Results 1 to 39 of 39

Thread: Personal Reading

  1. #1

    Personal Reading

    Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening All,

    I'm sure this has been asked before, however I can't find it anywhere, but I'm curious about everyone's personal favorite literature. I'm wanting to read some older sutras but I seem to have a difficult time finding translations that are more Soto oriented, and I was hoping other people have had more luck than I have. The free translations I can find seem to be all over the place, and I was hoping to come across some other resources that have a more Zen approach. As of right now my local library is shut down due to the ongoing pandemic, so I've had a difficult time accessing free reading material. It would also be nice to see some other reading material that everyone else loves. Zen Mind, Beginners Mind is wonderful, and I really enjoy Moon In A Dewdrop. Excited to hear people's responses!

    Gassho,

    Joshua
    Sat Today

  2. #2
    Hi Joshua,
    I don't know if I can be of use to you, but for the Sutras I am now reading a Portuguese anthology of the Sutra Pitaka organized by subjects and not sutras. But I also like the English Tripitaka, which is available for free download or payed physical book (https://www.bdkamerica.org/translati...buddhist-canon). By the way, the Shobogenzo translation there is that of Nishijima Roshi. Hope it can help you.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  3. #3
    Mateus,

    Thank you so much for the response! I feel as though there are never enough hours in the day to read as much as I'd like, and I'm always looking for books and literature to add to my list. I've just downloaded the Shobogenzo you've recommended as well as bookmarked the Tripitaka. If you find anything else please feel free to send them my way as I'm always open to new (to me) reading material!

    Gassho,

    Josh
    Sat Today

  4. #4
    Hi Joshua!

    The Platform Sutra (Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch) is available online in a good translation by Philip Yampolsky: https://terebess.hu/zen/PlatformYampolsky.pdf

    This is a version of The Lotus Sutra: https://www.bdk.or.jp/document/dgtl-...Sutra_2007.pdf

    The Nishijima/Cross translation of Shobogenzo is fully available online: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4

    The Zen Site also contains numerous articles on Dogen and other Soto Zen folk and teachings: http://www.thezensite.com/

    SotoZen-Net has a translation of the Denkoroku (Transmission of the Lamp) by Soji Keizan, legendary accounts of all of the Buddhas proceeding Dogen: https://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/eng...oku/index.html

    Access to Insight contains English translations of the vast majority of the Pali Canon of early Buddhism: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/index.html

    Otherwise, if you can get it at the moment, I really like the small book of Ryokan's poetry, One Robe One Bowl: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/..._Robe_One_Bowl
    Also, Most Intimate by Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...-most-intimate


    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  5. #5
    Kokuu,

    Such wonderful resources, this is exactly what I was searching for! I've bookmarked everything recommended and will pursue each as time allows! As of right now with essentially my whole country quarantined I have ample time to read. Perhaps in the future we may have discussions on the recommended reading.

    Gassho,

    Joshua
    Sat Today

  6. #6
    Hi Joshua

    If others have more time to read at the moment, it may be that we could set up an extra reading group, Dogen in the time of Covid or similar!

    Our current book club book, Realizing Genjokoan, is an excellent primer for reading Shobogenzo.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  7. #7
    That does have a nice ring to it! I would love to read Realizing Genjokoan, do you know if it's available to read anywhere for free? If not I can purchase it, though I must be careful, if I purchased everything I set out to read I think I'd be broke haha!

    Gassho,

    Joshua
    Sat Today

  8. #8
    Hi Joshua

    I do not think it is available for free but it is well worth getting if you can.

    It is very easy to spend a lot on dharma books!

    If you don't have the money right now I can send you my copy.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  9. #9
    Hi Kokuu,

    That is so incredibly kind of you, however I went ahead and ordered it. It seems to have great reviews and is highly recommended. I too would offer to send anyone copies of any of my books should they not have means to read them! If anyone needs anything feel free to send me a PM and I'll let you know what I've currently got!

    Gassho,

    Joshua
    Sat Today

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Hi Joshua

    That's great. It is well worth having and is our current book in our Book Club, although we are quite some way in now: https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/foru...EAF-ART-CIRCLE

    But you can go through the threads and read what others have said and add your bit!

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  11. #11
    Yesterday I listened to Steve Hagen’s ‘Buddhism: it’s not what you think’ at work and thought it was pretty good. Without getting too judgmental, there were some questionable passages that *almost* veer into Deepak Chopra territory regarding science, knowledge and truth. I’m curious if anyone else here has read that book and what their views are on it.

    Gassho,
    Tom

    Sat


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Hi Joshua!

