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Have you seen that happen in your experience, since Zen centers tend to be Japanese , Chinese , Korean or Vietnamese? Dhyana Buddhism came from India with Bodhidharma, they say, in the sixth century. When you look at the writings attributed to Bodhidharma, you find them quite Indian in their flavor—quite philosophical, really. Then when Chan came to Japan and became Zen, while it was certainly less obvious and less radical, there was nonetheless an integration with Japanese culture, particularly Shinto.

Coming to this country, inevitably, there is going to be an acculturation. The whole worldview that has arisen in the last or so years with psychology just permeates our culture—permeates it.

Zen Buddhism

Christianity and Judaism permeate our culture. I grew up as a little boy in Central Union Church in Honolulu, and I used to sit there in the sermons. I knew that the sermons were boring. I thought this was just something you did.

Paramitas (Perfections, Virtues, Character Traits) of a Buddhist

You sat there and you entertained yourself while the sermons were going on and I used to make the minister go out of focus and come into focus. Anyway, something is certainly happening in Western Buddhism, but I represent only the first generation of native teachers. You were saying that just the confidence that other people have gone before you is enough to carry you through that? I would hear the voices of others as though from an infinite distance. But I can relate to it, because I had similar experiences. Every dark night experience is different and is expressed differently.

And you walk through.

Guides for the Practice of Mahayana Buddhism

Audience: One of the things I find difficult about Eastern religions , especially Zen Buddhism, is this whole idea of no goals and being humble and being process-oriented, when we live in a Western culture, which is very much oriented to tooting your own horn and being results-oriented. I like the feeling you get when you meditate, but…. There are plenty of viciously ambitious goal-oriented people in China.


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After all, the Chinese invented bureaucracy. So, the Zen students who stepped aside in Chinese culture stepped out of the equivalent of our kind of ambitious society. And our missionizing, so to speak, that comes out of perhaps a perversion of the words of Jesus. When the Dalai Lama was in Honolulu recently, he gave a few talks and I was struck by the fact that he frequently made the point that confidence and equanimity are the same thing. What we need to do, for example, in breath counting a basic meditation practice , is not to hold out the idea of reaching 10, but rather to be intimate with each point in the sequence as it comes up.

Intimacy and realization are the same word in the old texts.


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  6. There is eternity itself. Right there. We learned in geometry, the point has no dimension.

    The Practice of Perfection: The Paramitas from a Zen Buddhist Perspective

    So, we focus on that single point. And, after all, what are we attaining? We are attaining the place in the hospital where interventions fail.


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    We have to get off that timeline. Or at least incorporate the eternal in that timeline. Aitken: Yes. When I first began working with Yamada Roshi, the teacher from whom I received transmission, he told me about the Catholics who were coming to study with him in Kamakura and how impressed he was with their earnestness and their diligence. Then, Anne Aitken and I went to Kamakura to study and we saw this for ourselves. So, what David and I did not try to do was to reach commonalty across cultural and sectarian lines, but rather to find the perennial common ground.

    So, we talked a lot. I think there are all kinds of mountains. Let a hundred mountains rise. Aitken shows how Zen practice is grounded in the Indian Mahayana Buddhist tradition, and in turn, how that tradition is expressed through Zen. This book contains talks given by Aitken during Zen retreats and essays that demonstrate the development of his insights during the past two decades. The book conveys the flavor of Zen practice and offers skillful advice for meditators; it also includes texts that are recited as part of Zen practice.

    Aitken discusses the Buddhist precepts and his beliefs and insights regarding religious activism. An excellent, practical manual for beginners that includes detailed Zen meditation instructions along with general information about Zen practice. This unique and enjoyable book explores the famous Haiku poetry of Basho from the standpoint of Zen, and life from the standpoint of poetry.

    Love is the Spiritual Activism of Our Time. Featured Thought Leader: Yogi Cameron. We are a tribe of creatives, healers, activists, and travelers on a spiritual journey. Since , Bodhi Tree has served as a platform for wisdom seekers, offering curated teachings from around the world and tools to create sacred space. No Code Needed. Book Description Brand: Pantheon, Seller Inventory M Book Description Pantheon.

    Seller Inventory NEW Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory E First Edition - may be Reissue. Ships with Tracking Number! Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory n. Aitken, Robert. Publisher: Pantheon , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. From Booklist : Based in Honolulu, Aitken is the most senior American Zen master and an author and translator of books on Zen, especially the practice of lay Buddhism in the West.

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