Kodo Sawaki

‘To follow the Way is like holding a steering wheel. It is not because you imitate your friend that you drive well.’ (Commentary on the Song of Awakening)

On a recent visit to Zen Center, I saw this book and picked it up right away. I have long enjoyed the Song of Awakening, or Shodoka (a brief search in my post history only brings this up as a previous reference), and I still wish that there was more made of it at Zen Center. While I do have a number of books in my to-read stack, I will be keen to get to this one.

The Zen Center library has – or certainly used to have – many books in it that were unpublished manuscripts, and getting to read some of those felt like a real treat. Nyogen Senzaki’s commentary on the Mumonkan was one such, now published as Eloquent Silenceand this is another, Sawaki’s commentary coming to us thanks to Tonen O’Connor, via a French translation of the Japanese, which always struck me as a little random (though it makes perfect sense, seeing as Taisen Deshimaru was a disciple of Sawaki who moved to Paris).

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