Zen Questions

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“Taigen Dan Leighton’s clear, accurate, and eminently useful book will save any serious Zen practitioner, or even a curious novice, years of wasted error, wrong turns, and plain old delusion.”—Peter Coyote


Zazen, Dogen, and the Spirit of Creative Inquiry

Taigen Dan Leighton

Whether speaking of student or master, Zen hinges on the question. Zen practice does not necessarily focus on the answers, but on finding a space in which we may sustain uncertainty and remain present and upright in the middle of investigations. Zen Questions begins by exploring “The World of Zazen,”—the foundational practice of the Zen school—presenting it as an attitude of sustained inquiry that offers us an entryway into true repose and joy. From there, Leighton draws deeply on his own experience as a Zen scholar and teacher to invite us into the creativity of Zen awareness and practice. He explores the poetic mind of Dōgen with the poetry of Rumi, Mary Oliver, Gary Snyder, and even “the American Dharma Bard” Bob Dylan. What’s more, Leighton uncovers surprising resonances between the writings of America’s Founding Fathers—including Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin—and the liberating ideals at the heart of Zen.

book information
  • Paperback
  • 312 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 inches
  • $17.95
  • ISBN 9780861716456
  • ebook
  • 312 pages
  • $13.99
  • ISBN 9780861717088
about the author
Zen Questions

Taigen Dan Leighton, Soto Zen priest and successor in the Suzuki Roshi lineage, received Dharma Transmission in 2000 from Reb Anderson Roshi and is Dharma Teacher at Ancient Dragon Zen Gate in Chicago. After residing for years at San Francisco Zen Center and Tassajara monastery, Taigen also practiced for two years in Kyoto, Japan. Taigen is author of Zen Questions: Zazen, Dōgen, and the Spirit of Creative Inquiry; Faces of Compassion: Classic Bodhisattva Archetypes and Their Modern Expression; and Visions of Awakening Space and Time: Dogen and the Lotus Sutra. He has edited and co-translated several Zen texts including: Dōgen’s Extensive Record: A Translation of Eihei Koroku; Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi; Dōgen’s Pure Standards for the Zen Community; and The Wholehearted Way; and has contributed to many other books and journals. Taigen teaches online at Berkeley Graduate Theological Union, from where he has a PhD. He has taught at other universities including Saint Mary’s College, the California Institute of Integral Studies, and in Chicago at Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary and Loyola University Chicago. Taigen has long been active in social justice programs, including Peace and Environmental Activism.

Other books by Taigen Dan Leighton:
The Art of Just Sitting
Faces of Compassion
Dōgen’s Extensive Record

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