Friday, July 22, 2011

Uchiyama's "Opening the Hand of Thought"


I posted this as a book we would read and discuss mid August.  Some have noted that it is out of print and on Amazon, listed for about $45 used.  Clearly not within reach.

For your information, on Powell's Bookstore's website (my favorite place in all of Portland), they offer an Adobe version of the book for $15.  It can be downloaded and read on any computer or handheld that opens Adobe.  While reading on a computer may not be the world's best option, I think you will find this book well worth the effort.  (It is also available on a Kindle from Amazon for about $9, but if you don't have a Kindle the Adobe option is best.)



Friday, July 8, 2011

The next book: Uchiyama Roshi's "Opening the Hand of Thought"


Kosho Uchiyama Roshi's book, "Opening the Hand of Thought", is one that Ottmar Liebert first brought to my attention five or six years ago.  Since then I have read it several times and find Uchiyama Roshi amazingly accessible for Westerners.  Direct zazen, without elaborate levels, ranks, koan systems. or other appurtenances.  Yet cutting to the essence.  He explains the Zen practice and insight as clearly as anyone.  A man very much aware of Western rational philosophical traditions, including existentialism, he nicely bridges Eastern and Western thought, putting each in relation to the other.

Our first discussion of this book will be on August 16th.  Kosho Uchimama, "Opening the Hand of Thought: Foundations of Zen Buddhist Practice."


Next Tuesday: the last discussion of The Heart Sutra.

The discussion of the Heart Sutra these past weeks has been stimulating.  Red Pine does a great job taking it apart and in giving its historical and philosophical context.  He makes a sutra chanted sometimes mechanically into a very penetrating tool to break up our conceptualizations.  This coming Tuesday we'll finish with the last lines, those relating to the mantra "Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate.  Bodhi sattva." Join us.