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Infinite Circle: Teachings in Zen [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Bernie Glassman

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11. November 2003
In Infinite Circle, one of America's most distinctive Zen teachers takes a back-to-basics approach to Zen. Glassman illuminates three key teachings of Zen Buddhism, offering line-by-line commentary in clear, direct language:

   1.  The Heart Sutra: the Buddha's essential discourse on emptiness, a central sutra of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition.
   2.  "The Identity of Relative and Absolute": an eighth-century poem by Shih-t'ou His-ch'ien, a key text of the Soto Zen school.
   3.  The Zen precepts: the rules of conduct for laypeople and monks.

His commentaries are based on workshops he gave as Abbot of the Zen Community of New York, and they contain within them the principles that became the foundation for the Greyston Mandala of community development organizations and the Zen Peacemaker Order.


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What is the relationship between doing Zen and doing good? According to Bernie Glassman's Infinite Circle, they are inseparable. Glassman, a Zen teacher and social activist for three decades, uses the pages of Infinite Circle to explicate his philosophy, which unites diversity and oneness, or the relative and the absolute. For notions of the absolute Glassman turns to the Heart Sutra. For the relative, he explains the Bodhisattva Precepts. To reconcile these two realms, he tackles a brief but complex eighth-century treatise called The Identity of Relative and Absolute. Although the subject matter is challenging, the book is based on a series of lectures. Glassman, a former applied mathematician and aerospace engineer, keeps the tone conversational and works in examples from science and everyday life. For Glassman, enlightenment does not follow from doing Zen; rather, to be enlightened is to do Zen, and vice versa. On the path to understanding this, Infinite Circle is infinitely engaging. --Brian Bruya -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


"A timely and spiritually wise book. Glassman is a very profound and skilled teacher who manages to illuminate some very difficult Zen subjects."— Spirituality and Health

"Glassman's style and thinking are like thick, polished glass: clear, compact, and strong. Marrying metaphor, illustration, and abstraction, he reaches into the heart of many essential concepts, reminding us firmly that, among other things, 'we don't practice to become enlightened . . . we practice because we are enlightened.'"—Publishers Weekly

"A watershed book for Zen students, a good study companion and a trustworthy guide."—Zoketsu Norman Fisher, founding teacher of the Everyday Zen Foundation

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.6 von 5 Sternen  5 Rezensionen
12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Each Reading A New Reward 4. Oktober 2003
Von John D. Buksbazen - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Infinite Circle: Teachings in Zen
by Bernie Glassman
This amazing little book is anything but little. It invites us into a world both familiar and inconceivable, and points to a practice which makes a difference in the world around us as well as within. Starting with the Heart Sutra, Roshi Bernie takes us into the relative realities we encounter moment by moment to the absolute oneness of life. Next, his commentary on The Identity of Relative and Absolute, presents the inseparability of the two seemingly opposite domains, and the implications of that . Finally, examining the Bodhisattva Precepts, he opens the aspects of the life of zazen in the everyday world. A wonderful wellspring to return to over and over again. Each reading a new reward.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Tetsugen spells it all out 29. Juni 2002
Von Andrew - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Bernie Glassman is one of the greatest American Zen teachers. In this book, he goes deeply into some core teachings of Zen. He starts with the Heart Sutra (Prajnaparamita Hridaya Sutra). When I started attending a Zen temple, the nightly chanting of this sutra always confused me, but Glassman's line-by-line analysis shows how this sutra contains great wisdom, and makes understanding clearer.
His analysis of the precepts has been the most helpful to me. He explains the various ways of interpreting each precept, and demonstrates the need for balance. For instance, one of the precepts is non-killing. Some sects of Buddhism extend this to not killing insects and micro-organisms. Glassman explains that to understand this precept, we need not follow it to this level, but we must be aware of it, and try to cause less damage. The precepts, on some level, are an admonition to try our best, and Glassman's discussion will help us to be peacemakers in each moment of our lives.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Heart sutra explained 23. September 2003
Von Shawn K. Smith - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Any Zen student could benfit from reading Bernie's analysis of the heart sutra, which is the subject of the first half of this book. Bernie throughly analyzes the sutra somtimes going as far as to analyze every syllable of a word. This may seem like it could be very dull. 70 or so pages of analysis on a 24 line sutra might seem a bit excessive, but Bernie some how keeps it interesting.
Considering the importance of the heart sutra in Zen practice it seems to me this book should probably be considered for required reading for all beginning Zen students. All of that withstanding there is still the second half of the book in which bernie offers more of the same insights on the identity of relative and absolute and the bodhisattva precepts. This is good stuff and a pretty easy read so I'd highly recommend it.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Direct luminous discussion of vital zen topics by by a superb teacher. 4. Februar 2013
Von Strider4 - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This wonderful little book contains excellent, clear writings on the Heart Sutra, the Zen precepts, the relative and absolute, and the Peacemaker Order (engaged Buddhism) which Glassman founded.

It doesn't get any better than this. These topics are central to any understanding of Buddhism, especially zen: I found myself underlining almost everything. Bernie Glassman's gift to us is a "desert island book": one of a few I would choose if marooned! It's that good.
0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Infinite Circle: Teachings in Zen 11. April 2012
Von Kindle Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This book was assigned reading for the Zen Precept Study that I am participating in. The book is deep and would be difficult for beginners in buddism to conprehend. I find that I read several passages several times before I receive enlightenment, so it takes a commitment to the study. That said, it's very good and the kind of book that you will go back to again and again.
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