Embracing Mind : The Zen Talks of Kobun Chino Otogawa
Kobun Chino Otogawa and Others
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Kobun Chino Otogawa was an instrumental figure in the transmission of Zen to America and its evolution within our culture. Sent from Eiheiji to bring the classical forms of Zen to the First Monastery in America, Kobun arrived as a young man in the midst of a social revolution and resonated in perfect time with the evolution of American Zen. With a refined ability to embody form and a deep belief in Buddha Nature - that the Buddha has no body but ours, Kobun taught Zen with intuitive jazz-like creativity.
Allthough he came to assist Shunryu Suzuki at the San Francisco Zen Center, Kobun was enamored of the way Zen, unfettered, blossomed in new soil and he followed it wherever it grew. For Kobun, Zen was not an institution, but the elemental nature of every aspect of our lives and existed in myriad forms. Kobun founded four temples, taught Buddhism at Stanford and Naropa University, demonstrated and taught Caligraphy and Archery, spoke at events, met with sitting groups in their living rooms and hiked the wilderness with the people he encountered. When Steve Jobs founded Next Computer, Kobun was listed as it's Spirtual Director. However Zen spoke to a person, be it as a religion, a practice, an aesthetic or a guiding principle, Kobun wholeheartedly believed in Buddha Nature and followed each path with creativy and grace. The wide ranging talks in this book began as Sesshin Teishos - instructions given to students while in the midst of a week-long period of intensive sitting. Together, they offer an insight into the Zen of Kobun Chino Otogawa, containing both his perspecective on the forms and his emphasis that Zen is revealed not so much in the sutras as it is in the everyday.