    The Platform Sutra (Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch) is available online in a good translation by Philip Yampolsky: https://terebess.hu/zen/PlatformYampolsky.pdf

    This is a version of The Lotus Sutra: https://www.bdk.or.jp/document/dgtl-...Sutra_2007.pdf

    The Nishijima/Cross translation of Shobogenzo is fully available online: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4

    The Zen Site also contains numerous articles on Dogen and other Soto Zen folk and teachings: http://www.thezensite.com/

    SotoZen-Net has a translation of the Denkoroku (Transmission of the Lamp) by Soji Keizan, legendary accounts of all of the Buddhas proceeding Dogen: https://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/eng...oku/index.html

    Access to Insight contains English translations of the vast majority of the Pali Canon of early Buddhism: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/index.html

    Otherwise, if you can get it at the moment, I really like the small book of Ryokan's poetry, One Robe One Bowl: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/..._Robe_One_Bowl
    Also, Most Intimate by Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...-most-intimate


    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    This is a great list Kokuu! As a compulsive and hopelessly addicted reader I'm always curious about what other books people love - I've had some beautiful experiences based on other people's recommendations that I would never have discovered on my own.
    I'd be interested to see what Treeleafers lists of say top 10 books look like, Zen related yes, but also general reading.
    I'd also like to know if there are works of fiction that folks here regard as Zen or general Buddhism related?
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by StoBird View Post
    Yesterday I listened to Steve Hagen’s ‘Buddhism: it’s not what you think’ at work and thought it was pretty good. Without getting too judgmental, there were some questionable passages that *almost* veer into Deepak Chopra territory regarding science, knowledge and truth. I’m curious if anyone else here has read that book and what their views are on it.

    Gassho,
    Tom

    Sat


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    Hi Tom,

    It has been quite some time since I have read any Steve Hagen, but I will offer the impressions I recall. Unlike most of the writers who try to tie Buddhist and Zen ideas in with physics and other sciences, his versions are rather serious, and not new agey fluff and wild speculation. For example, he does not drop in stretched interpretations of quantum mechanics, relativity etc. in ways in which the same probably should not be used. He is rather conservative in his scientific speculations, as I recall. In fact, I recall vaguely feeling that he might even be too focused on the physical and material even for my tastes (I do not recall exactly my reasons for feeling so, however).

    I consider myself rather of the same character, and while I do not expect Buddhism to agree with modern science in all ways, or to be confirmed in all ways by scientific discoveries, I demand that my Buddhism not obviously conflict with modern scientific understanding of how the world works. I also think that there are several areas where Mahayana Buddhism and science overlap (e.g., in understand how the mind creates our experience of life based on its modeling of data from the senses, various fluid visions of time, ideas of non-self and the like). For example, here is an example of my ramblings on such topics.

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...l=1#post235875

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Tom,

    It has been quite some time since I have read any Steve Hagen, but I will offer the impressions I recall. Unlike most of the writers who try to tie Buddhist and Zen ideas in with physics and other sciences, his versions are rather serious, and not new agey fluff and wild speculation. For example, he does not drop in stretched interpretations of quantum mechanics, relativity etc. in ways in which the same probably should not be used. He is rather conservative in his scientific speculations, as I recall. In fact, I recall vaguely feeling that he might even be too focused on the physical and material even for my tastes (I do not recall exactly my reasons for feeling so, however).

    I consider myself rather of the same character, and while I do not expect Buddhism to agree with modern science in all ways, or to be confirmed in all ways by scientific discoveries, I demand that my Buddhism not obviously conflict with modern scientific understanding of how the world works. I also think that there are several areas where Mahayana Buddhism and science overlap (e.g., in understand how the mind creates our experience of life based on its modeling of data from the senses, various fluid visions of time, ideas of non-self and the like). For example, here is an example of my ramblings on such topics.

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...l=1#post235875

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Thanks Jundo,

    I bet on Huike's left arm that I'd be more charitable if I read the book instead of listening to it while distracted :-)

    I agree that he doesn't drop in wild fluff or speculation, he does throw around the word "truth" in this book a little too much for my taste. The reason that it gets a little cringeworthy is that he doesn't define "truth" (or different kinds of truth, provisional truth, ultimate truth, subjective truth etc... he seems to think "truth" is one thing) and seems to move the goal post around when talking about truth. Two of the "worst" passages were something like (and my memory might be faulty as it was an audiobook and I was working):

    Truth can't be known in science because experts tend to be wrong sometimes.

    And:

    You have to be a skeptic in the greek sense of the word and question everything because modern scientific skeptics are just cynics.

    Now that I got that out of the way, I want to praise this book:

    It probably saved me years of confusion in the sense that I used to think my problems in general were a "bad" thing when in reality I have to take the bad with the good and there's no way around it. To put it another way: no mud, no lotus.

    That I'm deluded in some ways and I can't do much about it makes sense to me as we are biological creatures conditioned by such karmic seeds of biology and environment.

