Eloquent Silence: Nyogen Senzaki's Gateless Gate and Other Previously Unpublished Teachings and Letters (Paperback)

Eloquent Silence: Nyogen Senzaki's Gateless Gate and Other Previously Unpublished Teachings and Letters By Nyogen Senzaki, Roko Sherry Chayat (Editor), Eido Shimano (Foreword by) Cover Image

Eloquent Silence: Nyogen Senzaki's Gateless Gate and Other Previously Unpublished Teachings and Letters (Paperback)

By Nyogen Senzaki, Roko Sherry Chayat (Editor), Eido Shimano (Foreword by)


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The most comprehensive collection available of Nyogen Senzaki's brilliant teachings, Eloquent Silence brings new depth and breadth to our knowledge and appreciation of this historic figure. It makes available for the first time his complete commentaries on the Gateless Gate, one of the most important and beloved of all Zen texts, as well as on koans from the Blue Rock Annals and the Book of Equanimity. Amazingly, some of these commentaries were written while Senzaki was detained at an internment camp during WWII. Also included are rare photographs, poems reproduced in Senzaki's beautiful calligraphy and accompanied by his own translations, and transcriptions of his talks on Zen, esoteric Buddhism, the Lotus Sutra, what it means to be a Buddhist monk, and other subjects. Roko Sherry Chayat has edited Nyogen Senzaki's words with sensitivity and grace, retaining his wry, probing style yet bringing clarity and accessibility to these remarkably contemporary teachings.
Nyogen Senzaki, a colleague of Dr. D.T. Suzuki, was one of the first Zen masters to come from Japan to the United States. He founded the first Zen organizations in the new world, in California. He died in 1958.

Reverend Roko Sherry Chayat is abbot of the Zen Center of Syracuse Hoen-ji, which was founded in 1972. She began Zen practice in 1967 with Eido Shimano Roshi at New York Zendo Shobo-ji in New York City, where she also attended Dharma teachings by Hakuun Yasutani Roshi. Her training continued at Dai Bosatsu Zendo with Eido Roshi and, on his frequent visits, with Soen Nakagawa Roshi. She studied with the late Maurine Stuart at the Cambridge Buddhist Association in the 1980s. Roko Osho was ordained by Eido Roshi in 1991, and authorized by him as a Dharma Teacher the following year. He acknowledged her as his Dharma Heir in 1998. A creative writing graduate of Vassar College, she did post-graduate work in painting at the New York Studio School, and was a reviewer for ARTnews in the late 1960s. Her articles have also appeared in Sculpture magazine, American Ceramics, Tricycle, and Buddhadharma, among other journals, and she wrote a column on art for twenty years for the Syracuse Post-Standard and Sunday Stars Magazine, for which she won several awards. She has written, compiled, and edited several books, including Life Lessons: the Art of Jerome Witkin; Endless Vow: the Zen Path of Soen Nakagawa (with Eido Shimano Roshi and Kazuaki Tanahashi), and Subtle Sound: the Zen Teachings of Maurine Stuart. She travels widely to teach and lead retreats, and is a member of the American Zen Teachers Association and Interfaith Works of Central New York. Sherry Chayat was installed as the second Abbot of Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-ji on New Year's Day 2011.

Eido Shimano is a respected elder of the Zen community. He received dharma transmission from Soen Nakagawa Roshi and today serves as the abbot and spiritual teacher of two zendos, living at Dai Bosatsu Zendo in Livingston Manor, New York.
Product Details ISBN: 9780861715596
ISBN-10: 0861715594
Publisher: Wisdom Publications
Publication Date: November 1st, 2008
Pages: 350
Language: English
"Roko Sherry Chayat has produced an elegant and loving tribute to this unique figure (Senzaki), a lively mix of koan commentary, dharma talks, poetry, and personal correspondence illuminating both man and monk."
— Tricycle

"Published fifty years after his passing, Eloquent Silence is the fullest compendium to date of materials of Nyogen Senzaki, the original Japanese Zen pioneer in America (he arrived in 1905) whose stark and enduring dedication to Dharma pervades its pages. The volume includes poems, photos, fascimile versions in English and Japanese, koan talks (all 48 cases of Mumonkan, among others), general dharma talks, anecdotes, and a valuable Senzaki translation of an autobiographical fragment of his teacher, Soyen Shaku, the first Japanese Master ever to visit America. Lovingly assembled and introduced by Roko Sherry Chayat, this book belongs in the library of every English reader of Zen, not only for its historical importance, but because it provides the contemporary student with a clear vision of what the practice has been and what it can be. Senzaki's words go straight to the heart of the truth, without adornment or qualification."
— Zoketsu Norman Fischer, former abbot, San Francisco Zen Center; founder and teacher, Everyday Zen Foundation; author of Sailing Home: Using the Wisdom of Homer's Odyssey to Navigate Life's Perils and Pitfalls

"A towering, yet often overlooked pioneer of Zen in America is brought back to life in this fine collection of his dharma talks, essays, and poems, fifty years after his death. Thanks to the efforts and skillful editing hand of Roko Chayat Roshi, Nyogen Senzaki's clear Zen eye of wisdom and poetic spirit shine through these pages. His wise counsel and cutting words are no less timely for readers and Zen practitioners of today."
— Ruben Habito, Roshi, Maria Kannon Zen Center, and author of Healing Breath: Zen for Christians and Buddhists in a Wounded World

"Nyogen Senzaki is one of twentieth-century Buddhism's most important figures, the first great Buddhist teacher to immerse himself without reservation in American culture, a poet and wanderer, a modern, progressive man and yet at heart a Zen traditionalist. His teachings are as fresh today as when they were given to his small band of pioneering American Zen students.This may be the last trove of unpublished Nyogen Senzaki material, and it includes his commentary on The Gateless Gate. If you haven't read any of Senzaki's teachings, you must. They're fresh, direct, and realized."
— Melvin McLeod, Shambhala Sun