To Forget the Self

Perhaps enlightening for grandmasters, maybe entertaining for beginners, but less useful for most in between — To Forget the Self: An Illustrated Guide to Zen Meditation is a 1977 large-format paperback that devotes many pages to the biomechanics of sitting, to poetic quotes-out-of-context, to stark black-and-white photographs, to schedules for Zen community group practice, to stretching exercises, to instructions for making a sitting-cushion, to historical teacher-praise, and to thickets of other individual species of tree. The forest, however, is only glimpsed briefly and unsatisfyingly at a great distance. John Daishin Buksbazen, author, seems to have reused much of the same material in his 2002 book Zen Meditation in Plain English, but without the John Daido Loori photos, a few of which are striking.

^z - 2011-08-22