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Thread: "Book club"

  1. #1

    "Book club"

    I have seen the Book club thread on the forum however this is more a general question.

    Is it allowable to start a thread discussion about a book and ask for insights from others on the forum?

    I have read many books but feel that my knowledge alone isn't enough to get the "whole story" from what I have read.

    I am preparing to read the Compass of Zen once I have finished the book I am currently working through. If I need clarity or have questions can I use these forums for assistance? Is anyone else interested in reading this book starting in early January? Perhaps we can begin an exchange of thoughts, etc as we read through it?

    Sat today.

    Thank you in advance for your time.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by bluecat View Post
    I have seen the Book club thread on the forum however this is more a general question.

    Is it allowable to start a thread discussion about a book and ask for insights from others on the forum?

    I have read many books but feel that my knowledge alone isn't enough to get the "whole story" from what I have read.

    I am preparing to read the Compass of Zen once I have finished the book I am currently working through. If I need clarity or have questions can I use these forums for assistance? Is anyone else interested in reading this book starting in early January? Perhaps we can begin an exchange of thoughts, etc as we read through it?

    Sat today.

    Thank you in advance for your time.
    Hi Bluecat,

    Of course you can. Please do.

    One point to be aware of, though, is that not all "Zen" books represent precisely the same styles and forms of Practice. It can be sometimes like asking how to make Texas Chili in an Italian cooking class. All delicious, but not the same spice or technique.

    "Compass of Zen" is by the great Korean Rinzai Teacher, Seung Sahn, and a bit different in emphasis and flavor from the Shikantaza Practice here, as he was generally more oriented toward his way (rather his own making, by the way) of Koan Introspection Zazen.

    The Compass of Zen is a book of teachings by the late Seung Sahn Soen Sa Nim, a compilation of talks given by him since 1977 that were then edited by his student Hyon Gak (Paul Muenzen). Designed to offer readers an introduction to the teachings of the Mahayana, Hinayana and Zen traditions ... Until it was first published by Shambhala Publications in 1997, much of the material was already being used in the Kwan Um School of Zen curriculum. Rather than pretending to be a work of academia, The Compass of Zen was presented in everyday language for its readership. In addition to coverage of the aforementioned topics, the book also contains Seung Sahn Soen Sa Nim's "The Ten Gates", a glossary of terms, and his lineage chart. "The Ten Gates" is his own kong-an curriculum for students in his Kwan Um lineage, each one being followed by commentary by him in the text. Today there are Twelve Gates.
    ...
    Seungsahn implemented the use of simple phraseology to convey his messages, delivered with charisma, which helped make the teachings easier to consume for Western followers. Some of his more frequently employed phrases included "only go straight" or "only don't know". He even went so far as to call his teachings "Don't Know Zen", which was reminiscent of the style of Bodhidharma. Seungsahn used correspondences between himself and his students as teaching opportunities. Back-and-forth letters allowed for a kind of dharma combat through the mail and made him more available to the school's students in his absence. This was another example of his skillful implementation of unorthodox teaching methods, adapting to the norms of Western culture and thus making himself more accessible to those he taught. ... Seungsahn also developed his own kōan study program for students of the Kwan Um School, known today as the "Twelve Gates". These twelve kōans are a mixture of ancient cases and cases which he developed. Before receiving inka to teach (in Kwan Um, inka is not synonymous with Dharma transmission), students must complete the Twelve Gates, though often they will complete hundreds more. One of the more well known cases of the Twelve Gates is "Dropping Ashes on the Buddha", the Sixth Gate, which is also the title of one of his books. In the book The Compass of Zen, this kong-an is transcribed as follows: "Somebody comes to the Zen center smoking a cigarette. He blows smoke and drops ashes on the Buddha." Seungsahn then poses the question, "If you are standing there at that time, what can you do?" Not included in this version of the kōan is the Kwan Um School of Zen's following side note on the case, "[H]ere is an important factor in this case that has apparently never been explicitly included in its print versions. Zen Master Seung Sahn has always told his students that the man with the cigarette is also very strong and that he will hit you if he doesn't approve of your response to his actions."
    (pardon the Wiki copying, but it actually seems a fairly good description)

    I often say that Buddhism, including Zen Buddhism, has many fine flavors ... "All Precisely the Same, Though Sometimes Quite Different; Perhaps Very Different, Yet Just The Same".

