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The Eight Gates of Zen: A Program of Zen Training Paperback – September 10, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1 edition (September 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570629528
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570629525
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Loori (Riding the Ox Home: Stages on the Path of Enlightenment) is the abbot of the Zen Mountain Monastery in the Catskills, a former photographer and a writer for mainstream Buddhist publications such as Tricycle and Shambhala Sun. As such he is perfectly suited to produce this in-depth Zen training text specifically tailored to the needs of Americans. This volume part map, part manual and part philosophical essay is especially useful for those within a Buddhist community, though a special chapter, "Lotus in the Fire," extends insights toward solo practitioners. Sensitive to Western needs for progress measurement, Loori delineates 10 stages of practice, moving from novice to teacher. The eight "gates" of the title are sitting meditation (zazen); face-to-face meetings between teacher and student; academic study; rituals; morality and ethics as reflected in the Buddhist precepts of behavior; art; the body; and work all extensions and functions of Zen practice. Sufficiently deep, yet clear and easy to read, this has the potential to become a fundamental handbook broadening practice in this country beyond basic zazen and sutra study. It has illustrations, a practical appendix, glossary and a solid reading list geared to the various stages of practice. Ultimately and rightly, Loori paraphrases Gary Snyder, concluding, "Zen is not Japanese and it's not Chinese. It is American. It didn't come from Asia; it has always been here. It is a way of using your mind and living your life and doing it with other people."
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Originally published by Dharma Publications in 1992 as the Zen Mountain Monastery's training manual, this republication introduces a broader audience to the order's eight areas of concentration Zazen, Zen study, academic study, liturgy, right action, art practice, body practice, and work practice. At Zen Mountain, both lay and monk students focus on these spheres through ten stages corresponding to Master K'uo-an's classic Ox-Herding Pictures. Loori, author of the popular Heart of Being and Riding the Ox Home: Stages on the Path of Enlightenment, offers readers still seeking a spiritual way a foretaste of practice devoted to rigorously preserving the core values of Zen while adapting to the realities of its Western expression. Those already following Zen will benefit from many new insights, as well as a translation of Dogen's Mountains and Rivers Sutra, the monastery's daily ritual, a checklist for Zazen, and recommended readings. Recommended for public and academic libraries. James R. Kuhlman, Univ. of North Carolina at Asheville Lib.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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I have read and continue to re-read this book for some twenty years or so.
R. S. Rogers
The book is easy to understand and very clear in explaining how one developes a personal practice in the Zen tradition.
Erich Mopsmeister
I am working my way through this book now and find it a trove of accessible knowledge on Zen.
Joseph Tripoli

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael Kaup on April 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Eight Gates of Zen is an introductory tool for initiates of the Mountains and Rivers order of Zen Buddhism. While The Eight Gates started this way, it has had mass appeal and has been influential to Zen practitioners alike. John Daido Loori Roshi is the current Abbot of this order and this book serves as a framework for the practice. The Eight Gates of Zen contains information about the Mountains and Rivers Order, and information about Zen practice in the Mountains and Rivers Order. Daido uses the classic ten Ox-herding pictures as a tool to elucidate the progress of Zen training from an Initiate to a fully realized Master. While Daido talks about this sequence of "steps" he only uses this as a tool for westerners who hold a compulsion to know where they are in a learning sequence. There are no clear "stages," as the stages seamlessly flow from one to the next as a continuum.
Next Daido discusses what he and the Mountains and Rivers Order call "The Eight Gates" of Zen training. The Eight Gates are:

1. Zazen, the traditional style of Zen meditation.
Zazen, has always been the cornerstone of Zen practice. This conserves the path of extensive meditation practiced by Sakyamuni, who realized himself while in Zazen.

2. Zen Study, face to face teachings between Teacher and Student.
Zen has always been about the "special transmission outside the scriptures, words or letters." Zen holds that this "mind to mind" transmission takes place over the course of training, and to the degree that a fully realized Master holds the same Buddha mind as Sakyamuni himself. This transmission can be traced back from current Zen Masters, through to Sakyamuni.

3.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. S. Rogers on November 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have read and continue to re-read this book for some twenty years or so. I always come back to it because it provides a clear and concise telling of the essence of Buddhism. With just a few carefully chosen words and paragraphs, Daido Roshi clarifies what others have attempted in many pages. But the primary focus of this work is indeed the program of Zen practice that Daido Roshi created a Zen Mountain Monastery. However it should be noted that this program translates well to non monastics. It is a practice for everyone. Should you find yourself in search of a path to Zen, this may be it.

I remind myself that Sensei Bonnie Myotai Treace was the editor of the Eight Gates of Zen, and therefore, a good deal of the beauty of this work should be attributed to her.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Erich Mopsmeister on August 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An amazing, step-by-step guide especially written with the novice in mind. The book is easy to understand and very clear in explaining how one developes a personal practice in the Zen tradition. This should be on of the Top 10 books in every Zen Buddhists library and of great interest to all others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Lantz on May 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent book on Zen, Zazen, and Buddha Nature.

An outstanding outline of what it means to truly live Zazen, and the ways and means of discovering what you already are.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the book I read to begin my practice soon after it's release. I've given it as present to many friends as a thoroughly clear entry to Buddhism in the West.
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