Living by Vow: A Practical Introduction to Eight Essential Zen Chants and Texts

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Wisdom Publications, Jun 26, 2012 - Religion - 302 pages
2 Reviews
This immensely useful book explores Zen's rich tradition of chanted liturgy and the powerful ways that such chants support meditation, expressing and helping us truly uphold our heartfelt vows to live a life of freedom and compassion. Exploring eight of Zen's most essential and universal liturgical texts, Living by Vow is a handbook to walking the Zen path, and Shohaku Okumura guides us like an old friend, speaking clearly and directly of the personal meaning and implications of these chants, generously using his experiences to illustrate their practical significance. A scholar of Buddhist literature, he masterfully uncovers the subtle, intricate web of culture and history that permeate these great texts. Esoteric or challenging terms take on vivid, personal meaning, and old familiar phrases gain new poetic resonance.

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Review: Living by Vow: A Practical Introduction to Eight Essential Zen Chants and Texts

User Review  - David Guy - Goodreads

In this book Shohaku Okumura goes over much of the liturgy of a Soto Zen Center, interpreting it and explaining it. Okumura is probably the leading writer about Soto Zen in English, and this is another invaluable text. Read full review

Review: Living by Vow: A Practical Introduction to Eight Essential Zen Chants and Texts

User Review  - Vicki Dotson - Goodreads

Overall it was OK. There were some parts that gave me pause, but overall, just OK. Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Shohaku Okumura is a Soto Zen priest and Dharma successor of Kosho Uchiyama Roshi. He is a graduate of Komazawa University and has practiced in Japan at Antaiji, Zuioji, and the Kyoto Soto Zen Center, and in Massachusetts at the Pioneer Valley Zendo. He is the former director of the Soto Zen Buddhism International Center in San Francisco. His previously published books of translation include Shobogenzo Zuimonki, Dogen Zen, Zen Teachings of Homeless Kodo, and Opening the Hand of Thought. Okumura is also editor of Dogen Zen and Its Relevance for Our Time and SotoZen. He is the founding teacher of the Sanshin Zen Community, based in Bloomington, Indiana, where he lives with his family.

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