The Goddess Of Mercy

Robert Aitken Roshi was an American Buddhist pioneer and author of the widely ready book, The Mind of Clover: Essays in Zen Buddhist Ethics. Along with The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice, and Enlightenment by Philip Kapleau and Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi these provided me with my initial readings in Zen Buddhism.

Tricycle Daily Dharma
February 5, 2014

No Mean Preacher

Unpack karma and you get cause and effect. Unpack cause and effect and you get affinity. Unpack affinity and you get the tendency to coalesce. Unpack the tendency to coalesce and you get intimacy. Unpack intimacy and you will find that you contain all beings. Unpack containment and there is the goddess of mercy herself.

– Robert Aitken Roshi, “No Mean Preacher”

Robert Aitken

I remember reading about Robert Aitken’s passing in, where these wonderful words of wisdom came from.

He had received dharma transmission from Koun Yamada Roshi in 1985 and was one of the original founders of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, an organization I have supported.

He was a social activist all his life and spent a lot of time doing projects in engaged Buddhism. He was a strong proponent for deep ecology and a strong opponent for the nuclear arms race and the war in Vietnam. He was also a strong proponent for equality of  men and women.

Robert Aitken Roshi, Phillip Kapleau, Dainin Katagiri Roshi, and especially Shunryu Suzuki Roshi all influenced my decision to take The Three Jewels and becoming a Buddhist. All the teachers led me to my teacher of almost 30 years, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Will you possibly share your teacher or teachers and the path that led you to experience them as your teachers?

The Mind of Clover: Essays in Zen Buddhist Ethics = The Three Pillars of Zen

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