Zen Practice

The Buddha taught that everything changes, including ourselves.

We will eventually lose everything, even our life.

 

So what will we do with this precious life?

 

The heart of Soto Zen Buddhist practice is the practice of zazen. This is whole-hearted, single minded, meditation practice.

 

The zazen practiced at our temple originated in India, and was transmitted through China and Japan to the United States. Below are a few good starting point for personal inquiry into zazen.

 

Recommended Reading

 

The Art of Zazen. This excellent article about the form and practice of zazen was written by Zen Master Dainin Katagiri Roshi.

 

The five basic forms used at our temple are described here.

 

Beginner's Instruction is offered on Wednesday nights before our regular Wednesday program.

 

Good Zen Reads

 

Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki.

A record of informal talks on Zen meditation and practice given by Zen master Shunryu Suzuki at Haiku Zendo Meditation Center in Los Altos.

 

Taking the Path of Zen, Robert Aitken.

A guide to Zen training with a thorough introduction to zazen. Topics include correct breathing, posture, routine, attitudes in religious practice, and teacher-student relations, as well as common problems and questions encountered in the process.

 

Everyday Zen, Charlotte Joko Beck.

An American woman teacher’s practice and exploration of our feelings and our ordinary human relationships. She brings Zen to love and work with selections of edited versions of informal talks recorded during intensive meditation retreats.

 

Mind of Clover, Robert Aitken.

A discussion of the broad meaning of the precepts, as they apply to and arise from practice in modern society.

 

Where Ever You Go There You Are, Jon Kabbat-Zinn.

Deceptively simple book on cultivatin mindfulness in one’s everyday life. Ideal introduction to meditation in plain, non-technical language.

 

Returning to Silence: Zen Practice in Daily Life, Dainin Katigiri.

A record of Katigiri Roshi’s talks on zazen practice, the teachings of Buddha, and the meaning of faith.

 

Zen at Work, Les Kaye.

Les is abbot of Kannon Do and is Harold Sensei’s and Patty Sensei’s teacher. Les relates his experience and insights from the integration of his practice as a Zen monk and teacher, and his work career as an engineer with the IBM Corporation.

 

Meditation in Action, Chogyam Trungpa.

Talks given by Trungpa concerning meditation as the background of the practice of Buddhist principles. He discusses meditation in the context of transmission, generosity, patience, and wisdom.

 

Warm Smiles from Cold Mountains, Tenshin Reb Anderson.

A collection of dharma talks by Tenshin Reb Anderson given at Tassajara Zen Center or Green Gulch Farm while serving as abbot of San Francisco Zen Center, from 1986 to 1995.

 

What the Buddha Taught, Walpola Rahula.

An introductory text on the basic tenets of Buddhism. It concentrates on the teachings of the Four Noble Truths, conditioned arising, and the relevance of meditation in Buddhist practice.