    He did a very good job at explaining "no gaining mind," that of I practice with gain in mind then it is wrong view.

    He does a very good job at explaining some koans and stories in a way that isn't confusing.

    Tom,
    Gassho

    Sat

    Sent from my SM-J727U using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    I'd be interested to see what Treeleafers lists of say top 10 books look like, Zen related yes, but also general reading.
    I'd also like to know if there are works of fiction that folks here regard as Zen or general Buddhism related?
    Hi Meitou!

    I am not sure I could even make a top ten but at the moment I am reading a book by Rebecca Solnit, who is an essayist, feminist, environmentalist and also Buddhist (she is talking at Upaya soon). In the book, which is a history of her awakening to injustice and her relative invisibility as a woman, she talks about seeing feminism as part of her bodhisattva vow.

    Of novels, those which are explicitly Buddhist/Zen include:

    Siddhartha by Herman Hesse (I tend to read this once a year)
    A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki who I believe is a Zen priest and her book talks of Dogen and Soto nuns.
    Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders which won the UK Booker Prize in 2017 and talks about the Tibetan Buddhist bardo realms between incarnations, although I must admit to have not got around to reading it yet!
    Someone also recently recommended a detective novel set in Tibet called The Skull Mantra.
    Out of Nowhere claims to be a Zen mystery set in San Francisco with the protagonist living at the Zen Center!

    Thersa Matsuura is a friend of mine and has written several great collections of short stories based on Japanese folklore, many of which have a Buddhist element. Like Jundo, she is a long-time transplant from the US, having lived most of her adult life in Japan. Actually, I bet if I asked she would do a reading for us at Treeleaf!

    Terry Pratchett's Discworld book on religion, Small Gods, features The Order of Wen the Eternally Surprised, which is a sect rather resembling Buddhism (also given away by their other name 'the men in saffron')

    “I nearly committed a terrible sin," said Brutha. "I nearly ate fruit on a fruitless day."
    "That's a terrible thing, a terrible thing," said Om. "Now cut the melon.”

    Be interesting to see what other Buddhist fiction members have come across.


    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  16. #16
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by SlappyPenguin View Post
    Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening All,

    I'm sure this has been asked before, however I can't find it anywhere, but I'm curious about everyone's personal favorite literature. I'm wanting to read some older sutras but I seem to have a difficult time finding translations that are more Soto oriented, and I was hoping other people have had more luck than I have. The free translations I can find seem to be all over the place, and I was hoping to come across some other resources that have a more Zen approach. As of right now my local library is shut down due to the ongoing pandemic, so I've had a difficult time accessing free reading material. It would also be nice to see some other reading material that everyone else loves. Zen Mind, Beginners Mind is wonderful, and I really enjoy Moon In A Dewdrop. Excited to hear people's responses!

    Gassho,

    Joshua
    Sat Today
    Hey Joshua
    I've read very little Zen Buddhism books but love living the gritty ugly reality of every day interactions moment to moment that it offers me. It kinda reminds me of the best bits of the Punk,Oi! and Hardcore scenes back in the day where straightedge or not every moment was a moment of life really lived. The Zen book that grabbed me was a Brad Warner book. I like his band and give him credit where credit is due in getting me to sit every morning. I wouldn't read another of his books and don't watch his YouTube channel because I feel he must have a sore arse from sitting on the fence with everything. He lost me completely when he compared having man boobs with gender dysphoria. Insert every swear word invented here. If I was in LA I'm sure I'd have delivered him a good old fashioned strongly worded letter attached to my fists and boots and then probably have to spend the following 20 years living naked in a cave reciting the Verse of Atonement non stop.

    As for other books...

    The ABC of Anarchist Communism by Alexander Berkman.
    Berkman understood that to grab an audience you gotta speak their language at a level they can understand.

    Anything by George Orwell. Gotta love a card carrying Communist who had the testicles to call BS on the Communist system of operating in general and undermining the efforts of Anarchists who worked WITH locals using direct democracy rather than the dictatorship of the proletariat nonsense that threw all local militias and community organisations under the bus during the Spanish Civil War.
    I love how he captures life in words and can put out a direct attack on Communism as taught by Marx and Engels (hugely underrated IMHO) but put into practice by authoritarian twits in works like Animal Farm and 1984.

    I love biographies on artist's and poets like Sylvia Plath and Frida Kahlo. I've got huge crushes on Women who did whatever the hell they wanted.

    Finally I liked the Choose Your Own Adventure books you could get through the book club in Primary school. I used to read them with a notebook and pen next to me so I could retrace my steps and choose different adventures from the point of deviance instead of starting from the beginning.

    Oh yeah, i love Wikipedia as a starting place for going down some wonderfully diverse rabbit warrens although Wikileaks should've dumped Assange years ago. Without politicizing this I will always believe her or in this case them. End of.

