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Thread: Commencing Our New Book: INSIDE THE GRASS HUT

  1. #1

    Commencing Our New Book: INSIDE THE GRASS HUT

    Dear All,

    We are going to leave aside the Book of Serenity for a time (we will come back). From today, we will commence reading and reflections on INSIDE THE GRASS HUT: LIVING SHITOU'S CLASSIC ZEN POEM by Ben Connelly.

    http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/inside-grass-hut

    http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Grass-H.../dp/1614291217

    From a review ...

    Shitou Xiqian’s “Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage” is a remarkably accessible work of profound depth; in thirty-two lines Shitou expresses the breadth of the entire Buddhist tradition with simple, vivid imagery. Ben Connelly’s Inside the Grass Hut unpacks the timeless poem and applies it to contemporary life. His book delivers a wealth of information on the context and content of this eighth-century work, as well as directly evokes the poem's themes of simple living, calm, and a deep sense of connection to all things. Each pithy chapter focuses on a single line of the poem, letting the reader immerse himself thoroughly in each line and then come up for air before moving on to the next. Line by line, Connelly shows how the poem draws on and expresses elements from the thousand years of Buddhist thought that preceded it, expands on the poem's depiction of a life of simple practice in nature, and tells stories of the way these teachings manifest in modern life. Connelly, like Shitou before him, proves himself adept at taking profound and complex themes from Zen and laying them out in a practical and understandable way. Eminently readable, thoroughly illuminating, Inside the Grass Hut shows the reader a path of wholehearted engagement—with the poem, and with the world.

    ...

    Ben Connelly is a Soto Zen priest in the Katagiri lineage training with Tim Burkett at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center. Connelly began teaching at MZMC in 2006, was ordained in 2009, and was made shuso, or head monk, in 2012. Ben is also a professional musician and developed and leads Mindfulness in the Mountains backpacking/meditation retreats in Northwest Montana. He lives in Minneapolis, MN.
    I have to add that it is one of the best, clearest Zen books I have read in recent years, and I also very much recommend it to all.

    I am also pleased to say that I was in touch with Ben just today, and he will be coming to Treeleaf to lead Zazen and offer a Talk, probably on Sunday March 22nd.

    I hope to post a short section about each week, maybe two, usually on Fridays. Most sections are short, but today I would like folks to read the following introductions, longer than most sections:

    Forward by Taigen Dan Leighton from page IX

    Introduction by the author on pages 1 through 6

    You might also look at the poem itself, on pages 11 and 12


    I believe that the Forward and Introduction are available here for those awaiting delivery of the book ...

    http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/inside-grass-hut

    There will be no particular questions or discussion this time, but please introduce yourself in this thread if you intend to join in the readings. Let me know if you have any question.

    I know that many folks are going to cherish this book.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-06-2015 at 04:03 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Woonderful, thank you Jundo.
    As far as I've read, I find intrique.
    will certainly double back and reread the intros.
    gassho

    #Sattoday
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  3. #3
    Hmm better order it then

    Gassho, Kyotai
    Sat today
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

  4. #4
    Wonderful!!I was eager to re-read along.

    Gassho,Daiyo

    #SatToday
    Gassho,Walter

  5. #5
    Count me in.
    Have been really looking forward to reading this together with you all. And wow, how wonderful that Ben will be joining us!

    Thank you very much Jundo,

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    I love this poem and originally pre-ordered the book when I heard about it. Patience - I lack it.

    Anyhow, I am really looking forward to rereading with you all. Thank you Jundo for the opportunity, and for setting up a sitting with Ben. Treeleaf is awesome!

    Gassho,
    Sekishi
    #sattoday
    sekishi
    石志

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

  7. #7
    Really looking forward to this,

    thank you,

    Willow

    Sat today

  8. #8
    Excellent. I have read the book, but looking forward to going through it in depth with you all. Wonderful if Ben is able to join us.

    Thanks, Oprah

    Gassho,
    Anshu

    sat today

  9. #9
    Thank you Jundo ... I too am looking forward to reading and sharing with all of you. This is a wonderful book. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sattoday
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  10. #10
    Thank you, I'm looking forward to reading it with you.

    Gassho,
    Danny
    #sattoday

  11. #11
    Joyo
    Guest
    I will be joining. This is an excellent book, looking forward to reading it again.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  12. #12
    Thank you, Jundo. I too look forward to reading it with you. I haven't read it with intensity but as a source for serenity in the evenings before retiring.

    Gassho
    Ansan

    Apologies for not having yet SatToday, but on my way downstairs to do so!! Stuff happens.

  13. #13
    Ordered. Will read along.