    Here are some readings for folks new to all this, although they paint with too broad strokes. They also don't particularly discuss Seung Sahn's wonderful style of cooking, by the way, and are just a general discussion of the flavors of Buddhism, Shikantaza and Koan Introspection Zazen.

    Special reading - once born twice born zen (part not 1)
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...8part-not-1%29

    Special reading - once born twice born zen (part not 2)
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...8part-not-2%29

    Special reading - eight types of enlightenment
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...-enlightenment


    Those readings and more on Shikantaza can be found here ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forum...IPS-and-TOPICS

    However, if you wish to start the discussion, please do. I believe the matching and contrasts would be helpful to many folks.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-21-2015 at 03:00 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Have read it, have a copy and open for discussion.

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

    https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

  4. #4
    I have a copy on hand too.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  5. #5
    Thank you for replying to the original post.
    After considering what Jundo shared above I feel a better choice for discussion in this forum would be "Opening the Hand of Thought" by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi as it is one of Treeleaf's recommended books.

    My plan is to begin January 5 and feel that any conversation generated would be beneficial.

    Thanks again for your time.

    Sat Today.

  6. #6
    Hi.

    Actually, we already have a discussion on that book, in the bookclubsection, here: http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...AND-OF-THOUGHT

    But, yes, i am game talking about books other than the one we read in our current bookclub, as long as we do that communityproject too...

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

    #Sat2day
    Life is our temple and its all good practice
    Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Thank you Fugen, I did see that thread but I couldn't find any discussion other than the two replies to Jundo's post.

    I in no way am trying to take away anything from the forums by having this discussion and apologize if it cam across that way.

  8. #8
    Hi bluecat,

    I think there's room for 100 different threads on 100 different books and sutras, and I'd like to see more of this. (Maybe not all at once!) I'd be most interested in books that are on our reading list, but am open to all. If you name the thread simply -- whatever the book is named -- it is easily searched and whoever picks up the book later can add their thoughts and questions as time goes on.

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bluecat View Post
    Thank you for replying to the original post.
    After considering what Jundo shared above I feel a better choice for discussion in this forum would be "Opening the Hand of Thought" by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi as it is one of Treeleaf's recommended books.

    My plan is to begin January 5 and feel that any conversation generated would be beneficial.

    Thanks again for your time.

    Sat Today.
    Yes, always a good time to discussion "Opening the Hand of Thought", so please feel free to post about your readings. That book is truly Timeless.

    Even Compass of Zen, if we want to chat a bit about the mix and match of styles and varied approaches (to what is ultimately Matchless and can't be Approached).

    And then, of course, we close the books and sit.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    I would like to read either one. Let me know when the reading starts.

    Gassho

    Clarisse Sat2Day


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Hi, I am game. Would be good to read Opening the Hand of Thought again.
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  12. #12
    I have "Opening the Hand of Thought" and would be glad to follow along!

    Gassho,
    Sierra
    SatToday

  13. #13
    Member Hoseki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    St. John's Newfoundland, Canada.
    I'm in too but we're expecting our second child soon and if things go more or less the same way. There will be a good six months where my reading comprehension (due to fatigue) will be practically non existent.

    Gassho
    Sat today
    Adam


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    I got a better idea. Let's write a book collectively under Jundo's guidance. That sounds better than reading another worthless zen book. I just made my contribution to the book with this idea. The rest is up to you all.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  15. #15
    My plan is to begin reading "Opening the Hand of Thought on January 4. If it works for everyone I can post some thoughts on Chapter 1 on January 11 and plan to go from there forward, posting something each Monday regarding the newest chapter.
    If there is a lot of discussion about a chapter we can hold off for a week or longer until we are all set to move on.

