Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

Living by Vow - Praise

A Practical Introduction to Eight Essential Zen Chants and Texts

“Okumura offers his own perpective on different interpretations of these texts, giving detailed analysis of key Japanese words in order to illuminate unseen meanings. In doing so, he shares his personal experiences of these practices, lifting these texts out of their familiar ceremonial settings and bringing them into conversation with the Zen practitioner. The book goes beyond an explication of specific chants and rituals to reveal that the unifying practice of Zen is living by the bodhisattva’s vow.”—Buddhadharma 

Living By Vow unpacks much of the Zen liturgy with striking clarity, depth, and detail. A refreshing read! This is an essential resource for students and teachers alike.”—Dosho Port, author of Keep Me in Your Heart a While 

“An important and much-needed book.”—Steve Hagen, author of Buddhism Plain and Simple 

“Lovely and informative.”—Melissa Myozen Blacker, coeditor of The Book of Mu 

“Shohaku Okamura offers us new ways to approach these sometimes too familiar passages. His writing is always infused by his great love of practice and his love for the living practice of Zen.”—David Rynick, author of This Truth Never Fails: A Zen Memoir in Four Seasons

“I am inspired and delighted by this book and will be using it for a long time to come.”—Zoketsu Norman Fischer, author of Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong 

“This book will be very useful to all beginning Zen students, and also illuminating for many long-time practitioners.”—Taigen Dan Leighton, author of Zen Questions: Zazen, Dogen, and the Spirit of Creative Inquiry