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Zen Questions: Zazen, Dogen, and the Spirit of Creative Inquiry

$22.44

1 in stock

Zen is about questioning. Zen continuously questions. This does not necessarily involve finding answers, but finding a space in which to sustain uncertainty, being willing to remain present and upright in the middle of investigations. Zen Questions begins by exploring "The World of Zazen," -- the foundational practice of the...

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Zen is about questioning. Zen continuously questions. This does not necessarily involve finding answers, but finding a space in which to sustain uncertainty, being willing to remain present and upright in the middle of investigations. Zen Questions begins by exploring "The World of Zazen," -- the foundational practice of the Zen school -- presenting it as an attitude of sustained inquiry that offers us an entryway into true repose and joy. From there, Leighton draws deeply on his own experience as a Zen scholar and teacher to invite us into the creativity of Zen awareness and practice. He explores the poetic mind of Dogen with the poetry Rumi, Mary Oliver, Gary Snyder, and even "the American Dharma Bard" Bob Dylan. What's more, Leighton uncovers surprising resonances between the writings of America's Founding Fathers -- including Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin -- and the liberating ideals at the heart of Zen.
Review Quotes:
"This book, full of compassion, comes as a welcome reminder that my very questions, my shortcomings and my bad habits, are part and parcel of my practice. Valuable for both the beginning and experienced practitioner." --Susan Moon
"This is a wise and inspiring book that opens the door to the present through the timeless practice and process that we call 'Zen.' It is also a brave book, bringing the fierce spirit of Zen into the questions that all of us face on our planet today."--Roshi Joan Halifax, author of Being with Dying
"Taigen Dan Leighton's clear, accurate and eminently useful book will save any serious Zen practitioner, or even a curious novice years of wasted error, wrong turns, and plain old delusion. He knows what he's talking about, and more than most, puts his Zen practice into his daily life. He's the real deal. I say this not simply as a fellow priest, friend, and long-time student of Zen, but as an admirer."--Peter Coyote (HoSho JiShi, ordination name), ac

Review Quotes:
"Zen Questions is a series of lucid, held-open investigations into something very simple, but also subtle and complex: the fundamental question of how we inhabit this particular moment of human awareness, in this very body and mind, in this very world. The Zen awareness presented here reaches in many directions--Leighton shows how the understandings of Zen teachers over thirteen hundred years glimmer also in a line by Bob Dylan, a phrase from a poem by Wallace Stevens. Sometimes scholarly and historical, sometimes engaged with the most contemporary of our shared societal dilemmas, Zen Questions equally introduces and expands our American understanding of Buddhist teachings, and of the many possibilities in navigating our own lives." --Jane Hirshfield
"This is a wise and inspiring book that opens the door to the present through the timeless practice and process that we call 'Zen.' It is also a brave book, bringing the fierce spirit of Zen into the questions that all of us fac

Review Quotes:
"This is a wise and inspiring book."--Roshi Joan Halifax, author of Being with Dying

Review Quotes:
"Taigen Leighton is full of compassion for the reader, whether a beginning or experienced practitioner."--Susan Moon, author of Not Turning Away: The Practice of Engaged Buddhism

Review Quotes:
"Leighton offers his readers an impressive array of insights into Soto Zen meditation practice."--Christopher Ives, author of Imperial-Way Zen

Review Quotes:
"Clear, accurate and eminently useful."--Peter Coyote (HoSho JiShi, ordination name), actor and author.

Review Quotes:
"These delightful essays take us another step down the long lonesome road toward naturalizing dharma into our own cultural matrix."--Zoketsu Norman Fischer, author of Sailing Home

Review Quotes:
"This is an incredibly valuable book, useful for anyone who wishes to integrate their heart-work with work in the world."--James Ishmael Ford, author of Zen Master WHO?, co-editor of The Book of Mu

Review Quotes:
"Taigen Dan Leighton has done his homework, digs deep, and comes up with treasure."--David Chadwick, author of Crooked Cucumber: the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki

Review Quotes:
"Brilliant text."--Steven Heine, author of Did Dogen Go to China

Review Quotes:
"Unique and scintillating. I highly recommend this book to anyone who cherishes the illumination of wisdom both ancient and modern."--Lewis Richmond, author of Work as a Spiritual Practice

Biographical Note:
Taigen Dan Leighton, Soto Zen priest and successor in the Suzuki Roshi lineage, received Dharma Transmission in 2000 from Reb Anderson Roshi and is Dharma Teacher at Ancient Dragon Zen Gate in Chicago. After residing for years at San Francisco Zen Center and Tassajara monastery, Taigen also practiced for two years in Kyoto, Japan. Taigen is author of "Zen Questions: Zazen, Dogen, and the Spirit of Creative Inquiry," "Faces of Compassion: Classic Bodhisattva Archetypes and Their Modern Expression," and "Visions of Awakening Space and Time: Dogen and the Lotus Sutra." He has edited and co-translated several Zen texts including: "Dogen's Extensive Record: A Translation of Eihei Koroku," "Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi," "Dogen's Pure Standards for the Zen Community," and "The Wholehearted Way," and has contributed to many other books and journals. Taigen teaches online at Berkeley Graduate Theological Union, from where he has a PhD. He has taught at other universities including Saint Mary's College, the California Institute of Integral Studies, and in Chicago at Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary and Loyola University Chicago. Taigen has long been active in social justice programs, including Peace and Environmental Activism.

Review Quotes:
""Zen Questions" equally introduces and expands our American understanding of Buddhist teachings, and of the many possibilities in navigating our own lives." ----Jane Hirshfield
Whether speaking of student or master, Zen hinges on the question. Zen practice does not necessarily focus on the answers, but on finding a space in which we may sustain uncertainty and remain present and upright in the middle of investigations. "Zen Questions" begins by exploring "The World of Zazen,"--the foundational practice of the Zen school--presenting it as an attitude of sustained inquiry that offers us an entryway into true repose and joy. From there, Leighton draws deeply on his own experience as a Zen scholar and teacher to invite us into the creativity of Zen awareness and practice. He explores the poetic mind of Dogen with the poetry of Rumi, Mary Oliver, Gary Snyder, and even "the American Dharma Bard" Bob Dylan. What's more, Leighton uncovers surprising resonances between the writings of America's Founding Fathers--including Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin--and the liberating ideals at the heart of Zen.

Contributor Bio: Leighton, Taigen Dan
Taigen Dan Leighton (foreword) is a Dharma teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki, leads the Ancient Dragon Zen Gate in Chicago, and teaches online at the Berkeley Graduate Theological Union. He's the author of "Faces of Compassion: Classic Bodhisattva Archetypes and Their Modern Expression" and "Zen Questions: Zazen, Dogen, and the Spirit of Creative Inquiry" and is the editor and cotranslator of "Dogen's Extensive Record".

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