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Abandon your treasured delusions and hit the road with one of the most important Zen masters of twentieth-century Japan.
Eschewing the entrapments of vanity, power, and money, "Homeless" Kodo Sawaki Roshi refused to accept a permanent position as a temple abbot, despite repeated offers. Instead, he lived a traveling, "homeless" life, going from temple to temple, student to student, teaching and instructing and never allowing himself to stray from his chosen path. He is responsible for making Soto Zen available to the common people outside of monasteries.
His teachings are short, sharp, and powerful. Always clear, often funny, and sometimes uncomfortably close to home, they jolt us into awakening.
Kosho Uchiyama expands and explains his teacher's wisdom with his commentary. Trained in Western philosophy, he draws parallels between Zen teachings and the Bible, Descartes, and Pascal. Shohaku Okumura has also added his own commentary, grounding his teachers' power and sagacity for the contemporary, Western practitioner.
Experience the timeless, practical wisdom of three generations of Zen masters.
Kosho Uchiyama was born in Tokyo in 1912. He received a master’s degree in Western philosophy at Waseda University in 1937 and became a Zen priest three years later under Kodo Sawaki Roshi. Upon Sawaki’s death in 1965, he became abbot of Antaiji, a temple and monastery then located on the outskirts of Kyoto. Uchiyama Roshi developed the practice at Antaiji and traveled extensively throughout Japan, lecturing and leading sesshins. He retired from Antaiji in 1975 and lived with his wife at Noke-in, a small temple outside Kyoto, where he continued to write, publish, and meet with the many people who found their way to his door, until his death in 1999. He wrote over twenty books on Zen, including translations of Dogen Zenji in modern Japanese with commentaries, as are various shorter essays. His Opening the Hand of Thought: Foundations of Zen Buddhist Practice is available in English from Wisdom Publications. He was an origami master as well as a Zen master and published several books on origami.
Shohaku Okumura is a Soto Zen priest and Dharma successor of Kosho Uchiyama Roshi. He is a graduate of Komazawa University and has practiced in Japan at Antaiji, Zuioji, and the Kyoto Soto Zen Center, and in Massachusetts at the Pioneer Valley Zendo. He is the former director of the Soto Zen Buddhism International Center in San Francisco. His previously published books of translation include Uchiyama’s Roshi’s Opening the Hand of Thought, as well as Dogen’s Extensive Record: A Translation of the Eihei Koroku, with Taigen Dan Leighton. He is the author of Living by Vow: A Practical Introduction to Eight Essential Zen Chants and Texts and Realizing Genjokoan: The Key to Dogen’s Shobogenzo. He is the founding teacher of the Sanshin Zen Community, based in Bloomington, Indiana, where he lives with his family.