A Guide to Zen: Lessons from a Modern Master

ISBN: 157731249X
ISBN 13: 9781577312499
By: Katsuki Sekida Marc Allen

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About this book

This book takes the formidable 100,000-word classic Zen Training by the great master Katsuki Sekida and extracts its finest gems. Marc Allen has carefully chosen the passages most relevant to today, producing a readable work of six chapters covering the basics of posture, breathing, and training, and presenting various pieces of Zen literature and meditation pictures. The result is a complete course in Zen from a modern master — as one would receive in a traditional Zen center — simply and beautifully written.

Reader's Thoughts


Great source for newbies. The holding tour breath trick works wonders! I have started to understand the Zen concept and hopefully this will help me read and learn more.

Peter Clothier

The first paperback publication of A Guide to Zen: Lessons from a Modern Master by Katsuki Sekida. Originally published in 2003, this is a distillation of Sekida's 1975 Zen Training, a classic work ranked alongside Suzuki Roshi's justly renowned Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Edited by the long-time Sekida student Marc Allen, the Guide is everything you need to know about Zen--in a nutshell.I'm not a Zen man myself. I find the aesthetics infinitely appealing, but the practice itself does not call to me; sitting nose-to-nose with a blank wall strikes me as too reductive an experience, too pure for this one extremely fallible human being. I personally find vipassana to be more compassionate as a practice, kinder and gentler, even..., well, more Buddhist. But that's a matter of personal judgment and choice. More important, A Guide to Zen is a marvelous little handbook, rich in insight and practical tips for the determined sitter. From posture to breath to samadhi entry to "pure existence," it's a step by step, easy-to-use instruction manual that manages to find clarity even in some of the fairly impenetrable aspects of Zen thought. As the Sekida quotation featured on the back cover notes, Zen "is the hushed silence of the snow-clad Himalayas. Or it can be likened to the eternal silence of the fathomless depths of the sea." It's a matter of utterly inarguable beauty.

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