From ancient times, the people of Asia have developed spiritual, medical, and martial art traditions based on the flow of universal energy as the life force (sometimes called chi). The teachings of Buddhism have acknowledged and incorporated this cosmic energy, which enlivens everything and interconnects everything yet depends on the impermanence of everything in order to function. Katagiri Roshi refers to it as the rhythm of life, and he suggests that connecting to the universal energy is essential to awakening, to dharma transmission, and to spiritual life in general. This book, assembled from his recorded talks, compiles a broad range of the master's Zen teachings as they relate to the idea of energy, in a way that applies directly to spiritual practice. It's divided into 5 parts- Life Force and Life, Practice and Enlightenment, Body and Mind, Wisdom and Compassion, Peace and Harmony. It's full of autobiographical bits and stories that bring the teaching to life and that convey some of Roshi's spirit.
DAININ KATAGIRI ROSHI (1928-1990) is one of the key figures in American Zen. A Japanese Soto priest and scholar, he emigrated to America in the 1960s and worked closely with Shunryu Suzuki in his last years in San Francisco, moving ultimately to Minneapolis, where he founded the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center.
"Katagiri Roshi's great wisdom shines through every word of this marvelous book. "--Joan Halifax, author of Being with Dying and The Fruitful Darkness "I absolutely love this book. It brilliantly edits the Zen teacher Dainin Katagiri's talks into an invitation and guide for our practice. It moves seamlessly from introductory instructions to the deepest aspects of the Zen way. This book is likely destined to be an American Zen classic. Katagiri Roshi was one of the founding teachers of our North American Zen. His insights and style have shaped who we are. His wisdom and compassion shine through every page of this book. I cannot recommend it highly enough. This book presents the essence of our Zen way."--James Ishmael Ford, author of Zen Master Who? and If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break
"A wonderful book-- full of wonder about the deepest meaning of being human. Katagiri's penetrating understanding and illuminating Dharma beam shines through you, and in this light you may discover deeper truths leading to your own awakened life."--Grace Schireson, author of Zen Women: Beyond Tea Ladies, Iron Maidens, and Macho Masters
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