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Taking the Path of Zen

Paperback Book
North Point Press
January, 1982
In stock now: 
$18.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

Considered one of the very best introductions to Zen practice, Robert Aitken’s Taking the Path of Zen “will be a valuable source of information and inspiration both for those who have a passing interest in the subject and those who have determined to set out on the path of Zen themselves. As an American who has trained in Zen practice for many years, Aitken Roshi has a special understanding of the problems and questions which plague Western students of Zen. His book will thus be a godsend for people who have sought an introduction to Zen in their own language, free of the foreignisms that cultural differences can produce.” —Yamada Koun Roshi

Taking the Path of Zen presents the practice, lifestyle, rationale, and ideology of Zen Buddhism with remarkable clarity. The foundation of Zen is the practice of zazen, or meditation, and Aitken Roshi insists that everything flows from this 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.

Breath counting is not the kindergarten of Zen. For many students it is a full and complete lifetime practice. But even with just a month of practice, a few minutes each day, you will be able to focus more clearly on your work or study and to give yourself more freely to conversation and recreation. You will have learned how to begin, at any rate, the task of keeping yourself undivided, for it is thinking of something other than the matter at hand that separates us from reality and dissipates our energies.

For all the fine books we’ve had on Zen the last two decades, not one has quite disclosed the guts and bones of how to do it, and keep doing it, as this book does. Old-timers and beginners alike will find it pulls out nails and unties knots.” —from the preface by Gary Snyder

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