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Teachers: Taizan Maezumi Roshi

Taizan Maezumi was a Japanese Zen roshi and lineage holder in the Soto, Rinzai and Harada-Yasutani lineages—an unusual background for any Zen teacher. He combined the Rinzai use of koans and the Soto emphasis on shikantaza in his teachings, influenced by his years studying under Haku'un Yasutani in the Harada-Yasutani school. Through his decades of teaching he founded or co-founded several institutions and practice centers, among them being the Zen Center of Los Angeles, White Plum Asanga, Yokoji Zen Mountain Center and the Zen Mountain Monastery. Along with Zen teachers like Shunryu Suzuki-roshi and Seung Sahn Soen Sa Nim, Maezumi greatly impacted the landscape of Western Zen practice.

 

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Appreciate Your Life

The first major collection of the teachings of Taizan Maezumi Roshi. These short, inspiring readings illuminate Zen practice in simple, eloquent language. Topics include zazen and Zen koans, how to appreciate your life as the life of the Buddha, and the essential matter of life and death. Appreciate Your Life conveys Maezumi Roshi's unique spirit and teaching style, as well as his timeless insights into the practice of Zen. Never satisfied with merely conveying ideas, his teisho, the Zen talks he gave weekly and during retreats, evoked personal questions from his students. Maezumi Roshi insisted that his students address these questions in their own lives. As he often said, "Be intimate with your life." The readings are not teachings or instructions in the traditional sense. They are transcriptions of the master's teisho, living presentations of his direct experience of Zen realization. These teisho are crystalline offerings of Zen insight intended to reach beyond the student's intellect to her or his deepest essence.

On Zen Practice

This updated landmark volume makes available for the first time in decades the teachings that were formative to a whole generation of American Zen teachers and students. Conceived as an overarching primer on the practice of Zen, chapters in this volume address every aspect of practice: beginning practice, shikantaza, chanting, sesshin, working with Mu, and the nature of koans.

In the intervening years since the publication of the earlier edition, countless books have appeared on Zen. Few, if any, have approached the strengths of On Zen Practice as a reference or teaching tool, and the book retains a lively, immediate quality that will appeal to today's readers.

The Hazy Moon of Enlightenment

On Zen Practice, above, was conceived as the essential primer for beginning Zen practice, offering insight to every aspect of Zen training. The Hazy Moon of Enlightenment takes readers to the next level, exploring some of Zen’s most subtle and sophisticated topics. The first two parts of the book explore enlightenment and delusion: the nature of enlightenment, what it means to describe it as “sudden” or “gradual,” and the nature of delusion and how to distinguish it from reality. Part three looks at “enlightenment in action” — what it means for someone to be living and acting in order with the deep wisdom of enlightenment, and how they can practice “learning how to be satisfied” and enjoy serenity and tranquility. The final section is a moving firsthand account of one woman’s solitary realization of the deepest truths, a story — like this book — at once practical and inspiring.

Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness

On Zen Practice, above, was conceived as the essential primer for beginning Zen practice, offering insight to every aspect of Zen training. The Hazy Moon of Enlightenment takes readers to the next level, exploring some of Zen’s most subtle and sophisticated topics. The first two parts of the book explore enlightenment and delusion: the nature of enlightenment, what it means to describe it as “sudden” or “gradual,” and the nature of delusion and how to distinguish it from reality. Part three looks at “enlightenment in action” — what it means for someone to be living and acting in order with the deep wisdom of enlightenment, and how they can practice “learning how to be satisfied” and enjoy serenity and tranquility. The final section is a moving firsthand account of one woman’s solitary realization of the deepest truths, a story — like this book — at once practical and inspiring.

Teaching of the Great Mountain: Zen Talks by Taizan Maezumi

A collection of dharma talks.

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