Taking the Path of Zen

Front Cover
Macmillan, Jan 1, 1982 - Philosophy - 149 pages
14 Reviews
There is a fine art to presenting complex ideas with simplicity and insight, in a manner that both guides and inspires. In Taking the Path of Zen Robert Aitken presents the practice, lifestyle, rationale, and ideology of Zen Buddhism with remarkable clarity.

The foundation of Zen is the practice of zazen, or mediation, and Aitken Roshi insists that everything flows from the center. He discusses correct breathing, posture, routine, teacher-student relations, and koan study, as well as common problems and milestones encountered in the process. Throughout the book the author returns to zazen, offering further advice and more advanced techniques. The orientation extends to various religious attitudes and includes detailed discussions of the Three Treasures and the Ten Precepts of Zen Buddhism.
Taking the Path of Zen will serve as orientation and guide for anyone who is drawn to the ways of Zen, from the simply curious to the serious Zen student.
  

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Review: Taking the Path of Zen

User Review  - Sylvia Kuras - Goodreads

With little knowledge of Zen Buddhism, this introduction makes me want to know, understand, and study more. Aside from that, Robert Aitken had an unusual beginning with Zen and spent his life learning ... Read full review

Review: Taking the Path of Zen

User Review  - Rick Gardner - Goodreads

The problem with some books on Zen is that they focus too much on the dogmatic; when to sit, how to sit, what hand position to make, what gatha to say for what meal. Perhaps if you're planning to live ... Read full review

Contents

Fundamentals
3
Method
13
Appropriate Means
26
Delusions and Pitfalls
41
Attitudes in Religious Practice
56
The Three Treasures
67
The Ten Grave Precepts
79
Establishing the Practice
89
The Koan Mu
95
Prajna Paramita Hrdaya Sutra The Heart Sutra
110
Hakuin Zenjis Song of Zazen
112
Table of ChineseJapanese Equivalents
133
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About the author (1982)

Robert Aitken's introduction to Zen came in a Japanese prison camp during World War II, after he was captured as a civilian in Guam. R. H. Blyth, author of Zen in English Literature, was imprisoned in the same camp, and in this unlikely setting Aitken began the first of several important apprenticeships. After the war Aitken returned often to Japan to study. He became friends with D. T. Suzuki, and studied with Nagakawa Soen Roshi and Yasutani Hakuun Roshi. In 1959 Robert Aitken and his wife, Anne, established a Zen organization, the Diamond Sangha, which has two zos in Hawaii. Aitken was given the title "Roshi" and authorized to teach by Yamada Koun Roshi, his current teacher, in 1974. He continues to teach and study Zen in Hawaii, where he has lived since the age of five.

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