Robert Aitken





Robert Aitken

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born
January 01, 1917

gender
male

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About this author

Robert Aitken is a retired master of the Diamond Sangha, a Zen Buddhist society he founded in Honolulu in 1959 with his late wife Anne Hopkins Aitken.

A lifetime resident of Hawai‘i, Aitken Rōshi is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i with a BA degree in English literature and an MA degree in Japanese studies. In 1941, he was captured on Guam by invading Japanese forces, and interned in Japan for the duration of World War II. In the camp, he met the British scholar R.H. Blyth, who introduced him to Zen Buddhism. After the war, he practiced Zen with Senzaki Nyogen Sensei in Los Angeles, and traveled frequently to Japan to practice in monasteries and lay centers with Nakagawa Sōen Rōshi, Yasutani Haku'un Rōshi, and Yamada Kōun Rōshi. In 1...more


Average rating: 4.10 · 1,576 ratings · 99 reviews · 32 distinct works · Similar authors
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The River of Heaven: The Ha...
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The Practice of Perfection:...
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Original Dwelling Place: Ze...
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The Ground We Share: Everyd...
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“The Buddha's original teaching is essentially a matter of four points -- the Four Noble Truths:

1. Anguish is everywhere.
2. We desire permanent existence of ourselves and for our loved ones, and we desire to prove ourselves independent of others and superior to them. These desires conflict with the way things are: nothing abides, and everything and everyone depends upon everything and everyone else. This conflict causes our anguish, and we project this anguish on those we meet.

3. Release from anguish comes with the personal acknowledgment and resolve: we are here together very briefly, so let us accept reality fully and take care of one another while we can.

4. This acknowledgement and resolve are realized by following the Eightfold Path: Right Views, Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Recollection, and Right Meditation. Here "Right" means "correct" or "accurate" -- in keeping with the reality of impermanence and interdependence.”
Robert Aitken, The Dragon Who Never Sleeps: Verses for Zen Buddhist Practice

“Our practice is not to clear up the mystery. It is to make the mystery clear.”
Robert Aitken

“Watching gardeners label their plants
I vow with all beings
to practice the old horticulture
and let plants identify me.”
Robert Aitken, The Dragon Who Never Sleeps: Verses for Zen Buddhist Practice



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