The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedPhilip Kapleau
Title Quotedthree pillars of Zen : teaching, practice, and enlightenment / comp. & ed., with transl., introd. & notes, by Philip Kapleau ; forew. by Huston Smith
Date (Year/Month/Day)1965/10/03
ImprintTokyo : Weatherhill. c1965
QuotationI was especially interested in your account of [your friends' involvement in] the session at Pendle Hill. Who was the Roshi? Yasutani? There is a good new book out with a lot of material by and on him. (Three Pillars of Zen, by P. Kapleau "¦ Best recent book on Zen I have seen.) But from the way you speak of it, this session sounds a little irresponsible, if people are thinking of suicide. What occurs to me is that most Americans and especially intellectuals are hardly prepared to meet Zen head-on, and I think every American who wants to know something of Zen had better begin with a long study and meditation on the basic principles of Buddhism, the four "Nobl" Truths and the skandhas. Otherwise Zen will be dangerous. This concerted rush for "attainment" under pressure will, I am convinced of it, give most Americans a completely pathological grasp of Zen, something quite the opposite of what it really is "¦
Quotation SourceThe Hidden Ground of Love: The Letters of Thomas Merton on Religious Experience and Social Concerns.; Selected and edited by William H. Shannon. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1985, p. 518-19
Letter toLinda (Parsons) Sabbath
Link to Merton's Copy 43216 

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