Buddhism: A Concise Introduction
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A concise and up-to-date guide to the history, teachings, and practice of Buddhism by two luminaries in the field of world religions.
Publications, 2001), © Janet Kavanaugh, with permission from Windhorse Publications. From The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture (1994) by Stephen Batchelor with permission of Parallax Press, Berkeley, California, www.parallax.org Acknowledgments xi From Like a Dream, Like a Fantasy—the Zen Writings of Nyogen Sensaki, used with permission from The Zen Studies Society, 223 East 67th St., New York, NY 10021. Eido T. Shimano, Roshi, Abbot. www.zenstudies.org
every mental and physical state is in flux; none is solid or enduring; (2) habitual clinging to these impermanent states is at the root of much of life’s dukkha, and this very insight weakens the habit; and (3) we have little control over our mental states and our physical sensations, and normally little awareness of our reactions. Most important, we begin to realize that there is nobody behind the mental or physical events, orchestrating them. When the capacity for mindful attention is refined,
much concerned with our feelings and emotions. The Buddha was not out to suppress them, but to refine them. The path of meditation ends not in numbness, but in emotions that produce the purest and most durable forms of human happiness. Meditation, it turns out, is a training in emotional intelligence, as the phrase now has it. Vipassana’s emotional-intelligence curriculum is not easy. It requires that one face unflinchingly the bodily ills and emotional pangs that are bound to arise when one
it. But both books and both roshis were in deep agreement about at least one thing: that the heart of Buddhism, the heart of Zen, is the practice of zazen. Kapleau’s work was probably the first to include detailed instructions on how to sit. Many who had never met a Zen teacher or lived near a Zen group took their first steps on the meditative path through his book. Robert Aitken discovered Zen while a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II. Stimulated by repeated readings of R. H. Blyth’s
monk of yours, may the Exalted One suffer me to come forth!’” He became a renowned member of the order.3 The Buddha’s entire life was saturated with the conviction that he had a cosmic mission to perform. Immediately after his enlightenment he saw in his mind’s eye “souls whose eyes were scarcely dimmed by dust and souls whose eyes were sorely dimmed by dust”4—the whole world of humanity, milling, lost, desperately in need of help and guidance. He had no alternative but to agree with his