No Fear Zen: Discovering Balance in an Unbalanced World

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9781935387954: No Fear Zen: Discovering Balance in an Unbalanced World
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No Fear Zen presents an approach to Zen practice that focuses on concentration and sitting (shikantaza) as a discipline that can be practiced in everyday life with the dedication of the samurai. And in a world that requires bravery and decisive action in addition to generosity and compassion, we can learn much from the now-extinct samurai in creating a new kind of warrior for peace in the twenty-first century. While some practices focus on compassion and mindfulness as the goals of Zen practice, No Fear Zen contends that these are outcomes that occur naturally, spontaneously, and automatically from right practice without any goal or object whatsoever. In this way, No Fear Zen is the sequel to the author’s edition of Deshimaru’s Mushotoku Mind, which encouraged practice for one purpose only, the purpose of no purpose, the gain of no gain, the profit of no profit. The brief Zen talks that constitute the core of the book continue the tradition of spontaneous oral teachings delivered by the teacher (or roshi) during zazen. The collection might remind some of the classic Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, since the talks can serve either as an introduction to those beginning practice or as a manual for those interested in a structured approach to Zen practice. The tone of the talks ranges from humorous and informal to penetrating and philosophical, with references to day-to-day issues we all face as well as to works of literature. For example, several essays instruct in how to sit, how to manage mind and emotions, while others roam into difficult arenas, like the author’s experience in bringing zazen instruction to those incarcerated in a federal penitentiary. As a professor of arts and humanities, Dr. Collins uses great literature, like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, to demonstrate his case for fearless action uncomplicated by over-thinking. The collection ends with a sustained commentary on the twenty-one deathbed teachings of the samurai Miyamoto Musashi to his student Terao Magonojo. This provides a suitable conclusion to the work, which has focused on concentration and discipline for their own sake with the result of dispelling fear of death and fear of life. As the author’s teacher, Robert Livingston, always said, coming to zazen was like climbing into your coffin, but after zazen there was “no fear.”

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About the Author:

A literary scholar & Zen teacher in the lineage of Taisen Deshimaru, Collins is Dean of Arts & Humanities at Calif. University, Bakersfield. He has held several research fellowships, including a Fulbright Senior Lectureship (Romania), and has taught at the American U. in Bulgaria, Louisiana State U., & Xavier U., where he was editor of the Xavier Review. He received monastic ordination from Robert Livingston Roshi (New Orleans Zen Temple), and Kosen Nishiyama Roshi (Sendai Temple, Japan). He founded Zen Fellowship of Alexandria (LA) & Zen Fellowship of Bakersfield (CA).

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These discussions of Zen practice are the verbal record―both spoken and written―of a decade or more of reflections on my engagement with the practice of zazen and with my teacher Robert Livingston Roshi, Abbot of the New Orleans Zen Temple. It is also the record of my engagement with my own students, since I have found it is the student who certifies the teacher. Each teacher is a nexus of inheritance and legacy, a recipient of a great gift from the past and a bearer of great responsibility to the future. Most of all, even though addressed to a general audience, this book is a record of my own struggles with Zen, especially with the role of bringing a great faith in everyday Zen practice into balance with a great doubt in the meaning of existence in an unbalanced world. The assertions expressed here as pronouncements and certainties are the result of many hours of taciturnity and uncertainty. ...These words are the traces of those struggles left in the ashes of a great fire of doubt, but in the end are only words, charred finger bones pointing at the moon. Nevertheless, because they result from experience, they point the way without fear of contradiction. The title of this book captures the spirit of Zen in the tradition of Taisen Deshimaru and Kodo Sawaki, a spirit of concentration on the great matter of life and death in the uncompromising attitude of the samurai, the spirit of “No Fear Zen.” Whatever we may think of the specific actions of those Japanese warriors or the causes they fought for, we must respect the concentrated effort of discipline and self-sacrifice that marked their distinctive way of life. And in a world that requires bravery and decisive action in addition to generosity and compassion, we can learn much from the now-extinct samurai in creating a new kind of bodhisattva warrior for peace in the twenty-first century. The particulars described here are in the tradition of Budo Zen, the Zen of “no fear.” In this tradition the importance of the emptiness (ku) of all phenomena (shiki) puts our own lives in perspective with all other phenomena, which are also empty of substance. We learn this through the practice of zazen, from which we emerge not as nihilists intent on shortening our allotted time, but as humanists dedicated to enriching the brief existence we share with all other beings. We can do this only if we are unafraid of life and death, if we are able to, as Hakuin said, “die now!”

