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Returning to Silence

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  200 ratings  ·  12 reviews
For twenty-five hundred years Buddhism has taught that everyone is Buddha—already enlightened, lacking nothing. But still there is the question of how we can experience that truth in our lives. In this book, Dainin Katagiri points to the manifestation of enlightenment right here, right now, in our everyday routine. Genuineness of practice lies in "just living" our lives wh ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 12th 1988 by Shambhala (first published 1988)
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Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dainin Katagiri's book is refreshingly open and honest.

No instant enlightenment here - only beautifully poetic meditations on what it means to be a real, caring human being.

Throughout the book there lingers a slightly regrettable tinge of sadness, though. Katagiri hasn't found, nor will he give you, any final answers.

In the early years of our marriage, my wife and I used to invite a 90-year-old man, a scientific colleague of my father's who STILL worked part-time - a Russian who fought for the
One of the things I always look for when I pick up a Zen book is a book that will give me not only some Buddhist philosophy to read and digest, but also a book that will help me integrate the teachings into my daily life, into the most mundane aspects of my existence. Sitting zazen is a very good practice, but the things learnt on a meditation cushion, or from a book of sutras or from lectures from a teacher, must also translate into one’s daily activities. Zen, as Brad Warner puts it, is a phil ...more
Brian Wilcox
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After reading the subsequent works of Katagiri, all based on oral talks, or Dharma talks, as this one, I found this, his first, to be best read first.

Katagiri can be obtuse, at times, including liberal with how he defines or explains concepts. I find it best in reading him to accept what he says as his way of saying it, without expecting a consistency or logic imposed by the reader.

Everything I have read from Katagiri is captivating, enlightening, and inspirational. Katagiri seems to have a twi
Dec 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Ein schweres Buch, aber mit seltsamer Wirkung, denn nach dem Lesen scheinbar sich wiederholender und im mahnenden Ton manchmal unerquicklichen Abschnitten, bleibt eine tiefere Einsicht in das Verständnis des Lebens – und das kann man wahrlich nicht jedem Buch nachsagen. Fazit: Mehrmals lesen (vom Erkenntniswert höher liegt noch Benoits Buch "Zen and the Psychology of Transformation") ...more
C Settles
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great read for those interested in Buddhism that already have some background.
Antonio Gallo
"Il significato principale della vacuità" (Dainin Katagiri)

"La vacuità è ciò che ci permette di aprire gli occhi per vedere direttamente che cos'è l'essere. [...] Dobbiamo assumerci la responsabilità dei risultati di ciò che abbiamo fatto, ma l'obbiettivo finale è quello di non farci ossessionare dal risultato, che sia buono, cattivo o neutro. È questo che chiamiamo vacuità. Questo è il significato principale della vacuità.
[...] La cosa importante è non farci prendere dall'ossessione o dalla fis
John Wenck
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
Very good information, but sometimes difficult to understand. The book is based on lectures, not a concerted effort to sit down and write. It's also a book that one should study, not necessarily read from beginning to end to arrive at a conclusion. The content is heavy at times, and if one has little experience or practice in the Zen Buddhist tradition, one can become lost pretty quickly. This is not a beginner's Zen text by any means. ...more
Aug 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Short, but dense. There's a lot to unpack in this book. ...more
Gabriel Clarke
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished-in-2014
A dense but deeply humane, humble and challenging book. A whole different beast from the many new age self-help Zen manuals out there.
Sterling S.
Aug 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Stunning book on the essence of Zen; of interest to anyone (with half a brain) interested in aesthetics.
Sterling HolyWhiteMountain
Mar 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Incredible book on Zen, not to mention an essential link between the spiritual and the aesthetic.
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“Buddha is not divine. Buddha is your daily life.” 0 likes
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