"The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching
a book by Roshi Phillip Kapleau
on zen buddhism
and its practice (originally published in 1965).
The book turns away from the idea of talking about zen philosophy
, and even goes as far as to say that books describing "zen philosophy
" and talking about koan
s are detrimental to those who would like to experience zen.
The book is set as a collection of short monologs about zen practice. The book places high emphasis on the practice of zazen and the relationship between the master and student. While the book does highly recomend that any who choose to practice zen find a master, it does have suggestions and make allowances for those who do not wish to, or are unable to, practice under a master.
It is the assertion, in this book, that zen can only be understood by direct experience and through the practice of zazen. As such, it sets out to be a practical guide for the practice of zazen and progressing through different types of zazen. It does this without much talk of philosophy, except a few tidbits that western readership need to help them become comfortable with what they are doing.