The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice, and Enlightenment (35th Anniversary Edition)

Philip Kapleau

Language: English

Pages: 360


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Through explorations of the three pillars of Zen--teaching, practice, and enlightenment--Roshi Philip Kapleau presents a comprehensive overview of the history and discipline of Zen Buddhism.  An established classic, this 35th anniversary edition features new illustrations and photographs, as well as a new afterword by Sensei Bodhin Kjolhede, who has succeeded Philip Kapleau as spiritual director of the Rochester Zen Center, one of the oldest and most influential Zen centers in the United States.

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for most practicers to come to this stage, she has reached it in less than a week. It is doubtless due to her deep and pure faith in Buddhism, to her vast and boundless Vow [made through countless lives and embracing all sentient beings], and to her having listened with a believing heart to every word of authentic Buddhism spoken to her. Her accomplishment is rare in modern times. The remarkable story of her determination and zeal ought to be engraved in six-foot letters as an immortal

since both are grounded in ego they are equally a hindrance to enlightenment. Be careful to hold the head erect; if it inclines forward or backward or sideward, remaining there for an appreciable length of time, a crick in the neck may result. When you have established a correct posture, take a deep breath, hold it momentarily, then exhale slowly and quietly. Repeat this two or three times, always breathing through the nose. After that breathe naturally. When you have accustomed yourself to

that inner explosion without which true awakening seldom occurs. However, such extreme measures are by no means universal in Zen. Generally, they are more common in the Rinzai sect than in the Soto, less frequent in the temples than in the monasteries, where the outward discipline is rigid and often harsh. Even so, it is an unusual sesshin that does not resound to shouts of encouragement from the monitors and strikes of the kyosaku. Those who find the use of the kyosaku repugnant are always

will be mechanical, but this is unavoidable. Gradually, however, all of you will become involved. Since the human mind is accustomed from childhood to functioning centrifically, like the rays of a lightbulb which fan outward, your aim at first is to bring your mind to a focus. After you are able to concentrate on Mu, then question yourself: “What is Mu?21 What can it be?” You must ask the question right from the guts! When the questioning reaches the point of gripping you like a vise so that you

this koan states: “Ho replied to Baso: ‘I have already drunk up the waters of the West River in one gulp.’ ‘Then I have already told you!’ retorted Baso.” 15That is, conceptions, about satori, Mu, ku, etc. 16Our sense impressions are called seducers because until we have learned to control our minds and realized the Truth, we are prey to their never-ceasing seductions, to their efforts to tempt us away from our True-nature through alluring sights, sounds, and other distractions. Greed, anger,

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