In "Infinite Circle, "one of America's most distinctive Zen teachers takes a back-to-basics approach to Zen. Glassman illuminates three key teachings of Zen Buddhism, offering line-by-line commentary in clear, direct language: 1. " The Heart Sutra: "the Buddha's essential discourse on emptiness, a central sutra of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition ...Read MoreIn "Infinite Circle, "one of America's most distinctive Zen teachers takes a back-to-basics approach to Zen. Glassman illuminates three key teachings of Zen Buddhism, offering line-by-line commentary in clear, direct language: 1. " The Heart Sutra: "the Buddha's essential discourse on emptiness, a central sutra of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. 2. "The Identity of Relative and Absolute": an eighth-century poem by Shih-t'ou His-ch'ien, a key text of the Soto Zen school. 3. The Zen precepts: the rules of conduct for laypeople and monks. His commentaries are based on workshops he gave as Abbot of the Zen Community of New York, and they contain within them the principles that became the foundation for the Greyston Mandala of community development organizations and the Zen Peacemaker Order.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 2002-04-15 Former abbot of the Zen Community of New York, Zen master Glassman (Instructions to the Cook) expounds upon three written works here. Though primarily for intermediate and advanced practitioners, some beginners may also find it helpful. The first half is devoted to the 24 lines of the Heart Sutra. So thorough is Glassman's explication that the title alone consumes 10 pages, many addressing the first word of the Sanskrit title, maha. Glassman was trained as a mathematician, a background that becomes evident when he uses the image of the circle: "If we are all within the same circle, then all of this is One Body; there is no outside. Since there is no outside, there is no inside either.... If there is no outside for the circle is infinite then not only is there no inside, there is also no circle anymore." The second section closely examines "The Identity of Relative and Absolute," a classic poem written by Chinese master Shih-t'ou Hsi-ch'ien exploring enlightenment, intimacy and the call to action. Action is of particular importance to Glassman, a cofounder of the international social activists' Zen Peacemaker Order. The third section examines the Bodhisattva precepts, with emphasis on "nonkilling." The author's style and thinking are like thick, polished glass: clear, compact and strong. Marrying metaphor, illustration and abstraction, he reaches to the heart of many essential concepts, reminding us firmly that, among other things, "we don't practice to become enlightened... we practice because we are enlightened." (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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