Sermons Of A Buddhist Abbot: [Zen For Americans]
by Soyen Shaku
Almost one hundred years after it was first published, Sermons of a Buddhist Abbot remains one of the best introductions to Buddhist thought for a Western audience. Newly edited and with an illuminating new foreword by one of today’s foremost scholars of Buddhism and Japanese religion, Taitestsu Unno, it contains the lectures and articles of the Japanese Zen abbot Soyen Shaku, whose talks in the United States first popularized Buddhism. Foreshadowing the attitude and method of many contemporary teachers, Shaku advocates an approach to religious life that stresses personal understanding based on practice and experience, rather than the acceptance of received creeds and doctrines. His lucid explanations make use of Western religious, philosophic, and psychological references to clarify the ideas central to understanding Mahayana Buddhism, which is the basis of all schools and denominations.