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Publisher's Summary

In this classic work of spiritual guidance, the founder of the Rochester Zen Center presents a comprehensive overview of Zen Buddhism. Exploring the three pillars of Zen - teaching, practice, and enlightenment - Roshi Philip Kapleau, the man who founded one of the oldest and most influential Zen centers in the United States, presents a personal account of his own experiences as a student and teacher, and in so doing gives listeners invaluable advice on how to develop their own practices. Revised and updated, this edition features a new afterword by Sensei Bodhin Kjolhede, who succeeded Kapleau as spiritual director of the Rochester Zen Center. A moving, eye-opening work, The Three Pillars of Zen is the definitive introduction to the history and discipline of Zen.

©2000 Roshi Philip Kapleau (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"For anyone seriously interested in Zen - this book will be invaluable." ( The Times Literary Supplement)

What listeners say about The Three Pillars of Zen

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Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant!

I have been lost in this book for weeks now. I keep re reading

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A good, if intense introduction

Listening to this felt like getting hit by a kyosaku, with all that entails. Great information for the curious, a snack in the right direction for beginners.

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  • Nathan Hoskins
  • 16-08-2017

Best book on Zen...

I’ve practised Zen for a few years now and read several books on the subject. This is undoubtedly my favourite ‘how to’ guide to Zen. Much of the Zen literature can be cryptic and difficult to relate to for the Western beginner’s mind or as in the case of Alan Watt’s popular book on the subject; glaringly mistaken in its lackadaisical ‘anything goes’ interpretation of how to practice it. This book is clear, concise and detailed but it does not lose any of the flavour of the profound mystery that the practice of Zen opens the practitioner up to or the will and discipline which may be required. The choice of Sean Runnette as narrator could not be a better one. He is the voice of Zen after also narrating Alan Watt’s book but this time his words are actually true to the spirit and practice of the subject. I could not recommend this more for the beginner or the more experienced practitioner who like me has lost their may and may need reminding of the fundamentals of Zazen practice.

19 people found this helpful

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  • mullikens
  • 12-01-2018

great book and wonderfully narrated by S. Runnette

Unforgettable stories, experiences and a guide for livinh. Quite moving. This book is a classic, but brought to life by the narrator, Sean Runnette. Thanks

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-09-2018

Required reading for the Zen aspirant or home Zen practitioner

Clear Useful and applicable content Well narrated and superbly written. As timeless as its subject

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bernie Rowen
  • 12-01-2021

Sincere

This book is both brilliantly written and read. I highly recommend it for all on a spiritual path.

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  • 匿名
  • 21-10-2020

The Three Pillars of Zen

This book gives a very comprehensive account of the practice of Zen meditation. Obstacles that may arise with the practise of meditation are dealt with and ways to overcome them are explained. Even a complete newcomer to Zen meditation will benefit from listening to this book and earn valuable and salient insights into meditation. The narrator has a A voice that lends itself to easy listening.

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  • Peter Hall
  • 25-09-2020

Too long

This book contains everything you would ever want to know about Zen but it is so drawn out and repetitive. I am sure this information could be condensed into a quarter of the size. Also too much use of Japanese terminology which is only explained once. In an audio book you can not refer back to previous definitions so sometimes I had no idea what the author was talking about.

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  • Diane
  • 04-03-2020

Very disappointed

Hard work to listen too. Don’t waste your credit. Could have been 1 hour. Dreadful

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  • Code7
  • 06-09-2019

Not for beginners!

I’ve listened to quite a few books on Buddhism in the past and i have always enjoyed them, which led me to try The Three Pillars of Zen, but I couldn’t get into this book. The author assumes that the listener/reader already has some intermediate understanding of Zen as he uses lots of unfamiliar words that he doesn’t explain the meaning of. This made the book difficult to understand, especially while listening to it as an audiobook as there is no index to check the word meanings like the book has. Aside from that the book doesn’t seem to be set out in a clear way, it jumps from one subject to another. I couldn’t get past chapter 5. I’m sure this book would serve useful for someone with a background in Zen but for a beginner there are much better books that are more clear and concise.

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  • 匿名
  • 30-12-2018

Disappointed

I found this too in depth with unnecessary detail. Also found the narrators voice dull. Not an interesting listen !!

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  • Kishore Shah
  • 21-12-2018

Three Pillars of Zen

Outstanding !!! Highly recommend to others interested in Zen and Zazen Immensely helpful for my own development of Zen and Zazen. Loved all the stories and how Zen masters have their own ways. Very good narration by Sean Runnette !!!!!

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