The Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo
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Abandon your treasured delusions and hit the road with one of the most important Zen masters of twentieth-century Japan.
Eschewing the entrapments of vanity, power, and money, "Homeless" Kodo Sawaki Roshi refused to accept a permanent position as a temple abbot, despite repeated offers. Instead, he lived a traveling, "homeless" life, going from temple to temple, student to student, teaching and instructing and never allowing himself to stray from his chosen path. He is responsible for making Soto Zen available to the common people outside of monasteries.
His teachings are short, sharp, and powerful. Always clear, often funny, and sometimes uncomfortably close to home, they jolt us into awakening.
Kosho Uchiyama expands and explains his teacher's wisdom with his commentary. Trained in Western philosophy, he draws parallels between Zen teachings and the Bible, Descartes, and Pascal. Shohaku Okumura has also added his own commentary, grounding his teachers' power and sagacity for the contemporary, Western practitioner.
Experience the timeless, practical wisdom of three generations of Zen masters.
girlfriends, credentials, jobs, money, and so on, depending on the stage of our lives. We fumble for whatever looks attractive and exciting at the time, but we don’t think about our overall direction. In Mahayana Buddhism, practitioners take the four bodhisattva vows as our life’s direction. These vows are endless; they can never be completely fulfilled. Based on these general vows, we also take particular vows we wish to accomplish within this life, depending on our characters and capabilities.
compared himself to a violet and Sawaki Roshi to a rose. And he said that’s fine. Here he says students don’t need to worry about whether they’re roses or violets. They should simply bloom their own flowers. To do this, they need to strive to manifest their life force to the best of their ability moment by moment. Therese of Lisieux wrote, in John Clarke’s translation: Jesus deigned to teach me this mystery. He set before me the book of nature; I understood how all the flowers He has created
environment around I exist as we think. And we create our stories of success and failure, ups and downs. Then we live in samsara. This is one meaning of dream. Within this kind of dream, we feel our homemade stories are reality. Another meaning of dream is that when we wake from this delusion, we see the reality of the emptiness of self and things. Then we start to see that our lives in samsara are like a dream, where we are always chasing or escaping something. The end of the Diamond Sutra
live (air, water, food). We live together with all things. Why is it necessary to think we’re superior? This is like our stomach thinking it’s more valuable than other parts of our bodies. The bank manager Uchiyama Roshi criticized is like all of us. His I, a fabrication of thought, is trying to put everything under its control, safe and convenient for himself as long as he lives. Because things cannot always work in accord with his desires, he experiences constant fear and frustration. This
Vow: A Practical Introduction to Eight Essential Zen Chants and Texts and Realizing Genjokoan: The Key to Dogen’s Shobogenzo. He is the founding teacher of the Sanshin Zen Community, based in Bloomington, Indiana, where he lives with his family. Jokei Molly Delight Whitehead studied comparative literature at Harvard University before working as a writer, newspaper editor, and teacher. Her practice began at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in 1997. She then lived in Japan for five years, teaching