    Sat today
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

  14. #14
    Please count me in. This is such an awesome book! I'm so glad we are going to be reading together.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    -sattoday

    <Jumps on couch like Tom Cruise>

  15. #15
    Hi this may be a daft question,but how do I join this book club.is it just a case of getting the book and reading along?
    gassho
    Dave

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave d View Post
    Hi this may be a daft question,but how do I join this book club.is it just a case of getting the book and reading along?
    gassho
    Dave
    You are already a member Dave. And yes, if you can get the book that would be great ... then we will all work through it together with Jundo's guidance. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  17. #17
    I'd like to join but moolah is tight and it's not available at the library. Sigh. I guess another book club to sit out on. :-/

    - June
    #SatToday

  18. #18
    Thanks. For once I'm 1 step ahead I bought it last week
    gassho
    Dave sat today

  19. #19
    Nindo
    Guest
    I'm in!

    Gassho
    sattoday

  20. #20
    Yes!


    ..sat2day•

  21. #21
    I have this poem on my kitchen wall. So count me in.
    _/\_ Shinzan

  22. #22
    This book is one of the best books I have ever read. Count me in too!

    Gassho,
    Hotetsu

    #SatToday
    Forever is so very temporary...

  23. #23
    The generosity of this community is making me cry. Been an emotional day for me. I guess I will be able to join the book club after all!



    Gassho,
    June
    #SatToday

  24. #24
    So happy to hear that, June!

    I'm in and looking forward to it.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    #sattoday

  25. #25
    Participating.


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

  26. #26
    I will be participating. Really looking forward to this, and to Ben's visit. Gassho, Matt
    #SatToday

  27. #27
    Member Christopher's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta, Canada...beside the Rocky Mouintains
    I am glad to be able to start at the beginning with everyone.

    I downloaded from Amazon this afternoon, and will be reading with their Kindle-PC app on my desktop.

    It doesn't use page numbers but I expect I can copy along with the chapter headings.

    Gassho
    Christopher
    Sat2Day

  28. #28
    I read the poem and was so moved by it that Ive started reading the book and am definitely in.

    Sat Today

  29. #29
    I'm in
    Looking forward to this!

    Gassho
    Elle

    sat today

  30. #30
    I've received the copy of the book because of the forum's generosity. I'm looking forward to starting the read today!

    Gassho,
    June

  31. #31
    Thanks Jundo. I'll be along.

    Gassho
    Meishin
    Sat today

  32. #32
    I'm in, i loved the book !

    Gassho,
    Ugrok,
    Sat today

  33. #33
    Hi.

    I am here, as Always.

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  34. #34
    Hi Jundo!

    I'm in! I'll get the book this week

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  35. #35
    Hi Jundo I'm on board also.
    Gassho Heisoku
    Sat today.
    Heisoku 平 息
    Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)

  36. #36
    Despite my very busy year, I hope to participate with the book club!
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (Open Heart aka Matt)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin View Post
    Despite my very busy year, I hope to participate with the book club!
    The book is about never being busy, and nothing to do, right amid and as our busy year with so much to do.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  38. #38
    I started reading this book a few months ago at your recommendation and fell in love immediately. I stopped reading when you announced this book club a while back, and will gladly start again. It's a wonderful book!

    Gassho,


    Ongen / Vincent
    Sat Today
    Ongen (音源) - Sound Source

  39. #39
    Count me in also. Thank you Jundo.
    Gassho, lyn

  40. #40
    Joyo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by orangedice View Post
    The generosity of this community is making me cry. Been an emotional day for me. I guess I will be able to join the book club after all!



    Gassho,
    June
    #SatToday
    That makes me happy that you are able to join us.

    I think this book will be part of my (almost) daily reading for the rest of my life. It is just that good.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  41. #41
    I'm in...just waiting for my copy to arrive.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

    Sat today

  42. #42
    Just ordered a copy. Looking forward to joining you all, Gassho, David

    sattoday

  43. #43
    For those who do not yet have a copy and want to take part in this week's readings, the forward and introduction are available on the publisher's site that Jundo posted a link to (http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/inside-grass-hut).

    This page http://www.patheos.com/blogs/monkeym...hermitage.html has the poem itself, which appears to be the same translation as the one in the book.

    I really liked this from the introduction:

    "This book is intended to support and encourage Buddhist practice, which is, in essence, meditation and kind actions."

    Gassho,
    Matt
    #SatToday

  44. #44
    I am in. I will start reading the book today.
    I am looking forward to this.

    Gassho
    Theophan
    Sat Todsay

  45. #45
    Waiting for it to arrive

    Gassho, Kyotai
    Sat today
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

  46. #46
    Shitou is skillful in bringing awareness to splitting mind vs the unified ground on which we really live.
    His little hut becomes a bright pearl.
    Connelly here is sharp in doing the same, bringing it to daily life, to today's daily grind.
    Good. We can use all the help we can get.
    Let's be grateful for the teachers that appear in our lives.
    And for paying attention, its a sign of good karma..
    "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
    Dogen zenji in Bendowa






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