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The Way of True Zen Paperback – June 1, 2002
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About the Author
Born in Saga in 1914, Taisen Deshimaru became a disciple of Master Kodo Sawaki in the 1930s. Kodo Sawaki was one of the most influential Zen masters in 20th-century Japan. He particularly emphasized the importance of zazen practice and was among those masters who opened up the practice to laypeople by organizing sesshin in numerous temples. Unlike most Zen masters, Taisen Deshimaru continued to lead a secular life while following his master's teaching. He received the monk ordination in 1965, shortly before his master's death. In 1967, he came to Europe and settled in Paris to transmit the teaching of Zen. Shortly thereafter, in the 1970s, his mission began to increase in scale. He received dharma transmission from Master Yamada Reirin, head of Eiheiji Temple, and became kaikyosokan (head of Japanese Soto Zen for a particular country or continent) in Europe. He trained many disciples, and was the catalyst for the creation of a multitude of practice centers. He founded the AZI in 1970 and La Gendronniere in 1979. He died in 1982, after having solidly established Zen practice in Europe.
Top Customer Reviews
And as always it comes back to Dogen. Deshimaru precisely puts forth the principles of Dogen to show us exactly the path or whatever it is that allows us to awaken. I felt myself awaken as I read the words exactly as Dogen describes how we awaken in every moment we are in touch with the true dharma . There is a section where Deshimaru desribes the "Eight Ways To Wake Up a Great Person" and you might just as I did after reading it once or twice realize that the "Great Person" he is referring to in these lines just might possibly be you .
I was originally given a copy of this book 4 years ago at an orientation at the New Orleans Zen Temple, it was standard issue back then. The teacher Robert Livingston told us to read it, but more importantly to practice Zazen. Also to pick the book up every now and then, and maybe the concepts would mean more after some time of practice. He was right.
This is not a feel good Zen book, or necessarily easy to understand. However I would say, that to anyone who is serious about the practice of Zazen, it is an invaluable reference guide to the practice.
One of my favorite Deshimaru quotes, "What matters is practicing zazen, not thinking about zazen. If you make the gestures and assume the expressions of an angry man you will become angry. If you assume the posture of wisdom you will become wise. If you make the gestures of reverence, the heart follows."
All of this is, of course, just my opinion, Man.
In the fitness industry you have a wide spectrum - on one end you have Richard Simmons, gimmicky late night ads promising 6 pack abs in 2 minutes with no work, and on the other end you have highly functional training used by Olympic athletes, sports professionals and the rest.
With meditation you have hokey techniques that have you doing ridiculous things with candles, incense and flowers, and then you have the core practices that are simple and beneficial to performance, mood, and other practical applications.
Zazen and Taisen Deshimaru is definitely the latter. Keep in mind this book is not meditation instruction. It is more a discourse and lecture on zazen. I identify very much with his style of speaking and writing - he is clear, simple and direct in his speech. He cuts to the core of things. I find some other zen writers overly complicated, almost like they're trying to impress with their intellect, in comparison.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is an excellent introduction to the Zen of Eihei Dogan and the Soto tradition. I have many books on Zen, but this is particularly clear, I'd go so far to say... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book is profound. Of all the books I own and/or have read on Zen Buddhism there are two books which I will reread over and over again and this book is one of them. Read morePublished 5 months ago by M. Smith
Impressive and Enigmatic.
I was told he was very similar to Gurdjieff. I then proceeded to buy all his available books. Read more