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The Three Pillars of Zen Teaching Practice and Enlightenment by Philip Kapleau Roshi - 5 Star Review

The Three Pillars of Zen Teaching Practice and Enlightenment by Philip Kapleau Roshi - 5 Star Review

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Published by amit tiwari

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Published by: amit tiwari on Feb 12, 2012
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The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching,Practice, and Enlightenment by PhilipKapleau Roshi
World-renowned Buddhist teacher Roshi Kapleau brings a newintroduction to his twenty-five-year-old classic. Useful to both initiates andlong-term disciples alike, the comprehensive guide is an overview of theprofundities of Buddha. (Philosophy)
Personal Review: The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice,and Enlightenment by Philip Kapleau Roshi
Truly a Masterpiece. Mine is the 35th Anniversary Edition. I am gratefulfor the previous reviews covering this book. The only other Zen book Ihave read is The Way of Zen by Alan Watts that of which Philip Kapleaureferences with criticism as being a false work in many respects.Shakyamuni Buddha's first words upon achieving enlightenment seem tohave been "Wonder of Wonders! Intrinsically all living beings areBuddhas, endowed with wisdom and virtue, but because people's minds
have become inverted through delusive thinking they fail to perceive this."The nature of every entity is without flaw. "Yet human beings, restless andanxious, live half-crazed existences because their minds, heavilyencrusted with delusion, are turned topsy-turvey. We need therefore toreturn to our original perfection, to see through the false image ofourselves as incomplete and sinful, and to wake up our inherent purity andwholeness.""Through the practice of Bompu Zen you learn to concentrate and controlyour mind. It never occurs to most people to try to control their minds, andunfortunately this basic training has been left out of contemporaryeducation, not being what is called the acquisition of knowledge."Thus Zen training works towards the "realization of our true nature" byusing tools such as ZaZen and Koans to directly point towards Selfrealization. These tools work towards removing all delusive thought. TheRoshi or Zen priest is the catalyst to be used by the Zen student to achievean awakening and ultimately enlightenment. For Zen water representsuniversal consciousness. Our minds have become clouded with impuredelusions. The goal is to remove the impurities that exist as delusions inour mind in order to see our true or Buddha nature.What I truly enjoyed from this book is the confidential discussions betweenRoshi and students made public with student/Roshi consent. Specificallythat these students for the most part were common laypersons NOTmonks. Not just easterners but westerners. It was truly a joy to read aboutthe struggles to reach satori (enlightenment) and the subsequent peacethat is sustained in each of their lives.In one discussion from a Roshi to a student; "It is true that the majority ofpeople think of themselves as a body and a mind, but that doesn't makethem any the less mistaken. The fact is that in their essential nature allsentient beings transcend their body and their mind, which are not two butone. The failure of human beings to perceive this fundamental truth is thecause of their sufferings. As I said in my lecture this morning, humanbeings are forever seeking and grasping. Why? They grasp for the worldbecause intuitively they long to be rejoined with that from which they havebeen estranged through delusion."And finally from the "Afterward" section of the book, Bodhin Kjolhedecandy coats the ironical American condition; "This core sense ofunworthiness would seem to be an outgrowth of our Western notion of theautonomous self (in discussion at East-West conferences, Asian teachershave been unable to grasp what we meant by it). It can be seen as theunderside of the American celebration of self, or even the shadow cast byour Judeo-Christian God-concept. It may be masked by grandiosity orself-confidence, but peel away enough layers and, more often than not,there it is."

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