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Two Shores of Zen: An American Monk's Japan…

Two Shores of Zen: An American Monk's Japan

by Jiryu Mark Rutschman-Byler

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This book was self-published after a deal fell through, and I'm grateful that the author decided to make it public as an "incomplete draft for the wide sangha." Sure, it needs an editor, but Rutschman-Byler speaks honestly and thoughtfully about his sincere longings and his delusions, which led him from the relative liberalities of Zen in the U.S. to the strict practice he found in Japan, and back again. I recommend this book to any Zen practitioner. This is the kind of stuff that rarely gets talked about—but should be. It digs deep into practice and considers some of the fundamental differences between Japanese and American manifestations of Zen, acknowledging that neither exists without influence from the other. ( )
  seidchen | Mar 21, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 055716821X, Paperback)

When a young American Buddhist monk can no longer bear the pop-psychology, sexual intrigue, and free-flowing peanut butter that he insists pollute his spiritual community, he sets out for Japan on an archetypal journey to find "True Zen." Arriving at an austere Japanese monastery and meeting a fierce old Zen Master, he feels confirmed in his suspicion that the Western Buddhist approach is a spineless imitation of authentic spiritual effort. However, over the course of a year and a half of bitter initiations, relentless meditation and labor, intense cold, brutal discipline, insanity, overwhelming lust, and false breakthroughs, he grows disenchanted with the Asian model as well.Two Shores of Zen weaves together scenes from Japanese and American Zen to offer a timely, compelling contribution to the ongoing conversation about Western Buddhism's stark departures from Asian traditions. How far has Western Buddhism come from its roots, or indeed how far has it fallen? www.ShoresOfZen.com

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:01 -0400)

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