    Gassho
    Onka
    ST

    Sent from my SM-A205YN using Tapatalk
    On Ka
    穏 火
    No Gods No Masters
    "In whatever condition I find myself, I simply live my own life, a life connected with all the things in the universe." - Shohaku Okumura

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Onka View Post
    Hey Joshua
    I've read very little Zen Buddhism books but love living the gritty ugly reality of every day interactions moment to moment that it offers me. It kinda reminds me of the best bits of the Punk,Oi! and Hardcore scenes back in the day where straightedge or not every moment was a moment of life really lived. The Zen book that grabbed me was a Brad Warner book. I like his band and give him credit where credit is due in getting me to sit every morning. I wouldn't read another of his books and don't watch his YouTube channel because I feel he must have a sore arse from sitting on the fence with everything. He lost me completely when he compared having man boobs with gender dysphoria. Insert every swear word invented here. If I was in LA I'm sure I'd have delivered him a good old fashioned strongly worded letter attached to my fists and boots and then probably have to spend the following 20 years living naked in a cave reciting the Verse of Atonement non stop.

    As for other books...

    The ABC of Anarchist Communism by Alexander Berkman.
    Berkman understood that to grab an audience you gotta speak their language at a level they can understand.

    Anything by George Orwell. Gotta love a card carrying Communist who had the testicles to call BS on the Communist system of operating in general and undermining the efforts of Anarchists who worked WITH locals using direct democracy rather than the dictatorship of the proletariat nonsense that threw all local militias and community organisations under the bus during the Spanish Civil War.
    I love how he captures life in words and can put out a direct attack on Communism as taught by Marx and Engels (hugely underrated IMHO) but put into practice by authoritarian twits in works like Animal Farm and 1984.

    I love biographies on artist's and poets like Sylvia Plath and Frida Kahlo. I've got huge crushes on Women who did whatever the hell they wanted.

    Finally I liked the Choose Your Own Adventure books you could get through the book club in Primary school. I used to read them with a notebook and pen next to me so I could retrace my steps and choose different adventures from the point of deviance instead of starting from the beginning.

    Oh yeah, i love Wikipedia as a starting place for going down some wonderfully diverse rabbit warrens although Wikileaks should've dumped Assange years ago. Without politicizing this I will always believe her or in this case them. End of.

    Gassho
    Onka
    ST

    Sent from my SM-A205YN using Tapatalk
    Onka,
    Thank you for the response, a lot of great suggestions! I haven't read any Orwell since high school but I recall enjoying it, and my partner has some in our library so I'll have to crack them open again. Generally I've got around 2-3 book going at one time, so I have to fit stuff in as I go. I'm currently reading the 9th book in the Wheel of Time series, which has been taking a very long time, and I'm barely halfway through the series! I'm also reading Shohaku Okumura's commentary on the Mountains and Waters Sutra, and it's incredible.

    As far as Sylvia Plath I've only read The Bell Jar, but I absolutely loved it, her style was unique and her personal story was incredible as well. A sad ending but she was a brilliant writer and I hope she's found the peace she was looking for. Politics-wise I've only read a handful of Marx, not enough to do a serious conversation justice however.

    For earlier responses there was a really good book that I got about halfway through before the library asked for it back, but I'm hoping to get it again: The Quantum and the Lotus. It was written by a molecular biologist and it's about his observations about the similarities between science and Buddhism.

    Thank you all for your input, as I'm always looking to expand my library!

    Gassho,

    Joshua
    SatToday/LaH

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Hi Meitou!

    I am not sure I could even make a top ten but at the moment I am reading a book by Rebecca Solnit, who is an essayist, feminist, environmentalist and also Buddhist (she is talking at Upaya soon). In the book, which is a history of her awakening to injustice and her relative invisibility as a woman, she talks about seeing feminism as part of her bodhisattva vow.

    Of novels, those which are explicitly Buddhist/Zen include:

    Siddhartha by Herman Hesse (I tend to read this once a year)
    A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki who I believe is a Zen priest and her book talks of Dogen and Soto nuns.
    Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders which won the UK Booker Prize in 2017 and talks about the Tibetan Buddhist bardo realms between incarnations, although I must admit to have not got around to reading it yet!
    Someone also recently recommended a detective novel set in Tibet called The Skull Mantra.
    Out of Nowhere claims to be a Zen mystery set in San Francisco with the protagonist living at the Zen Center!

    Thersa Matsuura is a friend of mine and has written several great collections of short stories based on Japanese folklore, many of which have a Buddhist element. Like Jundo, she is a long-time transplant from the US, having lived most of her adult life in Japan. Actually, I bet if I asked she would do a reading for us at Treeleaf!

