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Being Upright

Being Upright takes us beyond the conventional interpretation of ethical precepts to the ultimate meaning that informs them. Reb Anderson Roshi first introduces us to the fundamental ideas of Zen Buddhist practice. Who was Shakyamuni Buddha and what was his central teaching? What does it mean to be a bodhisattva and take the bodhisattva vow? Why should we confess and acknowledge our ancient twisted karma? What is the significance of taking refuge in the buddha, dharma, and sangha? Then Anderson Roshi explores the ten basic precepts, including not killing, not stealing, not lying, not misusing sexuality, and not using intoxicants. A gifted storyteller, Andersen takes us to the heart of situations, where moral judgements are not easy and we do not have all the answers. With wisdom and compassion, he teaches us how to confront the emotional and ethical turmoil of our lives.
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About the Author

Reb Anderson moved to San Francisco from Minnesota, in 1967, to study Zen Buddhism with Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, who ordained him as a priest in 1970. Since then, Reb has continued to study at San Francisco Zen Center, which includes Beginner's Mind Temple at The City Center (San Francisco), Green Dragon Temple at Green Gulch Farm (near Muir Beach, California), and Zen Mind Temple (Carmel Valley, California). Reb served as abbot from 1986 to 1995 and is now a senior dharma teacher.


American Buddhism is a unique expression of the ancient Eastern spiritual path, yet within its natural cultural transformations, practitioners are still sustained by the potentially exquisite lineage of teacher to student; the reliance on time-tested principles to guide the human light; and the manifest glory of every day realized. Anderson (Warm Smiles from Cold Mountains) captures these traditional strengths and renders them very skillfully for the here and now. Anderson is a key spiritual heir to the legendary Shunryu Suzuki, who founded San Francisco Zen Center and authored the enduring classic Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Here, Anderson discusses receiving the 16 great Bodhisattva precepts; taking refuge in the Triple Treasure of Buddha, dharma (teachings) and sangha (community); and embracing and sustaining forms, ceremonies and good actions. He also addresses abstaining from killing, stealing, misusing sexuality, lying, intoxication, criticizing others, mean-spirited self-praise, possessiveness, harboring ill will and disparaging the Triple Treasure. In the best sense, Anderson's fresh treatment of these topics is well suited for his American audience, but is also useful beyond our borders. In readable style, Anderson conveys his message didactically, in story and in precious glimpses of the seminal American Zen master Suzuki. Although definitely written for practitioners, Anderson's emphasis on Buddhism's grounded practicality shines clearly for any open-minded seeker. (Jan.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"Being Upright is a much-needed book that provides a solid basis for upright practice. Its very language is upright." - David Steindl-Rast, O.S.B.

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