In this companion volume to The Three Pillars of Zen, Kapleau establishes guidelines for Western practitioners of Zen Buddhism, offering appealing, simple answers to the questions Westerners most often ask. Among the topics discussed in this informative, user-friendly book: "Transcendental Meditation: Who Transcends What?", "Can I Practice Zen and Be a Good Jew (or Catholic)?", "Reading About Enlightenment Is Like Scratching an Itchy Foot Through Your Shoe," and "Meditation Is an Escape--What Are You Doing to Help Society?" Kapleau's eloquence, humor, and authority make this an indispensible handbook for understanding Zen in the Western world.
About the Author
In 1953, recognizing the urgency of spiritual questions in his life, Philip Kapleau quit his successful career in court reporting at the age of forty-two sold his belongings, and bought a one-way ticket from Connecticut to Japan. He intended to pursue Zen practice at a Buddhist monastery, and attain enlightenment. A few years earlier he had been sent to Tokyo as a court reporter for the War Crimes Tribunal of Japan, and there had met the eminent Buddhist scholar D. T. Suzuki. Kapleau's participation in the Tokyo Tribunal, and his earlier post as chief court reporter at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany, had left him with penetrating questions about cruelty and suffering.
For thirteen years Kapleau remained in Japan while he trained under two distinguished masters of Zen Buddhism, the late Harada Roshi and his successor, the late Yasutani Roshi.
Kapleau returned from Japan to the United States in 1965 and the following year founded the Zen Center of Rochester, New York. Since its founding in 1966, the Zen Center has attracted students from all parts of the world. The teachings and influence of Roshi Kapleau have now expanded into many other affiliated centers and groups in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and other countries in Europe.
"The Three Pillars of Zen, " Kapleau's first book, has been the bible of several generations of American Zen practitioners. A classic now, it has been translated into twelve other languages, including Polish and Chinese. Three additional books followed: "To Cherish All Life: A Buddhist Case for Becoming Vegetarian; Zen: Merging of East and West;" and "The Zen Art of Living and Dying."
Now in his eighties, Roshi Kapleau resides in south Florida.
Philip Kapleau's classic "Three Pillars of Zen" has sold an estimated five hundred thousand copies. He is the author of "Awakening to Zen, Zen: Merging of East and West, The Wheel of Life and Death," and "The Zen of Living and Dying." Kapleau was the first Westerner to be ordained a roshi. He established the Rochester Zen Center in 1966. He lives in Rochester, New York.
"It strikes new ground by presenting Zen practice in a thoroughly Western milieu...Weighty matters are dealt with so entertainingly that it is hard to put the book down"--John Blofeld
"Taken either for itself or as a companion to Kapleau's classic The Three Pillars of Zen, this is an excellent introduction."--Library Journal
"Kapleau goes into many areas of Zen little explored in Western writings, areas that both perplex and titillate Western students--. His comments and expositions are incisive, humorous, and well illustrated with personal anecdotes and amusing stories."--Re-Vision
"An important contribution to our understanding of Zen in the Western world, where it is now becoming a steadily growing spiritual force."--Lama Govinda, author of Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism and A Living Buddhism for the West