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Thread: Inside the Grass Hut

  1. #1

    Inside the Grass Hut

    I just happened to be at the local bookstore yesterday, and I happened upon "Inside the Grass Hut" by Ben Connelly.

    I just picked it up, so I don't know how good it is, but I'm excited about it. lol

    It's a book about Shitou's "Song of the Grass-Roof Hermitage", which I first read in one our recommended books "Cultivating the Empty Field, The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi", Taigen Dan Leighton (which is really good btw).

    So I don't know if it's any good, but I just wanted to give you all a heads up in case. I haven't come across any books that address Shitou's poem, so that has me really excited.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  2. #2
    Hello,

    Thanks, and a sample of the beginning of the book is available :

    http://smile.amazon.com/Inside-Grass...s=ben+Connelly


    Gassho,
    Myosha
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  3. #3
    Shitou's Song of the Grass Hut is one of my favorite poems of old. Lovely.
    And Connelly's interpretation is self-reflective and modest.
    Thanks, Risho.
    _/_Shinzan

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    I finished this book recently, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am little embarrassed to say that I actually pre-ordered it so that it would arrive on release day - the Song of the Grass Hut is one of my favorite poems from our tradition. Like the Heart Sutra, it expresses such much of the Dharma and the direction of practice, in so few words.

    As many of you probably know, Shitou Xiqian's Japanese name is Sekito Kisen, that is, the author of the Sandokai / the Relative and Absolute that we chant during the Zazenkai. The Song of the Grass Hut is a very different beast than the Sandokai, but certainly points in the same direction. Ben Connelly's book is a series of reflections on each line of the poem - not so much an explanation, as a heartfelt riffing on both the historical context, and the application to our own practice.

    I thoroughly enjoyed it and will certainly reread it in the near future.

    It also helped me pick my next book "Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness". It is from a series of talks Suzuki Roshi (of the SFZC) gave on the Sandokai during a sesshin in the 70's. It is out of print, but not particularly hard to come by used.

    Anyhow, thanks for posting this Risho, and I hope you enjoy the book!

    Gassho,
    Sekishi
    sekishi
    石志

    He/him. As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Sekishi View Post
    It also helped me pick my next book "Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness". It is from a series of talks Suzuki Roshi (of the SFZC) gave on the Sandokai during a sesshin in the 70's. It is out of print, but not particularly hard to come by used.
    On these recommendations, I will be looking at Ben Connelly's book. Thank you.

    I will mention that Suzuki Roshi's "Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness" was a selection of our "Beyond Words & Letters Book Club" a few years ago. Like with all his books, you have to get past his struggles with English and wandering style, but worth the trip. His message comes through loud and clear.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forum...OOK-CLUB/page9

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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