No Beginning, No End

The Intimate Heart of Zen

Publisher: Harmony
In No Beginning, No End, Zen master Jakusho Kwong-roshi shows us how to treasure the ordinary activities of our daily lives through an understanding of simple Buddhist practices and ideas. The author’s spontaneous, poetic, and pragmatic teachings—so reminiscent of his spiritual predecessor Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind)—transport us on an exciting journey into the very heart of Zen and its meaningful traditions. Because Kwong-roshi can transmit the most intimate thing in the most accessible way, we learn how to ignite our own vitality, wisdom, and compassion and awaken a feeling of intimacy with the world. It is like having a conversation with our deepest and wisest self.

Jakusho Kwong-roshi was originally inspired to study Zen because of zenga, the ancient art of Zen calligraphy. Throughout this book he combines examples of his unique style with less well-known stories from the Zen tradition, personal anecdotes—including moving and humorous stories of his training with Suzuki-roshi—and his own lucid and inspiring teachings to draw all readers into this intimate expression of the enlightening world of Zen: the world of who we are.

From the Hardcover edition.


Chapter 1

One Inch Sitting,
One Inch Buddha

When the sun first comes up and shines on you, he said, your shadow is big behind you. But as you continue to sit, your shadow gets smaller and smaller, until finally it's just Buddha sitting there.

In the early 1960s, at the Zen Center in San Francisco (...
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“Jakusho Kwong’s book is not about Zen, it is Zen. In what he says and, more important, in how he says it, Kwong-roshi is constantly pointing at the practice/realization of our day-to-day life. He is compassionate and tenacious at the same time. No Beginning, No End invites us to become intimate with our life in the deepest sense of the word and, in the process, with the teachings—and the heart—of a great American Zen master.”
—Bernie Glassman, author of Bearing Witness

“In these talks, Jakusho Kwong-roshi, true Dharma heir of Shunryu Suzuki, has laid out the full path of Zen Buddhism, from its simplest and most straightforward applications to the subtle, nonverbal experiences of realization. Here is a guide that will be helpful to all practitioners of meditation, whatever their path.”
—Diane di Prima, author of Recollections of My Life as a Woman

“Following in the profound lineage of Suzuki-roshi, Jakusho Kwong offers an open-hearted Zen with an immediacy that is both illuminating and simple. These teachings give us confidence to return to our original mind.”
—Jack Kornfield, author of The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace

“This excellent book is the fruit of Jakusho Kwong-roshi’s steady, peaceful, and profound practice. His clear and inspiring expression of the intimate heart of Zen shows that the Dharma transmitted from Japan to America by Shunryu Suzuki-roshi has been received and maintained by American Zen master Kwong-roshi.”
—Shohaku Okumura, director, Soto Zen Buddhism International Center

“This book is a winner. Each thought and entry is a Dharma talk—straight to the heart, mind, and soul. If you are looking for a path to follow or are interested in improving your meditation, this book has my high five.”
—Phil Jackson, coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, author of Sacred Hoops

From the Hardcover edition.