    Terry Pratchett's Discworld book on religion, Small Gods, features The Order of Wen the Eternally Surprised, which is a sect rather resembling Buddhism (also given away by their other name 'the men in saffron')




    Be interesting to see what other Buddhist fiction members have come across.


    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    Thanks for this Kokuu. I've read Siddhartha a couple of times, oddly the first time I read it, years ago, the connection to Buddhism either went over my head or didn't strike me sufficiently for me to take further interest. The experience of reading back then was different too, now I find I'm referring to Google constantly about the background of books as I read them. I also read a lot of Kerouac way back in the day, and had no idea that he was in any way involved with Buddhism - even now I can't put that together with what I remember of his books, perhaps I should revisit them, I certainly like his haiku.
    I loved the Ruth Ozeki book.
    You mention The Skull Mantra - a friend gave me a couple of Eliot Pattison's books, but honestly, I just couldn't get into them, even though I really wanted to. I found them dry and unexciting. I downloaded a sample of Out of Nowhere - not many people would create a female protagonist who is a body stunt double as well as a Zen student! I won't be pursuing that.
    Lincoln in the Bardo is one of the books that came up today when I searched on the internet for Buddhist fiction- some really strange titles came up but I was reminded of The Magician of Lhasa by David Michie ( of Dalai Lama's Cat fame) which I read a while ago and loved.
    The Years of Rice and Salt was another surprising mention - I've read a lot of Kim Stanley Robinson's books, but ironically not that one.
    I'll look for THeresa Matsuura's work.

    Apparently 'buddhist fiction' is a new, little known but growing genre. Watch this space.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattoday
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  19. #19
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Personally, I believe that Brad is very political as a Zen teacher, maybe more than many. Ever talk by Bro. Brad about closing one's ears to the news, about just being concerned about one's own practice, about how wrong it is for Buddhists to engage in social causes as an aspect of their practice, about how there is no need for Buddhist groups to take special steps to welcome sexual, racial or economic minorities, is a political statement and a strong one.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    I keep forgetting to preface every post with "I'm just a Buddhist muppet" lol.
    Point taken on board as usual. And as usual I'll sit with this for a while.
    Gassho
    Onka

    Tried sitting today but ended up "crashing" instead and had the full bells and whistles response from both ward doctors and nurses in addition to ICU doctors and nurses. I was wearing my Rakusu and as my dignity was being thrown out the window while being attached to machines that go ping the first thing I said through tears was "don't cut my Rakusu". Their response was "just focus on your breathing". How rude haha.
    I'm as best as I can be now. I don't recommend getting a shedload of blood clots in both lungs. It's not as fun as it sounds.

    Sent from my SM-A205YN using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-25-2020 at 12:33 AM.
    On Ka
    穏 火
    No Gods No Masters
    "In whatever condition I find myself, I simply live my own life, a life connected with all the things in the universe." - Shohaku Okumura

  20. #20
    I try to tuck a novel or two in between dharma books. The Overstory by Richard Powers is a wonderful novel that would not be described as a Buddhist novel. But to me it’s about interbeing and delusion and the whole messy, beautiful web of life. Highly recommended if you like trees.
    Gassho,
    Krista
    st/lah

  21. #21
    Member RobD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Massachusetts, United States
    What a great thread. I'm very guilty of always reading multiple books at the same time--well, not simultaneously as I only have two eyes, but you get the idea. ;-)

    For Dharma study, I'm currently reading Eihei Dogen, Mystical Realist by Hee-Jim Kim. I've been wanting to take a deeper dive into Dogen's writings, but instead of jumping in head first like I have in the past (and finding myself gasping for air), I wanted to step back and gain a better understanding of his biography and the historical context within which his practice/teaching evolved. So far, so good!

    Actually, I do have a thing for biographies as I'm also nearly done with a short biography of the composer Erik Satie and have slowly been picking away at a massive biography of Walt Whitman over the past year (best read in small chunks). I was just about to start a new book about Hayao Miyazaki, although I will probably hold off on that until I finish something else.

    Poetry books take up nearly as much real estate on my bookshelves as Dharma books, and I'm always working through many different collections at any given time. Currently, I'm reading Basho: The Complete Haiku, translated by Jane Reichhold. A couple other favorite Zen-inspired poets are Gary Snyder and Jim Harrison. I'm currently reading Snyder's Danger on Peaks and Harrison's Saving Daylight. Speaking of the Beats (I saw Kerouac mentioned earlier), a great memoir is Poets on the Peaks (John Suiter). Here's a great synopsis from the author's website:

