The Three Pillars of Zen

By Roshi Philip Kapleau,

Book cover of The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice, and Enlightenment

Book description

In this classic work of spiritual guidance, the founder of the Rochester Zen Center presents a comprehensive overview of Zen Buddhism. Exploring the three pillars of Zen—teaching, practice, and enlightenment—Roshi Philip Kapleau, the man who founded one of the oldest and most influential Zen centers in the United States, presents…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked The Three Pillars of Zen as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This groundbreaking work by Philip Kapleau provides an authoritative introduction to Zen practice, weaving together personal accounts, teachings, and practical guidance.

Delve into the fundamentals of Zen, including zazen (meditation), koan study, and enlightenment experiences. Accessible and informative, The Three Pillars of Zen is popular, and I quickly understood why. It is for sure not an easy read, but it helps as orientation in the world of Zen, teaching terms, thoughts, and the general philosophy of Zen.

I was totally confused, especially in my early days, but studying this book helped me to access new terminology, think and understand my…

From Christian's list on Zen which changed the way I think.

In addition to Zen meditation instructions, this book contains numerous first-hand accounts of individual experiences during the quest for satori/enlightenment. Not only does the book show the variety of possible experiences on the journey but also how a guide can aid the seeker through the intricacies of the path. The supplemental section contains the Ten Oxherding Pictures which depict the stages of the spiritual journey. I used this set of pictures as one of the foundational structures for my book. Three Pillars is a compelling read with much Zen wisdom packed into its pages.

Zen meditation has been one way I have pushed myself to explore the potential of the mind, though it’s so hard! After nearly 40 years of daily practice, I feel I am only just beginning to glimpse where this extraordinary, and naturally unfolding, process leads. What is unique in this book (and there are so many books on meditation) is the straightforward but amazing descriptions of ordinary people who have hit upon enlightenment experiences, whether after years of training or just spontaneously, as happened to me as a student. These accounts help me to keep going and to understand my…

From Susan's list on weird experiences.

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