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An excellent, practical introduction to Zen meditation. Written in a warm and easily accessible style, the book appeals to anyone with an interest in meditation, Zen, or, as is often the case today, a combination of the two. The book emphasizes the importance of receiving good instruction and of finding groups to practice with, yet it lays out the necessary steps to practice Zen meditation on your own. The book includes easily followed exercises to help the reader along. For anyone looking to uncover a clear and insightful path into the philosophy and practice of Zen meditation, this book represents the culmination of that search.
Sensei Daishin was born in London, England, to a Jewish-Christian family of Eastern European backgrounds. He began Zen practice in Philadelphia in 1967, receiving both lay and Priest ordination in the Korean Chogye Order of Zen from the Venerable Seo Kyung-bo. He later practiced with (then) Maezumi Sensei at the Zen Center of Los Angeles (ZCLA), where he was in residence until 1979. He served as pastoral counselor, and was publishing editor of the ZCLA Journal and the Zen Writings Series. In 1999, Daishin renewed his Priest vows with Sensei Yoshin Jordan, and returned to ZCLA to study with Roshi Egyoku. In 2003 he received Preceptor Transmission and was empowered as Dharma Holder, and subsequently received Dharma Transmission in June 2008. Sensei Daishin has a PsyD in Psychology from the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute. He is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private clinical practice. He leads an affiliated sitting group, the Ocean Moon Sangha, in Santa Monica and teaches Buddhist psychology and zazen to mental health professionals. Daishin is the author of To Forget the Self and Zen Meditation in Plain English (Wisdom, 2002) and is co-editor with Roshi Egyoku of the On Zen Practice collection). He is married to Concetta Getsuren Alfano, a Zen practitioner, psychoanalyst and co-founder of the Center for Mindfulness and Psychotherapy. Daishin has one son. Peter Matthiessen is a three-time National Book Award-winning American novelist and nonfiction writer, as well as an environmental activist. His nonfiction has featured nature and travel, as in The Snow Leopard, or American Indian issues and history, as in his detailed study of the Leonard Peltier case, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. He lives with his wife in Sagaponack, New York.