POINTS OF DEPARTURE: Zen Buddhism With a Rinzai View
By Eido T. Shimano.
The Zen Studies Society Press: Livingston Manor, New York, 1991.
190 pp. $17.00 (hardcover), $12.00 (paperback).
When formal Zen practice began in earnest in this country in the sixties, the Rinzai Zen emphasis on the attainment of enlightenment-experience (kensho) served as the dominant model of practice. More recently, it would seem that Soto Zen has become the more dominant school, in part because of its deemphasis of kenshoand its emphasis on the fact of original enlightenment.
Yet, if Soto Zen’s popularity has anything to do with endorsing he growing tendency among Zen students to practice as if enlightenment-experience has nothing to do with Zen, then it’s time for a Rinzai revival.
One of the more impressive achievements of Points of Departure is the way Eido Roshi balances the traditional Rinzai Zen insistence on the importance of kensho with realistic assessments of the scope of the transformation involved. For example:
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