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Grassroots Zen by Perle Besserman
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Perle Bessermanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Steger, Manfredmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0804834318, Paperback)

Over some 13 centuries of development, Zen Buddhism, especially in its Japanese form, has accumulated a certain amount of cultural and organizational baggage--the robes, the shaved heads, the stern master, the rituals. Some Zen masters will tell you, though, that you can drop the baggage and still travel comfortably. Husband-and-wife team Manfred Steger and Perle Besserman studied first under the cultural weight of Japanese Zen, then with the light-footed lay master Robert Aitken. As Westerners, they found the freedom from tradition liberating. They brought this creative freedom into a group under their own direction, which they call Grassroots Zen. Retaining only the bare bones of Zen--meditation, retreats, interviews, koan--Steger and Besserman return to an early Chinese manifestation of Zen in which lay people got together to meditate as a community. Like vipassana, this form of Zen is heavy on the meditation, light on the ritual; long on the community and short on the impulsive individual. Grassroots Zen, Steger and Besserman say, is a goalless practice that rewards incalculably by bringing every aspect of one's life into balance. --Brian Bruya

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:04 -0400)

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