Sermons of a Buddhist Abbot

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Nicholas Weeks
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Sermons of a Buddhist Abbot

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:19 am

Circa 1906 with DT Suzuki as translator. Perhaps Soyen Shaku was the first Zen teacher to make an impression beyond Japanese Americans. ... -Abbot.pdf
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!

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Re: Sermons of a Buddhist Abbot

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:08 am

I’ve had a copy since the 1980s. It is a reprint of Soyen Shaku’s talks given at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893. Thereafter he stayed in San Francisco for some time, with a young D T Suzuki as his assistant. His sermons still stand up very well in my opinion. And he was definitely one of the first, if not the very first, emissary of the Rinzai Zen school to preach in America.
The 1893 Parliament included a number of Buddhist delegates, among them Zen Master Soyen Shaku, the Japanese layman Hirai Kinzo, and the Sri Lankan Buddhist reformer Anagarika Dharmapala. The Parliament was organized by a wide spectrum of Protestant and Unitarian leaders, many of whom sought to demonstrate that the world’s religions affirmed the unity of humankind and that Christianity, ultimately, had the unique capacity to embrace this unity.

The Buddhists present were eager not only to participate, but to challenge the Western Christian tradition in a debate over what the true characteristics of a “world religion” might be. For example, Soyen Shaku’s major speech sharply contrasted Buddhist notions of karma as the principle of causation with Christian notions of God as “prime mover.” With arguments he purposely constructed to appear “rational” and “nontheistic” to his Western audience, he suggested that Buddhist principles of karma were completely compatible with modern science. Although Shaku himself insisted that he did not intend to antagonize Christians with his speech, both its content and style challenged many Christians’ ideas about what constitutes “religion.”
Also, a good summary of his presentation can be found on Tricycle
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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