Customer Reviews


33 Reviews
5 star:
 (19)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars if you've set foot on the path ...
This is a Zen book for the beginning Zen practitioner, by which I mean someone who has already decided to try zazen meditation practice and may have been practicing for a few weeks or months. Note I do not say it is for the Zen scholar or the Zen wannabe, but for the person who plants their rear on the cushion every day and wants to know what to do if their feet are...
Published on July 10, 2004 by Ellen Etc.

versus
41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars On taking and follwing
Robert Aitken's book is well worth reading and does offer useful information, but I disagree that it is for people first taking the path. The book is dry. Some see that as no-nonsense, an important quality is such a confusing arena, but it also is uninspiring. It, further, does not focus on what Zen offers, but is more of a how to follow Zen once the decision is...
Published on August 8, 2000


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars if you've set foot on the path ..., July 10, 2004
By 
Ellen Etc. "Garret Books" (Northern California, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Taking the Path of Zen (Paperback)
This is a Zen book for the beginning Zen practitioner, by which I mean someone who has already decided to try zazen meditation practice and may have been practicing for a few weeks or months. Note I do not say it is for the Zen scholar or the Zen wannabe, but for the person who plants their rear on the cushion every day and wants to know what to do if their feet are falling asleep or who's noticing background noise in the mind. If you want to be hip and know "about" Zen, there are flashier books. But as one who had finally tired of reading cookbooks and hungered for the meal, this book pointed me in the right direction (or, at least, ONE right direction) and helps me actually "cook," so to speak.
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen in readable form..., August 26, 1997
By 
nataraj@ix.netcom.com (Bloomfield, New Jersey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Taking the Path of Zen (Paperback)
After reading many books that attempted to explain
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
beginner.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on getting started with Zen, June 29, 2001
By 
Bob P. (Newport Coast, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Taking the Path of Zen (Paperback)
This book is the written form of the introductory speeches given at Aitken's Zendo. It is an excellent book on getting started in Zen. If you haven't yet decided to visit a Zen center or other place where you get instruction, but you want to start sitting and want to kind of know what to expect, this is a great book. It was a welcome change from many books that are a collection of koans, and from the books that are a collection of inspirational stories. This one is very much a how to do it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something more than the sound of one hand clapping..., August 12, 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Taking the Path of Zen (Paperback)
Despite (or perhaps because of) a plethora of books on thesubject, many readers continue to see Zen Buddhism as littlemore than an impenetrable enigma. Robert Aitken cuts through much of this mystery with an elegant guide to the rudiments of contemporary Zen theory and practice. Speaking to much of what is common to all of Buddhism, as well as thinking specific to various schools of Zen, these short essays were originally part of the orientation process at Aitken's Diamond Sangha training centers. He carefully explains both the why and how of basic Zen meditation, appropriate attitudes for Buddhist religious practice, and the ethical implications of this spiritual path - a path which he offers as but one path among many, a path both open to and compatible with other major systems of faith and practice. Chapter by chapter, Taking The Path of Zen demonstrates that which is beyond words by encouraging the reader to directly experience Zen - in Aitken's words, by making it personal.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars On taking and follwing, August 8, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Taking the Path of Zen (Paperback)
Robert Aitken's book is well worth reading and does offer useful information, but I disagree that it is for people first taking the path. The book is dry. Some see that as no-nonsense, an important quality is such a confusing arena, but it also is uninspiring. It, further, does not focus on what Zen offers, but is more of a how to follow Zen once the decision is made. If you think Zen Buddhism gives you liscense to ignore societie's rules and standards, this is a must read. If you want advice on meditation, it is a must read. If you are still considering whether Zen is for you, or you aren't sure what Zen is, look elsewhere first.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "In walking the path you draw no nearer and progress no farther.", September 22, 2010
By 
Konrei "Everything I need is right here" (Boca Raton, Florida and Brooklyn, New York) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Taking the Path of Zen (Paperback)
Robert Aitken-Roshi (1917-2010) was one of the first ordained Western Zen teachers in addition to being a social activist. This is a brief introductory volume for Americans who have decided to take up the Way of Zen and need a starting point. A primer on the bases of practice, this is also a good book for the more experienced practitioner to revisit from time to time as it presents Zen in a clear, concise and accessible (if somewhat erudite) format. Had the book been available when I first developed an interest in Zen in my late teens, my practice would be far more matured today.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated, vague--not the best choice for an introduction to Zen, February 8, 2007
By 
This review is from: Taking the Path of Zen (Paperback)
This book has some valuable basic stuff on zazen, and the prose is clear and pleasant to read, but I was a bit disappointed. Too much of the book is filled with vague, New Age-sounding assertions like "there is no death" or "all things are one," which are not fully supported or explained by the author (by, e.g., reference to the Nikayas or to Nagarjuna). Buddhism, Zen or not, should never be vague in this way.

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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT book for beginners to meditation and a Zen lifestyle, April 23, 2014
By 
This review is from: Taking the Path of Zen (Paperback)
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. It reads like you are having a conversation with the author so it's very easy to understand what he is trying to say. Much of it is kind of an instruction manual on how to meditate and benefit from medication.

This was my first into to meditation and I have referenced it many many times over the last decade.

It really presents the path of zen in the most simple way possible. (Which is kind of the entire point!)

I gave 4 stars because it doesn't delve into the deepness of becoming one with the universe and what not. You will have to figure that out for yourself (again, kind of the point). There is slightly too much anecdotal story telling in it as well. I felt the examples are less for illustrative purposes and more for "You should get these same results" purposes. That was the one drag on thsi book.

But as a guide for a rookie trying to learn how to control breathing and focus on the task at hand, this is the book for you. It has literally been the backbone of my zen journey for ten years.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great instruction., February 18, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Taking the Path of Zen (Paperback)
I'm a newcomer to Zen living and have much to learn. Mr. Aitken explains most things in down to earth language that's reasonably easy for a beginner to understand. This is an entirely different way of looking at everything and not so easy to do...especially when you're in your '60s'. I love the advice, I love the Koans (which I had to look up elsewhere but were made aware of by this book). I am trying very hard to make this an integral part of my life...I can see how it can make one's entire paradigm of life different and better.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to Zen and meditation, June 9, 2009
By 
AJ (College Station, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Taking the Path of Zen (Paperback)
I knew nothing about Zen when I started this book and I was primarily interested in more of a textbook approach to meditation. I was pleased to find that Aitken is very specific in his instructions for meditation: how to sit, how to hold your hands, what to think about (and how not to get frustrated when you find yourself thinking of something else), among others.

I took the book with me to the dentist and found that it calmed me substantially as a reminder to keep breathing. (That is, until the drilling started...) I am definitely using this book to further my meditation practice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Taking the Path of Zen
Taking the Path of Zen by Robert Aitken (Paperback - 1982)
$14.00 $11.34
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.