    Poets on the Peaks is author John Suiter’s book about poets Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, and Jack Kerouac during their fire-lookout summers in the North Cascades during the 1950s. Based on scores of previously unpublished letters and journals, plus recent interviews with Snyder and Whalen and many of their friends, Poets on the Peaks creates a group portrait of Kerouac, Snyder, and Whalen that transcends the tired urban cliches of “Beat” life. Poets on the Peaks is about the development of a community of poets, including the famous Six Gallery reading of October 1955, and contains unexpected cameos by fellow poets and mountain-climbers Allen Ginsberg, Kenneth Rexroth, Philip Lamantia, and Michael McClure. Poets on the Peaks is also a book about Dharma and the years of Dharma Bums–from the 1951 roadside revelation in the Nevada desert that led Gary Snyder to drop out of academia and head for Japan, to Kerouac’s lonely vigil with The Diamond Sutra on Desolation Peak, to Philip Whalen’s ordination as a Zen priest. Finally, Poets on the Peaks is the story of the birth of a wilderness ethic, as well as a photographic homage to the Cascadian landscape, a landscape virtually unchanged since these men journeyed there thanks to the environmental protections they helped inspire.

    I really enjoyed this one as it provided wonderful background detail on the earlier, developmental years of these great writers and shed light on their thematic similarities as well as the rather stark differences in their personalities and temperaments. Fascinating stuff!

    I'll be following this thread closely as, like others above, I'm very interested in learning more about any works of fiction that have a Zen/Buddhist flavor.

    Gassho,
    Rob

    SatToday

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by RobD View Post
    For Dharma study, I'm currently reading Eihei Dogen, Mystical Realist by Hee-Jim Kim. I've been wanting to take a deeper dive into Dogen's writings, but instead of jumping in head first like I have in the past (and finding myself gasping for air), I wanted to step back and gain a better understanding of his biography and the historical context within which his practice/teaching evolved. So far, so good!
    Not light reading at all, but (together with his shorter follow-up on Dogen written a few years later) one of best introductions to Dogen's ways. This thread recommends a few other books for the serious Dogen afficianado.

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...-to-Read-Dogen

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  23. #23
    Love it when these coincidences happen and I have a question and voila a message gets posted about it. I'm trying (operative word, and not succeeding) to read Treasury of the True Dharma Eye (what a kick-ass title). It's tough going and I was wanting a guide. Yes James Joyce is what occurred to me as I was reading it. It's frustrating but also pretty fun to sit with it and try to puzzle out what it might be saying.

    Gassho,
    Kevin
    ST

    Sent from my AOSP on IA Emulator using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Kevin M; 05-25-2020 at 05:00 PM.

  24. #24

    Personal Reading

    Sorry I accidentally quoted myself:
    Quote Originally Posted by StoBird View Post
    I’m surprised by that because I like Brad’s books for the most part. A non-stance stance kind of seems antithetical to the Bodhisattva way. Liberal or conservative, it seems like an aspiring Bodhisattva would be active in the world or am I missing a subtle teaching of Dogen that can be interpreted differently? Because I’ve never seen that way of thinking from any Mahayana teacher, Soto or otherwise that I’ve read or talked to. Bless all you Catholics out there but it kind of reminds me of the Pope’s stance during WWII. (You don’t have to respond Jundo as I don’t want feel like I’m asking for a fight between you two)


    One thing I’ve noticed is a fault me and Brad share: we are dismissive of things we don’t understand, for example in one book he dismisses the concept of “dharma position (jū-hōi)” because he “doesn’t get it.” And I tend to dismiss everything that I don’t get as a “deepity”. I realize that is unfair (and I fight the urge to judge and just simply not know) when reading Dogen’s writings because they *are* profound and beautiful when understood in the context of Zen.

    Gassho,
    Tom

    Sat


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by StoBird; 05-25-2020 at 04:56 PM.

  25. #25
    The following message is false:

    The above message is true
    Gassho,
    Kevin
    ST

  26. #26
    My two posts above came from a place of boredom NOT honesty as I know Brad can be controversial at times.

    I have too much time on my hands today. It is back to the “Buddha basics” talks for me. And back to silence for a while.


    I’m a Soto Zen Buddhist but I’m also “Buddhish” in thinking that (at least for me, and probably most people here) some non-Buddhist ideas namely western psychology and philosophy can coexist with and inform (and evolve?) Zen practice.

    My five favorite non-zen books that influenced how I view the world are:

    -‘The DBT handbook’ by Marsha Linehan (I honestly think everyone would benefit from owning this book, it’s basically skillful means for facing any problem in life)
    -‘The Demon Haunted World’ by Carl Sagan
    -‘Behave’ by Robert Sopalsky
    -‘A Guide To The Good Life’ by William B. Irvine
    -‘Doing Good Better’ by William MacAskill

    Gassho,
    Tom

    Sat


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

  27. #27
    Member RobD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Massachusetts, United States
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Not light reading at all, but (together with his shorter follow-up on Dogen written a few years later) one of best introductions to Dogen's ways. This thread recommends a few other books for the serious Dogen afficianado.

