Art of Just Sitting
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Art of Just Sitting

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  90 ratings  ·  10 reviews

This unprecedented and unparalleled volume offers essential guidance—from the most influential Buddhist masters, and from many of modern Zen's preeminent teachers—on one of Zen's two most central practices. The second edition contains three new translations by renowned scholar-practitioners. This is essential for readers interested in meditation or Eastern religion. There

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Published June 10th 2005 by Wisdom Publications MA (first published 2002)
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a bunch of essays and writings around the topic of 'just sitting' or 'shikantaza' or 'silent illumination'. there are a few good writings in here. but alot of it is covering the same ground which is good to hear things repeated in different ways. most of the writings touch on dogen's writings about zazen, or the lancet of seated meditation, or hongzhi's 'silent illumination'. for a deeper more poetic look into shikantaza, id recommend 'cultivating the empty field : the silent illumination of zen...more
If you want to find out about Zen Buddhism, there are other books that will give you a good introduction. If you have an established sitting practice, then this is probably the best practical manual available.

Because it's an anthology of short pieces from the Buddha onwards, the teachings are from a wide variety perspectives on a wide variety of issues, so whatever help you need, you stand a good chance of finding it here.
Some of the articles in this anthology were worth reading; some were mediocre, and a couple were Zen obscurantism at its worst. And to add to the problem, the connection between the supposed subject and some of the selections was a bit strained. This one shouldn't go on anybody's "must read" list.
Just skimming this now. As usual the ancient pieces are the most beautiful and the most paradoxical. Skip however to the American masters and you begin to get readable prose. I like the volume and look forward to reading the elders at mind-numbing length.
Walter Burton
As noted by others some essays are hard to "get into" but on the whole it give a great deal if insight into the purpose and practice do Zazen. It is a book I will visit later as my practice progresses.
Ona Kiser
The first book on Zen I've read that I just drank like water. A really nice diversity of essays. Nice commentaries on classic stories and teachings. Highly recommended.
Tom Otvos
Some of the essays were quite hard to penetrate, others very interesting or useful. Very much a reference that can be consulted many times over.
Monkey C
great book, but not for the beginner. some zen training required to understand the principles/concepts expressed.
Damn good. Seminal works with commentary. Educational, very. Requires attention, but rewards it.
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