are many books on the topic, but few offer as much information to the
In addition, Aitken does little to describe why Zen in particular makes sense as a way to approach the world. It is just assumed that Western dualism is a bad thing, that meditation is an excellent way to spend your time, and so on. Aitken's plainspokenness is wonderful, but the book suffers from the lack of any discussion of the underlying rationale (if you can call it that) behind Zen.
On the plus side, some nice stuff about zazen and koan basics, some good discussions of famous stories from the zen tradition. Overall, however, the reader would be much better served by the following:
1) Sekida's book Zen Training (even better than this one for many aspects of sitting meditation and koan study, especially the importance of the tanden);
2) Shunryu Suzuki's book Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (for the overall feel of Zen).
Best of luck!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book that started the journey of decades for me. In clear, concise prose the "Dean of American Zen" lays it out in matter-of-fact clarity. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Roibeárd
Very insightful and well-written. Definitely useful for beginners--intermediate students who need clarification on getting started and "staying on" the path.Published 14 months ago by M.A. Scheffer
I have been interested in the philosophy of Zen for most of my life. Even though I have read and wrote reviews for numerous Zen books, I had never read this one (Taking the Path... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Joseph J. Truncale
Simple, short, wise and deep introduction to Zen. You can feel the integrity of the author in his writing, as well as his intimate knowledge of and passion for Zen. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Jacobo
i bought this for my brother and he is very happy with it. i have no first hand knowledge of it, but he's happy.Published 19 months ago by William J. Price
I bought thsi book about ten years ago when I was first introducing myself to medication.
I found this to be the easiest read ever. Read more