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...-to-Read-Dogen

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Thank you Jundo! I had not seen that thread before, but I LOVE the jazz analogy. Certain things are not easily grasped directly through the "meaning" of words, but often can be better understood (at least in part) through their "feel". That's one of the reasons why I love poetry as a form of communication. The parallels that can be drawn between poetry and jazz are extensive, but I'll save that for another day.

    I saw that Realizing Genjokoan (Okumura) is the current book club selection, so I'll read that next (when I finish Kim's book) and see if I can't catch up to the rest of you before you finish. If not, no worries.

    As far as Kim's book not being light reading, I agree that it's a bit dense at times, but having spent a year of my graduate studies trying to digest Heidegger's Being and Time, everything else seems like a cakewalk. However, if anyone can give Heidegger a run for his money, Dogen certainly can.

    Gassho,
    Rob

    SatToday

  28. #28
    The Overstory by Richard Powers is a wonderful novel that would not be described as a Buddhist novel. But to me it’s about interbeing and delusion and the whole messy, beautiful web of life. Highly recommended if you like trees.
    Thank you for that, Krista! I have downloaded the audio version of Overstory and am just waiting to dive in. I love trees.

    Several people have been very positive about it, including Meitou I think.

    One of the best books I have read in the last few years is Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall-Kimmerer. She is a plant scientist and member of the Potawatomi Nation and speaks about plants from both the perspective of science and First Nation traditional wisdom which speaks of our interconnectedness with all things.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    Last edited by Kokuu; 05-26-2020 at 02:54 PM.
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  29. #29
    Hello,
    I shamelessly will promote my husband, Richard Boyle's book, Realizing Awakened Consciousness, Interviews with Buddhist Teachers and a New Perspective on the Mind. Published a few years ago by Columbia University Press.

    Dick is a practicing Zen student. He started studying Renzai Zen with Joshua Sasaki Roshi (now dishonored and passed away) 50 years ago. He is a social scientist and these two passions brought him to interview 11 Buddhist teachers about their path stories. Some names you might know-Bernie Glassman, Joseph Goldstein, Stephen Batchlor, John Tarrant to name a few. I had the honor of transcribing his interviews. It took about 10 hours for each hour and a half interview he conducted in person. It was a remarkable experience having those teachers speak word by word slowly directly into my ear budded ears. And of course for him to visit them and interview them in person... I did learn quite a lot from them. I have also learned a lot from my husband, whose path story is interesting as well.

    An interesting aside he invited as many women as men to be part of his project and with the exception of a few was turned down by the majority.

    Reading their stories is often moving and entertaining and enlightening.
    https://cup.columbia.edu/book/realiz.../9780231170758
    Also available through amazon of course.

    Gassho
    Anne

    ~lahst~

  30. #30
    Tried sitting today but ended up "crashing" instead and had the full bells and whistles response from both ward doctors and nurses in addition to ICU doctors and nurses. I was wearing my Rakusu and as my dignity was being thrown out the window while being attached to machines that go ping the first thing I said through tears was "don't cut my Rakusu". Their response was "just focus on your breathing". How rude haha.
    If they have to cut your Rakusu, we can stitch it up again with gold thread.

    I'm glad they are looking after you.

    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  31. #31
    For my birthday I was given "Hardcore Zen" and it seems that people have some opinions about Brad Warner. Is there anything I should pay attention to going into this? I understand that he has some stances that some people don't agree with, and I'm just curious if I should be wary of certain things? Onka mentioned that he's made comments about gender dysphoria and has other stances I may not agree with? I'll approach it with an open mind but I also like to hear others opinions about the book as well.

    Gassho,

    Joshua
    SatToday/LaH

  32. #32
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    If it wasn't for Brad I wouldn't have committed to Zen. His language was the thing that grabbed me because it was familiar and relatable. He's done a tremendous job of spreading Shikantaza around the world and if it wasn't for Brad I wouldn't have found Treeleaf.
    Read his books. Enjoy his books. Form your own opinions. Just as there's things that piss me off about Jundo there are things that piss me off about Brad. And I can guarantee that I piss Jundo off at times and would piss Brad off too. Brad was very thoughtful in replying to emails I sent him asking questions about practicing too. So read his book, enjoy his book and again, form your own opinions. Who cares what I think.
    Gassho
    Onka

    Sent from my SM-A205YN using Tapatalk
    On Ka
    穏 火
    No Gods No Masters
    "In whatever condition I find myself, I simply live my own life, a life connected with all the things in the universe." - Shohaku Okumura

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Cooperix View Post
    Hello,
    I shamelessly will promote my husband, Richard Boyle's book, Realizing Awakened Consciousness, Interviews with Buddhist Teachers and a New Perspective on the Mind. Published a few years ago by Columbia University Press.

