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Books  >>  Religion

Taizan Maezumi

On Zen Practice

Taizan Maezumi On Zen Practice Body Breath And Mind
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Biographical note:

Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi (1931-95) was a Japanese Zen Buddhist teacher and roshi, and lineage holder in the Soto, Rinzai and Harada-Yasutani traditions of Zen. He combined the Rinzai use of koans and the Soto emphasis on shikantaza in his teachings, influenced by his years studying under Hakuun Yasutani in the Harada-Yasutani school. He founded or co-founded several institutions and practice centers, including the Zen Center of Los Angeles, White Plum Asanga, Yokoji Zen Mountain Center, and the Zen Mountain Monastery. Taizan Maezumi left behind twelve Dharma successors, appointed sixty-eight priests and gave Buddhist precepts to more than five hundred practitioners. Along with Zen teachers like Shunryu Suzuki-roshi, Seung Sahn Dae Soen Sa Nim, and Venerable Hsuan Hua, Maezumi greatly influenced the American Zen landscape. Several Dharma Successors of his-including Tetsugen Bernard Glassman, Dennis Merzel, John Daido Loori, Jan Chozen Bays, Gerry Shishin Wick, Charlotte Joko Beck, and William Nyogen Yeo-have gone on to found Zen communities of their own. Maezumi died unexpectedly while visiting Japan in 1995.

Bernard (Bernie) Tetsugen Glassman is a dharma heir to Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi. He is the founder of the Peacemaker Circle, the famous Greyston Mandala and the Greyston Bakery (featured on 60 Minutes). He is author of Infinite Circle and, with Jeff Bridges, The Dude and the Zen Master.

Robert Baker Dairyu Chotan Aitken Roshi (June 19, 1917 - August 5, 2010) was a Zen teacher in the Harada-Yasutani lineage. He co-founded the Honolulu Diamond Sangha in 1959 together with his wife. Aitken received Dharma transmission from Koun Yamada in 1985 but decided to live as a layperson. He was a social activist advocating for social justice for gays, women and Native Hawaiians throughout his life, and was one of the original founders of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. He produced many Dharma heirs, including John Tarrant and Nelson Foster.

Main description:

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.


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