Dongshan and the Practice of Suchness

SL380809Taigen Dan Leighton has published a new book: Just This Is It, Dongshan and the Practice of Suchness. We are more familiar with the Japanese version of Dongshan’s name, which is Tozan Ryokai. Tozan (807-69) is considered to be the founder of the Caodong lineage in China, which became the Soto Zen lineage in Japan.

The Most Excellent Mirror Samadhi, which is part of the liturgy in Soto Zen temples, is attributed to Tozan, and Taigen Dan Leighton includes his own translation of this poem along with a very informative and helpful commentary – highly recommended.

A few weeks ago I posted about the book Inside the Grass Hut, written By Ben Connelly and containing Taigen Dan Leighton’s translation of the poem Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage. In the book, Ben mentions that the poem is chanted at his centre, the Minnesota Zen Center. I checked their website hoping to find an audio download of the chant but no luck. I then emailed the Center and asked if they might consider posting a recording and, to my delight, I received an email from Ben Connelly this week to say they were planning to make a video of it soon and post it in various places. He will let me know when it is done, hopefully in a few weeks. I’ll let you know as soon as I hear back from him.

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