    Dick is a practicing Zen student. He started studying Renzai Zen with Joshua Sasaki Roshi (now dishonored and passed away) 50 years ago. He is a social scientist and these two passions brought him to interview 11 Buddhist teachers about their path stories. Some names you might know-Bernie Glassman, Joseph Goldstein, Stephen Batchlor, John Tarrant to name a few. I had the honor of transcribing his interviews. It took about 10 hours for each hour and a half interview he conducted in person. It was a remarkable experience having those teachers speak word by word slowly directly into my ear budded ears. And of course for him to visit them and interview them in person... I did learn quite a lot from them. I have also learned a lot from my husband, whose path story is interesting as well.

    An interesting aside he invited as many women as men to be part of his project and with the exception of a few was turned down by the majority.

    Reading their stories is often moving and entertaining and enlightening.
    https://cup.columbia.edu/book/realiz.../9780231170758
    Also available through amazon of course.

    Gassho
    Anne

    ~lahst~
    That's really neat Anne, thanks!

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  34. #34
    For my birthday I was given "Hardcore Zen" and it seems that people have some opinions about Brad Warner. Is there anything I should pay attention to going into this? I understand that he has some stances that some people don't agree with, and I'm just curious if I should be wary of certain things?
    Hi Joshua

    A lot of what Brad writes about is pretty straight Zen. He also talks a lot about Japanese B-movies and the Ohio punk scene in the late 80s.

    His books on Dogen - Sit Down and Shut Up, Don't Be a Jerk and It Came from Beyond Zen - are also pretty good in my opinion.

    His blog and videos tend to be where he sometimes says controversial things and Brad and Jundo definitely differ over Engaged Buddhism, online Zen and probably some other stuff.

    He can also be very straight over some things such as drugs and Buddhism in which he (rightly in my opinion) points out that using drugs as part of practice violates the precepts. He is very committed both to Shikantaza and Dogen and takes practice seriously.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    Last edited by Kokuu; 05-26-2020 at 06:14 PM.
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  35. #35
    I really like, Don't be a Jerk. I actually bought it at the airport bookstore on my way home from our Oakland retreat in 2017.

    Gassho
    Sat today, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  36. #36
    I like Thunderous Silence by Dosang Yoo. He comes from a rather esoteric Korean style but this book (mostly the first half or so) is a very clear breakdown of the Heart Sutra. I like most of what I've read by Brad Warner. I've contacted him a few times to get his take on things but I'm hesitant to say I've found his responses to be dismissive and borderline rude. But that's OK. Maybe I'm dense. People are complex.

    Gassho
    STlah
    James

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by SlappyPenguin View Post
    For my birthday I was given "Hardcore Zen" and it seems that people have some opinions about Brad Warner. Is there anything I should pay attention to going into this? I understand that he has some stances that some people don't agree with, and I'm just curious if I should be wary of certain things? Onka mentioned that he's made comments about gender dysphoria and has other stances I may not agree with? I'll approach it with an open mind but I also like to hear others opinions about the book as well.

    Gassho,

    Joshua
    SatToday/LaH
    Brad is great on Shikantaza, and his books are fun introductions. It is really only on a few issues, like "Engaged Buddhism" and teacher ethics, that we have bumped noses over the years.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  38. #38
    This week's episode of The Zen of Everything podcast discusses Zen books, including a number of recommendations from Jundo. It'll be published on Friday.

    Gassho,

    Kirk

    sat
    -----
    I know nothing.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Thank you for that, Krista! I have downloaded the audio version of Overstory and am just waiting to dive in. I love trees.

    Several people have been very positive about it, including Meitou I think.

    One of the best books I have read in the last few years is Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall-Kimmerer. She is a plant scientist and member of the Potawatomi Nation and speaks about plants from both the perspective of science and First Nation traditional wisdom which speaks of our interconnectedness with all things.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    Yes, I've been meaning to revisit this thread and mention Overstory, such an amazing book, absolutely inspiring and I think could be seen in the same light as it centres on our interconnectedness with all things on this earth, one of my favourite books ever. I've also started Braiding Sweetgrass, making slow progress at the moment as I have so much other reading going on.

    And I can recommend Dick's book, thank you for that reminder Anne, I really enjoyed reading the interviews and gained a lot of insight into some very interesting people. Dick is a great interviewer and writer and it was a pleasure to read.

    I found Brad Warner very difficult to read, and I don't always agree with what he says, but I do like and respect him as a teacher, he's straight talking and tough, and very dedicated to preserving the purity of Zen and the Dharma as he and Jundo were taught, and I personally feel that's needed at this time.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •