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A Primer Of Soto Zen

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  69 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Zen was popularized in the West largely through the writings of Dr. D.T. Suzuki, who followed the school of Rinzai Zen. Although it remains relatively unknown in the West, Soto Zen eventually attracted the greatest number of followers in Japan. With its gentle, more intellectual approach, Soto Zen relies on deep meditation (zazen) rather than the "sudden," direct method ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published 1975 by University of Hawaii Press (first published 1237)
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Adrian Astur Alvarez
May 04, 2012 Adrian Astur Alvarez rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful little book that deserves to be sipped rather than swallowed. Admittedly, this was my first exposure to Dogen but it was enough to inspire me to read more. At times the rigor of dedication this book demands for anyone seeking the Way exceeded my interests (leave everyone I know and strip myself down to a life of poverty and single-minded dedication to studying the Way? No thanks). That being said, there is much in Dogen's view to be contemplated and adapted so that a balanced ...more
Jan 03, 2015 Kars rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I've been practicing sitting meditation (zazen) for a few years now, although haphazardly, and am somewhat versed in pop mindfulness thinking. I thought it would be useful to go back to the source of much of these ideas, and took up this book. I was not disappointed. It's a book that is best read in small amounts as many of what Dōgen says demands contemplation, and translation to today's times and ones own life.
May 17, 2009 Andre rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Rita M.
Where to start? Admittedly, 4 stars doesn't really do this particular book justice. I admit it. It's probably a 4.5. Nothing *these days* written by anything other than Robert M. Pirsig gets a 5 from me. Just doesn't fit the criteria for "amazing" from me. Can I give it semi-amazing / eye opening / "the truth"? Does "the truth" automatically get 5 stars?

According to an old Master: "If you develop a close relationship with a good man, it is like walking in the fog or dew. Although you do not actu
Jul 05, 2015 Chris rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
Not exactly as advertised; more of a collection of statements & anecdotes relating to the conduct & philosophy of Japanese monks for whom Dōgen was shaping a new way of looking at Buddhist devotion. Not without its valuable insights but you can do better for a "primer on Soto Zen."
Jan 22, 2011 Brian rated it really liked it
I haven't read any other translations, but I would say that this translation does pretty well. The Shobogenzo should definitely be read by anyone interested in Buddhism. There's a lot of great insights for laypersons and monks both.
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Dōgen Zenji (道元禅師; also Dōgen Kigen 道元希玄, or Eihei Dōgen 永平道元, or Koso Joyo Daishi) was a Zen Buddhist teacher and the founder of the Sōtō Zen school of Buddhism in Japan.
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“To escape from the world means that one's mind is not concerned with the opinions of the world.” 18 likes
“Nothing can be gained by extensive study and wide reading. Give them up immediately.” 11 likes
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