Soyen Shaku

‘Dhyana then is a discipline in tranquillization. It aims at giving to a mind the time for deliberation and saving it from running wild; it directs the vain and vulgar to the path of earnestness and reality; it makes us feel interest in higher things which are above the senses; it discovers the presence in us of a spiritual faculty which bridges the chasm between the finite and the infinite; and it finally delivers us from the bondage and torture of ignorance, safely leading us to the other side of Nirvana.’ (Sermons of a Buddhist Abbot)

I have quoted a few of these pieces before. As I was typing this out, I thought that it is only a few years before Kodo Sawaki was instilling in his listeners the idea of zazen being good for nothing. Both descriptions are, of course, medicine appropriate for the condition of the listener at hand.

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