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The Wholehearted Way Paperback – October 15, 1997

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book will take Dogen Zenji's teachings on practice / enlightenment into the 21st century. Uchiyama Roshi's deep devotion, toether with his modern here-and-now understanding, is presented with such clarity and precision by Shohaku Okumura and Taigen Dan Leighton that we enter Dogen Zewji's presence as though in dokusan." —Zenkei Blanche Hartman, Abbess of he San Francisco Zen Center

"A fine introduction to the spirit of Zen, both past and present. Dogen's famous text on Zen practice comes alive in the hands of a modern meditation master…The translation well captures both the sense of Dogen's original text and the clarity and humanity that have made Uchiyama Roshi one of the most attractive Zen teachers today." —Carl Biefeldt, Professor of Religious Studies, Stanford University

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Japanese
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Original edition (October 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080483105X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804831055
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #626,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Eric Arbiter on February 21, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Wholehearted Way", "Opening the Hand of Thought" and From "Zen Kitchen to Enlightenment" I have re-read these books so many times that I think of them as different components of the same work, since the subjects interweave to produce a wonderful fabric of integrated Zen practice viewed from different perspectives. At first glance all of these books might seem "lightweight". I thought so at first because of their covers. Especially "Opening the Hand of Thought- Approach to Zen". It suggests a new-age type of quick fix book about Zen. Nothing could be further from the truth. This was just the book I needed, though I didn't yet know it. Having come to Zen meditation 2 years before reading this book, I was still unclear about meditation (zazen). Many of us reach the point where we realize that we need and want to practice meditation. Then we get to the same point of the monk in Master Dogen's (1200-1250) quote in Fukan Zazen-gi:
"When Yakusan was sitting [in meditation], a monk asked him 'What do you think when you sit?' The master said, 'I think of not thinking.' The monk inquired further, 'How do you think of not thinking?' Yakusan replied, '[by sitting] beyond thinking'".
What is beyond thinking? This is where Uchiyama makes his point of departure, walking us through just this juncture. He describes the movement of the mind and what need be done or not done about it. He even includes a diagram of the action of the mind getting caught up in thoughts and alternatively falling asleep. He speaks of zazen as neither developing thoughts, nor hating them, but releasing them (hence the title Opening the Hand of Thought).
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Format: Paperback
This is a book on Dogen's Bendowa. Commentary by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi. Translated by Shohaku Okamura and Taigen Daniel Leighton. These guys are all masters in thier own right.

The Whole Hearted Way is Dogen's view on the importance of zazen. He gives a short talk followed by answers to questions - probably to his main disciple Ejo. Dogen's dharma talks are often confusing and hard to understand. The biggest reason lies in the fact he was a genius. And partly Due to the fact he lived 800 years ago and dedicated his life to the Bhudda-dharma. Good thing for people like me there is a Zen master like Uchiyama out there.

The commentary by Uchiyama to me is the best part of this book. This isnt a knock on Dogen at all. This book is based on Dogen's Bendowa talk, but it is quite short. After the initial talk by Dogen, Uchiyama makes this book his own. He is down to earth, very funny and highly realized/profound. What more could you ask of a modern day Zen master translating an almost millenia old masterpiece?

Uchiyama doesnt stray from his commentary on the Bendowa. Yet he weaves his own life and zazen experiences into it (its rich in down to earth wisdom from two highly gifted zen masters, cant beat that). He teaches what to aim for in zazen and how to maintain compassion for oneself and the difficulties one may encounter. Uchiyama takes Dogens Bendowa line for line and explains it. He blends his own teachings with it in a way that not only talks of the virtue of zazen, but gives one motivation to continually engage it. Yet Uchiyama doesnt give you a fish and feed you for a day (its not typical motivation). Rather he says heres the ocean, heres your life and heres your zazen. There is no seperation between them. Everything sustains everything.
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This is just about the best, and simplest translation of Dojen's Bendowa I have seen. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in the basic writings of Dogen, and the practice of zazen...
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The organization of the book was exceptional. The commentary did not interfere with the translation, as occurs with many books of this type. One could simply choose to read Bendowa with or without the commentary.
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Kosho Uchiyama speaks from the heart when he comments on Eihei Dogen's Bendowa, an early chapter from his master work, Shobogenzo. This is a teaching that lays the ground work for ending personal suffering.
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This book with it's interpretations and translations gives the reader a better handle on the true nature of Zen. It will help clear out any cobwebs that spiritual explores may encounter along their journey.
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changed many things about how I see myself, the world, and the concept of Nothingness. Would recommend to anyone, for any reason.
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