RE: Rinzai Zen Primer

Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 5/29/22 9:22 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/29/22 9:22 PM

Rinzai Zen Primer

Posts: 491 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
I'm considering sitting at a local Rinzai Zen center, mostly because it's nearby with a schedule that suits me and has lots of retreat opportunities. The thing is, I know diddly squat about Rinzai Zen. Can anyone point to a SHORT book, or perhaps some videos, or dharma talks, suitable for someone who already knows Buddhist basics but is new to Zen? My hope is just to sort out whether the school has any appeal for me, and get some basic concepts in place to make it easier to understand dharma talks if I do go and sit with these folks. 
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Jim Smith, modified 2 Months ago at 5/29/22 10:58 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/29/22 10:45 PM

RE: Rinzai Zen Primer

Posts: 1197 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Martin
I'm considering sitting at a local Rinzai Zen center, mostly because it's nearby with a schedule that suits me and has lots of retreat opportunities. The thing is, I know diddly squat about Rinzai Zen. Can anyone point to a SHORT book, or perhaps some videos, or dharma talks, suitable for someone who already knows Buddhist basics but is new to Zen? My hope is just to sort out whether the school has any appeal for me, and get some basic concepts in place to make it easier to understand dharma talks if I do go and sit with these folks. 


"The Three Pillars of Zen" is about Rinzai. It's a long book but you don't have to read the whole thing. You could have a look at the table of contents and browse through the book.

But each Rinzai location could be very different depending on who is running it. They might me more or less accommodating to lay people. They might be more or less focused on awakening vs householder goals. More or less strict with traditional Zen discipline inside the facility. So I would check the place out anyway. If they have an introductory program to tell people about what they do, go to that etc.

I used to go to a Zen center in the US run by westerners and it was pretty relaxed, not as strict as Japanese monastic Rinzai, and it was accomodating to people with all levels of dedication. I would go to the talks and sitting meditation sessions. I didn't do the Koan practice and I would meditate my own way not the way they taught. I got a lot out of it. Meditating with a group is different than meditating alone and I liked being with people who had a similar interest and values. I took the five precepts there too.

Here  is "The Three Pillars of Zen" on-line, I don't know if it is copyright protected in your area...
https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/KapleauPillars.pdf
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Pepe ·, modified 2 Months ago at 5/30/22 8:04 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/30/22 8:04 AM

RE: Rinzai Zen Primer

Posts: 591 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Meido Moore is a Rinzai Zen Master that is active online. He is the abbot of Korinji Rinzai Zen monastery near Madison, Wisconsin. His Facebook group is "Rinzai Zen Discussion". I have his book  "Hidden Zen: Practices for Sudden Awakening and Embodied Realization" and it's really good, where he discloses +20 practices not previously seen in books (some of them quite similar to Taoist practices). He has a previous book "The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice" which probably is what you're looking for, but I haven't browse yet. 
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Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 5/30/22 2:52 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/30/22 2:52 PM

RE: Rinzai Zen Primer

Posts: 491 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Thanks, Jim. I will check out "The Three Pillars of Zen."

I sat with an IMS group for years but it went permanently Zoom-only and, as you say, there is something about with other people and, for me, Zoom doesn't achieve that. So it's been a few years that I have been without a sitting group and I feel like getting back to that. Another thing that I like about a sitting group is that the dharma talks tend to be about things that I would not have thought about at that time otherwise. When you pick what you read and which online dharma talks to listen to, you shape your own experience. When somebody else picks for me, my guard is down, and it can often be more useful..
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 5/30/22 2:56 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/30/22 2:56 PM

RE: Rinzai Zen Primer

Posts: 491 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
That sounds ideal. Thank you, Pepe!
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Alesh Vyhnal, modified 2 Months ago at 6/12/22 1:29 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 6/12/22 1:29 PM

RE: Rinzai Zen Primer

Posts: 128 Join Date: 2/14/13 Recent Posts
I follow the "Guru Viking" pocast quite regularly, and of the 100+ spiritual masters of all kinds, it was Meido Roshi that appealed to me the most. I have read both of his books. If I had to pick one, it would be "Hidden Zen". If my memory serves me correctly, the book "Three Pillars of Zen" is not about Rinzai Zen, but about the Sanbo Kyodan minority school founded by Yasutani Roshi, a somewhat problematic figure, see the book "Zen at war" by Daizen Victoria. "Three Pillars of Zen" is certainly a worthy book, but Meido Roshi specifically criticizes it because this book considers kensho to be the goal of Zen, when in fact kensho is only the beginning.

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