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Discovering the True Self

Kodo Sawaki's Art of Zen Meditation

List Price: $16.95

ON SALE: October 20, 2020 | Paperback | 272 pages | ISBN 9781640093775
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“You can’t see your true Self. [But] you can become it. Becoming your true Self is zazen.” Profound Zen Buddhism teachings explained in ordinary language from one of the most respected Zen masters of the 20th century, Kodo Sawaki.

Having come of age as an orphan in the slums of Tsu City, Japan, Kodo Sawaki had to fight his way to adulthood, and became one of the most respected Zen masters of the 20th century. He had a great understanding of Dogen Zenji’s teaching and he knew how to express Dogen’s philosophy in clear, easily-understood language. Sawaki’s primary mission was to bring all people to an awareness of the Self, which he believed came through Zen meditation.

His humor and straightforward talk garnered Sawaki followers from all walks of life. Though he remained poor by choice, he was rich in spirit. Two of his students who became known in America as well as in Japan were Kosho Uchiyama, abbot of Antaiji Temple and author of Opening The Hand of Thought, and Gudo Nishijima, Zen teacher and translator of Dogen’s Shobogenzo.

A student of Kosho Uchiyama, Arthur Braverman has compiled an anthology of Sawaki’s writings and a garland of sayings gathered from throughout his lifetime. One of a few collections of Sawaki’s teachings published in English, his life and work bracket the most intriguing and influential period of modern Zen practice in Japan and America.

About The Authors

ARTHUR BRAVERMAN grew up in New York City and became interested in Zen Buddhism in his early twenties. After serving two years in the US Peace Corps in Nigeria, he went to Japan to practice meditation. There he met Kosho Uchiyama and decided to practice at Antaiji in Kyoto while studying the writing of Dogen Zenji. He has been studying Classical Japanese and practicing meditation ever since.

KODO SAWAKI [1880-1965] was one of the most influential Soto Zen teachers of the 20th century. He was born in Tsu City, Japan.


Praise for Discovering the True Self

"This book is a treasure. . . . Arthur Braverman deserves tremendous praise for making it available to us. I will read it again and again." --Brad Warner, author of Hardcore Zen

Praise for The Grass Flute Zen Master

"A lovely book and all credit to the author for writing it." --Diana St Ruth, author of Experience Beyond Thinking: A Practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation

"A beautiful book about a beautiful subject, the life and music of the Grass Flute Master, Sodo Yokoyama. Like Braverman's other books, this one is bound to be a Zen classic for its sensitive exploration of the interior life of an inscrutable subject." --Richard Collins, author of No Fear Zen

Praise for A Quiet Room

"I applaud Braverman's efforts to bring the Masters to life in the Western heart." --NAPRA Review

Praise for Warrior of Zen

"Zen has often been saddled with the belief that only quiet contemplation and inactivity can lead the practitioner to enlightenment. This work is a welcome counterpoint to this belief. Suzuki Shosan, a samurai warrior under the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, became a Zen monk and brought to Zen an active philosophy. He believed that a warrior's life was well suited to Zen because both demanded vitality, active belief, courage, and what he called "death energy"-the readiness to confront death at any moment. This book contains selections of the Roankyo, talks given by Suzuki Shosan to his students. The editor/translator does a good job of maintaining the colloquial atmosphere of the original text; he allows the teachings to speak for themselves. This book is a good introduction for the English-reading world to a long-neglected variation of Zen philosophy. Recommended for both public and academic libraries." --Glenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu

Praise for Mud and Water

"Bassui was one of Japanese Zen's most original, dynamic and accessible teachers. Braverman has given us a sparkling translation that fully captures Bassui's unique vigor and insight and throws new light on an often neglected period of Zen's history." --Peter Haskel, author of Bankei Zen

"How wonderful! Not only the words of Zen Master Bassui, but also his marrow. Wherever you go in this precious book you will find your life." --Joan Halifax Roshi, Head Teacher, Upaya Zen Center

"Bassui's standard of enlightenment is awe inspiring! For over 30 years of our own practice Bassui's talks have inspired us. No matter how often we read him, his teaching is always fresh and alive. No matter how far into the bottomless well of wisdom we go, Bassui is there coaxing us deeper." --Zen teachers Chozen and Hogen Bays, co-abbots of Great Vow Zen Monastery

"Step in anywhere and you sink deeper and deeper through the rich mud. Thank you, Arthur Braverman, for introducing us so graciously." --Robert Aitken

"This work fully displays the engaging teaching style of Bassui, an important medieval Japanese master. With his independent spirit and dedication to Buddha nature, Bassui managed to bridge and include several prominent strands of Zen and Japanese Buddhism. His teachings demonstrate persistent study of true self, right in the mud of phenomena. He drinks the water of diverse Dharma teachings, helpfully elucidating their metaphors for us." --Taigen Dan Leighton, author of Just This Is It

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