the ceasing of notions

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“This powerful little book is a jewel of Zen Buddhism. Roshi Soko Morinaga goes right to the point of practice and realization.”—Joan Halifax, founding abbot, Upaya Zen Center

THE CEASING OF NOTIONS

An Early Zen Text from the Dunhuang Caves with Selected Comments

Sōkō Morinaga Martin Collcutt

Among the writings from the Dunhuang Caves, discovered in the mid-twentieth Century, are the Zen equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls—ancient texts unknown for centuries. The Ceasing of Notions is one such text. It takes a unique form: a dialogue between two imaginary figures, a master and his disciple, in which the disciple tenaciously pursues the master’s pity utterances with follow-up questions that propel the dialogue toward ever more profound insights. And these questions prove to be the reader’s very own. Soko Morinaga brings alive this compact and brilliant text with his own vivid commentary.

This volume also includes a generous selection from Morinaga’s acclaimed autobiography, Novice to Master: An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of my Own Stupidity.

book information
  • Paperback
  • 128 pages, 5.00 x 8.00 inches
  • $15.95
  • ISBN 9781614290414
  • ebook
  • 128 pages
  • $11.99
  • ISBN 9781614290452
about the author
The Ceasing of Notions

Sōkō Morinaga, was head of Hanazono University and abbot of Daishu-in in Kyoto, one of the twenty-four sub-temples of Daitoku-ji. After finding himself adrift following World War Two, he took up Zen training at Daishuin under Goto Zuigan, formerly abbot of Myoshin-ji and at that time abbot of Daitoku-ji. Morinaga later became the Dharma successor to Oda Sessō Rōshi, becoming head monk of Daitoku-ji. He taught regularly at Rinzai temples in California and in England during the latter part of his life. He is author of Pointers to Insight: Life of a Zen MonkThe Ceasing of Notions: Zen Text from the Tun-Huang Caves, and Novice to Master: An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of My Own Stupidity. Morinaga Roshi passed away in 1995.

Other books by Sōkō Morinaga:
Novice to Master (Paperback)
Novice to Master (Hardcover)

The Ceasing of Notions

Martin Collcutt is a professor of East Asian studies and history at Princeton University, where he teaches Japanese intellectual and cultural history. He also has a particular interest in the introduction and development of the monastic practice in Japanese Rinzai Zen. In the 1960s he studied and practiced Zen in Japan and met Morinaga Roshi at Daishuin in Kyoto. Subsequently he served as Roshi’s interpreter on some of his visits to the United States and England. His academic background in Japanese Zen and his personal and longstanding involvement with Morinaga Roshi and his teaching makes Professor Collcutt’s informative introduction a valuable contribution to the understanding of this classic text.

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