The Secret Book of Zen: Background, Practice and Instructions

The Secret Book of Zen: Background, Practice and Instructions
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Every path of spiritual discipline worth exploring has fundamental similarities, things that are common and even identical, once you learn to take these paths out of the context of religion and return them to their proper places as symbolic maps of the span of human experience and potential. The idea of embracing emotional and psychic nonattachment as a means of self-liberation is found in just about every religious text, as well as being the most major teaching in the Magickal and Mystical spiritual paths.

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Cultivating a constant, and authentic, state of nonattachment would allow a Godlike ability to calmly take the reins of reality and guide it towards your own self-realized Destiny. If action needs to be taken, it can be executed without wrapping the emotions around any part of the process, but remaining an objective observer of reality rather than a slave to it. This sort of contemplation running in the background of the consciousness on an ongoing basis establishes you as the unmoved center of existence, all things shifting and changing around you, in the periphery of your silent, calm, and focused power.

This much is obvious, since nonattachment is indeed the absence of all struggle.

The Best Zen Quotes

Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Jan Hendriksson ist spiritueller Meister und Lehrer in der Share. Kindle App Ad. Look inside this book. The Secret Book of Zen: Background, Practice and Instructions by [Hendriksson, Jan. The Secret Book of Zen: Background, Practice and Instructions eBook: Jan Hendriksson: Kindle Store.

Even in work, in suffering, in play, and in battle, the Adept does not connect emotionally or psychically with any current, past, or projected event. Instead, he is fully present in the present, fully engaged with The Vision that he is materializing in his reality. If needed, water will wait for centuries, silently and without any announcement corroding its obstacles. Water will even transmute itself into another state entirely, being lifted into the heavens, only to summon itself back into existence anywhere that it chooses. There is now a revised edition, by Stephen Hodge, which for all I know may fill in the gaps.

As it was, I was rather put off by Teach Yourself Zen. It all felt chicken-and-egg. In the s, his name was closely associated with Zen that it seemed to me he was Zen. Yet he presented a Zen that to me, as a complete beginner, was something unimaginably alien. However playful it all seemed, I was always an outsider looking in on these stories, vaguely aware that the joke was on me.

In the UK there really was not all that much Buddhism outside London in the s, and what there was very hard to find. In the end, it was at University that I met the first teachers able to show me how to meditate, and bought books that explained something I could understand and work with. This happened to me in the context of the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, and consequently the first books I read on Buddhism that I found remotely helpful were not Zen books.

430 Zen Quotes That Will Make You Feel Peaceful

Those confusing encounter dialogues, so beloved of DT Suzuki, were few, and the book was full of wonderfully direct, common sense about meditation practice. Even now, I find that this book has a depth to it that is refreshing every time I look at it.

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As I explained above, this is not something that we would be able to do, only the Takumakai, or the heirs of Hisa Sensei, would be legally able to do so. Religion and society. Other Zen-teachers have also expressed sudden insight followed by gradual cultivation. Let me introduce Aiki Budo techniques in a usable form for female self-defense and show you how they work through photographs. The fifth patriarch Daman Hongren — , and his dharma-heir Yuquan Shenxiu ?

However, I was doing it in a way that felt as if meditation was very much a means to an end, rather than being an expression of an end in itself. So here was a book that challenged me to re-examine what I was doing during meditation and to think about my practice in new ways. Other works by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi are now in print.


Thus, generally speaking, books of this kind do not give detailed instructions on how to sit. Nor do they explain exactly what to do in a zendo. These are things one is expected to learn in person at a Zen centre. On the other hand, these books demand no specialist knowledge from the reader, as a rule.


Anyone with an open mind might get something from them. Over the years, the talks of many Zen and other Buddhist teachers have become readily available in this format. As well as being a translator, Leggett held an eighth Dan black belt in Judo. As one would expect of a martial artist, his writing style and the selections translated in his books, were practice focused.

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However, like Humphreys and DT Suzuki, Leggett had a tendency to present Zen as somewhat out of reach, geographically, culturally and, some extent even, historically. So, I imagine these books are not for everyone. It is a book that does discuss zazen. Both books contain material from both the Soto and the Rinzai traditions.

The Mind of Clover is a collection of essays covering the ten grave precepts taken in the Jukai ceremony.

It also explores other themes relating to social engagement from a Zen perspective. Robert Aitken has remained one of my favourite modern writers on Zen. I immediately liked his fluidly authentic and authoritative style of writing.

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His explanations of Zen practice, and his uncompromising radicalism when addressing environmental and social issues, are lucid and engaging. I would recommend his book, Taking the Path of Zen , as one of the best introductions of Zen practice on the market. It is hard to imagine how it could be bettered, in my opinion.

There may be no substitute for learning meditation practice face to face with an instructor, but this book leaves nothing out. Nevertheless, I do remember wishing that I could have found it a few years earlier.