    I have not participated in too many book online discussions but have found this sort of process works well with "in-person" book discussions.

  16. #16

    Book club suggestion

    I don't know what's planned for the future for the book club, but I just re-read Opening the Hand of Thought, and it's definitely one of the most important books I've ever read about zen. How about adding that to the list for future books to discuss?

    Gassho, and Happy New Year,

    Kirk

    Sat Today
    流文

    I know nothing.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by kirkmc View Post
    I don't know what's planned for the future for the book club, but I just re-read Opening the Hand of Thought, and it's definitely one of the most important books I've ever read about zen. How about adding that to the list for future books to discuss?

    Gassho, and Happy New Year,

    Kirk

    Sat Today
    Hi Kirk,

    there's some funny synchronicity going on with this book this week... I think it's been mentioned on 3 different threads! Anyway, take a look here, there's a discussion group starting on January 4th!

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...4068-Book-club

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

  18. #18
    Hi Guys,

    Happy New Year Again to Everyone!

    Because of the above interest, and as we just finished "Grass Hut" in the book club, I am going to move these readings of "Opening the Hand" to our Treeleaf Bookclub as our next book starting this weekend.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forum...TERS-BOOK-CLUB

    Although we read it in the book club just a couple of years ago, it is one of the modern classics of our Shikantaza Way and deserves our full attention. Although we read it rather slowly last time, this time we will go rather fast about at the pace that was suggested above. Look for further information in the book club this weekend.

    For those who do not yet have the book (every Shikantaza sitter should), it is available partially online while you order it.

    https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=...page&q&f=false

    Here is the Amazon listing as well;

    http://www.amazon.com/Opening-Hand-T...=9780861719778

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  19. #19
    Eishuu
    Guest
    Brilliant. Looking forward to it. Happy New Year!

    Gassho
    Lucy
    sat today

  20. #20
    Mp
    Guest
    Wonderful, I am looking forwarding to diving into "Opening the hand of thought". =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #sattoday

  21. #21
    Joyo
    Guest
    Thank you, Jundo. I am going to order the book today and join with the book club again.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  22. #22
    Hahaha. That is weird timing; i just read it a week ago too. But i think it will be great to read and discuss it here; theres something really magical about reading with the sangha. excellent choice

    Gassho

    Risho
    -sattoday

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    I got a better idea. Let's write a book collectively under Jundo's guidance. That sounds better than reading another worthless zen book. I just made my contribution to the book with this idea. The rest is up to you all.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    The End.

    OK, Jishin and I have done our bit. The rest of you slackers had best get a move on...



    Gassho,
    Anshu

    -sat today-

  24. #24
    Wonderful! I just finished Opening the Hand of Thought a few weeks ago (seems to be a trend here!), and I'm really looking forward to the discussion. Thank you, Jundo.

    Gassho,
    Deirdre
    sat2day

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Anshu Bryson View Post
    The End.

    OK, Jishin and I have done our bit. The rest of you slackers had best get a move on...



    Gassho,
    Anshu

    -sat today-
    LOL!!!

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  26. #26
    I, too, just read it for the first time in December. How funny! I'm looking forward to working through it again with the Bookclub.

    Gassho,
    Ben
    SatToday

  27. #27
    Looking forward to this. Got it added to my Kindle

    gassho,
    Marc

    Samue today, sat
    Marc Connery
    明岩
    Myo̅ Gan - Bright Cliff

    I put the Monkey in Monkeymind

  28. #28
    I just ordered "the hand etc..." and will read together with you all.

    SAT2day
    Kind regards

    Erik

  29. #29
    Obtained the Kindel version.

    Thanks
    Randy
    sattoday

  30. #30
    Arrival is scheduled for today,
    looking forward to reading it with you.

    Gassho,
    Ralf sattoday.

    義道 冴庭 / Gidō Kotei.
    Being a novice priest doesn't mean that my writing about the Dharma is more substantial than yours. Actually, it might well be the other way round.

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