Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness: Zen Talks on the Sandokai
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Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness: Zen Talks on the Sandokai

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  116 ratings  ·  7 reviews
When Shunryu Suzuki Roshi's Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind was published in 1972, it was enthusiastically embraced by Westerners eager for spiritual insight and knowledge of Zen. The book became the most successful treatise on Buddhism in English, selling more than one million copies to date. Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness is the first follow-up volume to Suzuki Roshi's...more
Paperback, 199 pages
Published November 13th 2001 by University of California Press (first published 1999)
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This is a book to be read and re-read. But as author Suzuki points out, reading is only one half of our training--intellectual understanding. The other half is practice--zazen (meditation). The book is a redaction of a dozen or so lectures Suzuki gave in 1969 at the San Francisco Zen Center's mountain retreat, Tassajara. The lectures are an exegesis of an 8th century CE Japanese Zen poem by Sekitō Kisen, called Sandokai. In the first six lectures, the explication is highly paradoxical, or koan-l...more
The problem with this book is that it consists of transcripts of lectures given by Suzuki Roshi and even the dialogue between him and students. For this reason, because it is a transcript of face-to-face talks, the content sometimes goes in circles or rambles. Had it been originally meant to be in book form, I'm sure more editing would have been done.

That's the main reason I give it only 3 stars--the rambling/talking in circles got rather tedious.
This is some talks by Suzuki Roshi on the Sandokai a poem written by Shitou Xiqian a Chinese Ch'an master in the 8th century. The Sandokai is a poem revered by the Soto school of Zen Buddhism. It is a beautiful poem and Suzuki Roshi's talks about this poem are a worthwhile read.
Of the three Suzuki books, this one is the most complex. As always, these teachings are best served over and over again through reading and rereading, thinking and rethinking.
excellent simple talks and commentaries on the Sandokai by shunryu suzuki given at tassajara in 1970. deep and beautiful thoughts by a zen master.
Great info about the Sandokai from one of the modern Zen Masters. Also is great for getting further inside the view of Zen.
"travellers there is no path there is only travelling itself"
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Suzuki Roshi was a Sōtō Zen monk and teacher who helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States, and is renowned for founding the first Buddhist monastery outside Asia (Tassajara Zen Mountain Center). Suzuki founded San Francisco Zen Center, which along with its affiliate temples, comprises one of the most influential Zen organizations in the United States. A book of his teachings, Zen Mind,...more
More about Shunryu Suzuki...
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen Zen Talks Zen Mind 2011 Datebook Zen Mind 2011 Wall Calendar

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