cover image Discovering the True Self: Kodo Sawaki’s Art of Zen Meditation

Discovering the True Self: Kodo Sawaki’s Art of Zen Meditation

Kodo Sawaki, trans. from the Japanese by Arthur Braverman. Counterpoint, $16.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-64009-377-5

The life and writings of Kodo Sawaki (1880–1965) receive a thorough introduction and translation from scholar Braverman (The Grass Flute Zen Master) in this collection. Sawaki, Braverman writes, was a social outcast who grew up in poverty in Tsu, Japan, and was raised by neglectful adoptive parents. He turned to religion and ran away from home at 16 to take up the practice of zazen, or Zen meditation. Sawaki became one of the most influential Zen teachers of the 20th century and was known for his energetic, direct expression of the Buddhist teachings. In the second section, Sawaki’s teachings on meditation are translated by and presented without commentary or exposition from Braverman. At the core of Sawaki’s work is his devotion to “the divine posture” of zazen—which requires removing any gainfulness or sense of being exceptional from the practitioner. Braverman’s sharp, modern translations make Sawaki’s wisdom largely accessible for the first time to English-language readers. This is an essential resource for those interested in Zen meditation. (Oct.)