For more than four decades, Robert Aitken Roshi has taught thousands of people the Buddhist practice of Zen meditation, and has led hundreds through their practice of the study of traditional koans. He has authored more than a dozen books, including a celebrated appreciation of Basho’s haiku; volumes of commentary on sacred texts; works on ethics, daily life, and social action; and one of the best–loved introductions to Zen Buddhism, Taking the Path of Zen. After a long and remarkable life—he will be 91 years old when this collection is published—Aitken Roshi offers a collection of 266 short texts. Some are clearly parables; others are simple stories, quotations, memories, and commentaries. Resembling Benjamin Franklin’s Almanac or the epigrams of Chamfort as much as it does work from ancient sages, this collection of “miniatures” distills a life devoted to teaching and awareness. Any person living a considered life, whether secular humanist or religious seeker, will find this a book of rich inspiration.
Miniatures of a Zen Master
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Robert Aitken is the author of more than a dozen books about Buddhism, including A Zen Wave, Encouraging Words, and Taking the Path of Zen. A dedicated Buddhist for most of his life, he is a former abbot and roshi of the Honolulu Diamond Sangha in Hawaii, which he co-founded with his late wife Anne Hopkins Aitken in 1959. He now lives in retirement at the Palolo Zen Center in Honolulu.
"Like some of the finest Zen literature, they read like the contents of one's own mind and also like a mirror held up to show the mind's quotidian chatter to be somehow pure." —BuddhaDharma