The Essence of Zen - Praise

The Teachings of Sekkei Harada

The Essence of Zen offers encouragement to the beginner and reminders to the more experienced Zen student. Sekkei Harada reminds us that Zen practice knows no cultural limitations, exhorting us to take practice as expedient means for awakening. He then warns us of the dangers of any goal directed spiritual practice and encourages us to come to realization in our bones, not in our thinking minds. This is a compassionate book from a realized master, a book that deserves to be read and reread.”—Zen Master Dae Gak

“In this gem of a book, Zen Master Harada Sekkei wields the life-affirming sword of Zen practice. Readers will experience his keen Dharma eye that cuts through even the slightest movement towards self-centeredness and that illuminates the universal law of cause and effect. Harada Roshi’s insistence of mutual support among all people serves to inspire readers to affirm a world in which we all awaken together.”—Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao, Abbot & Head Teacher, Zen Center of Los Angeles

“Sekkei Harada, one of the most important Japanese Soto Zen masters of this age, goes straightforwardly into the heart of Zen practice.”—Shohaku Okumura, co-translator of Opening the Hand of Thought and Dogen's Extensive Record

“In this book we meet the big heart of Harada Sekkei Roshi, tireless teacher of the Dharma to many students in America and Europe. He is here, encouraging us with kindness, patience, and clarity. I highly recommend this book.”—Zenkei Blanche Hartman, Senior Dharma Teacher and Former Abbess of San Francisco Zen Center

“Harada Roshi goes straight to the heart of the matter with his plain explication of the principles of Zen, exhortation to practice (rather than just think about) Zen, and critique of ‘Zen sickness’ (the sickness of thinking you're not sick). It's a tough love approach to Buddhism that might be our best protection.”—Shambhala Sun