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Book Description Hohm Press,U.S., United States, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. No Fear Zen presents an approach to Zen practice that focuses on concentration and sitting (shikantaza) as a discipline that can be practiced in everyday life with the dedication of the samurai. And in a world that requires bravery and decisive action in addition to generosity and compassion, we can learn much from the now-extinct samurai in creating a new kind of warrior for peace in the twenty-first century. While some practices focus on compassion and mindfulness as the goals of Zen practice, No Fear Zen contends that these are outcomes that occur naturally, spontaneously, and automatically from right practice without any goal or object whatsoever. In this way, No Fear Zen is the sequel to the author s edition of Deshimaru s Mushotoku Mind, which encouraged practice for one purpose only, the purpose of no purpose, the gain of no gain, the profit of no profit. The brief Zen talks that constitute the core of the book continue the tradition of spontaneous oral teachings delivered by the teacher (or roshi) during zazen. The collection might remind some of the classic Zen Mind, Beginner s Mind, since the talks can serve either as an introduction to those beginning practice or as a manual for those interested in a structured approach to Zen practice. The tone of the talks ranges from humorous and informal to penetrating and philosophical, with references to day-to-day issues we all face as well as to works of literature. For example, several essays instruct in how to sit, how to manage mind and emotions, while others roam into difficult arenas, like the author s experience in bringing zazen instruction to those incarcerated in a federal penitentiary. As a professor of arts and humanities, Dr. Collins uses great literature, like Shakespeare s Hamlet, to demonstrate his case for fearless action uncomplicated by over-thinking. The collection ends with a sustained commentary on the twenty-one deathbed teachings of the samurai Miyamoto Musashi to his student Terao Magonojo. This provides a suitable conclusion to the work, which has focused on concentration and discipline for their own sake with the result of dispelling fear of death and fear of life. As the author s teacher, Robert Livingston, always said, coming to zazen was like climbing into your coffin, but after zazen there was no fear. Seller Inventory # AAS9781935387954

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Book Description Hohm Press,U.S., United States, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. No Fear Zen presents an approach to Zen practice that focuses on concentration and sitting (shikantaza) as a discipline that can be practiced in everyday life with the dedication of the samurai. And in a world that requires bravery and decisive action in addition to generosity and compassion, we can learn much from the now-extinct samurai in creating a new kind of warrior for peace in the twenty-first century. While some practices focus on compassion and mindfulness as the goals of Zen practice, No Fear Zen contends that these are outcomes that occur naturally, spontaneously, and automatically from right practice without any goal or object whatsoever. In this way, No Fear Zen is the sequel to the author s edition of Deshimaru s Mushotoku Mind, which encouraged practice for one purpose only, the purpose of no purpose, the gain of no gain, the profit of no profit. The brief Zen talks that constitute the core of the book continue the tradition of spontaneous oral teachings delivered by the teacher (or roshi) during zazen. The collection might remind some of the classic Zen Mind, Beginner s Mind, since the talks can serve either as an introduction to those beginning practice or as a manual for those interested in a structured approach to Zen practice. The tone of the talks ranges from humorous and informal to penetrating and philosophical, with references to day-to-day issues we all face as well as to works of literature. For example, several essays instruct in how to sit, how to manage mind and emotions, while others roam into difficult arenas, like the author s experience in bringing zazen instruction to those incarcerated in a federal penitentiary. As a professor of arts and humanities, Dr. Collins uses great literature, like Shakespeare s Hamlet, to demonstrate his case for fearless action uncomplicated by over-thinking. The collection ends with a sustained commentary on the twenty-one deathbed teachings of the samurai Miyamoto Musashi to his student Terao Magonojo. This provides a suitable conclusion to the work, which has focused on concentration and discipline for their own sake with the result of dispelling fear of death and fear of life. As the author s teacher, Robert Livingston, always said, coming to zazen was like climbing into your coffin, but after zazen there was no fear. Seller Inventory # AAS9781935387954

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