Cover image for Zen meditation in plain English
Zen meditation in plain English
Buksbazen, John Daishin, 1939-
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Wisdom Publications, [2002]

Physical Description:
125 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library BQ9288 .B846 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Central Library BQ9288 .B846 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Boston Free Library BQ9288 .B846 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Eggertsville-Snyder Library BQ9288 .B846 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Elma Library BQ9288 .B846 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Hamburg Library BQ9288 .B846 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Lake Shore Library BQ9288 .B846 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library BQ9288 .B846 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Riverside Branch Library BQ9288 .B846 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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An excellent, practical introduction to Zen meditation. Written in a warm and easily accessible style, this book appeals to anyone with an interest in meditation, Zen, or, as is often the case today, a combination of the two. The book emphasizes the importance of receiving good instruction and of finding groups to practice with, yet it lays out the necessary steps to practice Zen meditation on your own. The book includes easily followed exercises to help the reader along. For anyone looking to uncover a clear and insightful path into the philosophy and practice of Zen meditation, this book represents the culmination of that search.

Author Notes

Sensei Daishin was born in London, England, to a Jewish-Christian family of Eastern European backgrounds. He began Zen practice in Philadelphia in 1967, receiving both lay and Priest ordination in the Korean Chogye Order of Zen from the Venerable Seo Kyung-bo. He later practiced with (then) Maezumi Sensei at the Zen Center of Los Angeles (ZCLA), where he was in residence until 1979. He served as pastoral counselor, and was publishing editor of the ZCLA Journal and the Zen Writings Series . In 1999, Daishin renewed his Priest vows with Sensei Yoshin Jordan, and returned to ZCLA to study with Roshi Egyoku. In 2003 he received Preceptor Transmission and was empowered as Dharma Holder, and subsequently received Dharma Transmission in June 2008. Sensei Daishin has a PsyD in Psychology from the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute. He is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private clinical practice. He leads an affiliated sitting group, the Ocean Moon Sangha, in Santa Monica and teaches Buddhist psychology and zazen to mental health professionals. Daishin is the author of To Forget the Self and Zen Meditation in Plain English (Wisdom, 2002) and is co-editor with Roshi Egyoku of the On Zen Practice collection). He is married to Concetta Getsuren Alfano, a Zen practitioner, psychoanalyst and co-founder of the Center for Mindfulness and Psychotherapy. Daishin has one son.

Peter Matthiessen is a three-time National Book Award-winning American novelist and nonfiction writer, as well as an environmental activist. His nonfiction has featured nature and travel, as in The Snow Leopard , or American Indian issues and history, as in his detailed study of the Leonard Peltier case, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse . He lives with his wife in Sagaponack, New York.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Buksbazen, a psychotherapist who was ordained a Zen priest in 1968 and is affiliated with the Zen Center of Los Angeles, offers practical and down-to-earth advice about the specifics of Zen meditation. He begins by encouraging readers to get involved with meditation and not just read books about Buddhism: "After all, cookbooks are fun to read, but... they are most helpful to somebody who is actually involved in cooking." The bulk of this short primer is concerned with introducing the basics of zazen, or seated meditation: how to position the body, particularly the legs; how and when to breathe; what to think about. Helpful diagrams illustrate the full lotus, Burmese, kneeling (seiza) and other positions. Buksbazen even provides a "zazen checklist" to help beginners remember all of the steps involved in zazen, which as he notes is more difficult than it appears. What distinguishes this book from any number of Zen self-help books is its final section, which focuses on community. Arguing that "true Zen practice cannot be fully experienced in all its diversity and richness by just one person alone," Buksbazen builds a strong case for the powerful effect of being involved with a community of other practitioners. He follows this ideological argument with concrete information about group practice, including meditation retreats and other intensive training periods. In all, this is a fine introduction to Zen meditation practice, grounded in tradition yet adapted to contemporary life. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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