A poetic classic from a major figure of American Zen.
Zen Vows for Daily Life is a collection of gathas, vows in verse form for daily practice, similar to prayers or affirmations for use at home, at work, and in the meditation hall itself. Reciting these poetic vows can help us be fully present in each moment and each activity of our lives. These gathas serve as gentle reminders to return again and again to our highest aspirations, with acceptance, joy, and compassion—for ourselves and all beings. Zen Vows for Daily Life will be a steadfast companion in keeping the reader inspired and committed on their spiritual path.
“Each act in a Buddhist monastery—washing up, putting on clothes, entering the Buddha hall, sitting down for meditation, getting up from meditation—receives its own Dharma poem. Events on pilgrimage—encountering a tree, a river, a bridge, a dignitary, a mendicant—likewise offer entries into truth. My purpose in this book is similar: to show how ordinary occurrences in our modern lay lives are in fact the Buddha’s own teachings—and also to show how we can involve ourselves accordingly in the practice of wisdom and compassion with family and friends, with everyone and everything.”—Robert Aitken, from the Preface
“In [Zen Vows for Daily Life], poetry and meditation always go together. Poetry is comprised of images and music, and images make the practice easy. Robert Aitken Roshi is a poet who deeply appreciates practicing with these gathas. He offers us many beautiful verses, sterling examples of this practice, that we can use to reflect more deeply on what we are doing. I am grateful to Aitken Roshi for offering us this beautiful book.”—from the Foreword by Thich Nhat Hanh
About the Author:
Robert Aitken was one of the most influential and highly esteemed Zen masters of the twentieth century. He was of seminal importance in shaping the expression of modern American Zen and wasas one of the original founders of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, as well as a leading social activist advocating for social justice of all varieties. He is the author of numerous books on Zen Buddhism, including Taking the Path of Zen, Mind of Clover, The Practice of Perfection, and Original Dwelling Place. He died in 2010.
Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the leading figures in contemporary Buddhism, and is the author of The Miracle of Mindfulness and numerous other works.