April 5 2013 Buddhism Newsletter
This week I have a new book review for you, a condensed version of a Zen classic:
Review of The Zen Guide
A Guide to Zen: Lessons from a Modern Master by Katsuki Sekida is a contemporary classic that lays out the foundation for zazen, Zen sitting meditation, as well as commentary on the artistic masterpiece and spiritual parable 'In Search of the Missing Ox.'
If you have never heard of 'In Search of the Missing Ox', this book is worth reading just for the pictures of it, and the commentary. It is a timeless parable of the spiritual journey that will appeal to any seeker.
I also wanted to mention a new meditation site I am writing for, called Meditate Like a Girl. As you can probably guess from the name, this site is dedicated to providing meditation resources primarily for women, but many of the resources will appeal to anyone. This month includes an interview with Buddhist Insight meditation teacher Sharon Salzburg, as well as many other meditation resources (including a chakra meditation from yours truly!) I will also be offering a FREE teleseminar on the chakras and life lessons, including a meditation, on April 22nd. If you have struggled to find the right kind of meditation for yourself, be sure to check this site out, as it has something for everyone:
In closing, here is an excerpt from The Zen Guide - the opening paragraphs to the Chapter entitled 'Pure Existence':
"We gave spoken rather easily in this book of the zero level of consciousness, though it is admittedly no easy matter for the beginner to reach this state. There, exhalation is almost stopped, and after a long silence a faint breath stealthily escapes, and then a slight inhalation occurs. Here we encounter the purest form of existence.
Traditionally it is called Original Nature or Buddha Nature. It is the hushed silence of the snowclad Himalayas. Or it can be likened to the eternal silence of the fathomless depths of the sea.
There is a koan that runs, 'Pick up the silent rock from the depths of the sea and, without getting your sleeves wet, bring it up to me.'
The silent rock is yourself. You are asked to pick yourself up from the depths of the sea. But first you will have to find yourself at the bottom of the sea, where eternal silence reigns, with no time, space, or causation and no difference between yourself and others."
Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
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