A Zen Life of Bodhisattvas
A Zen Life of Bodhisattvas

A Zen Life of Bodhisattvas

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A Zen Life of Bodhisattvas, by Rafe Martin

ISBN  978-1-896559-99-5 / 198 pages, 5.83 x 8.27 / October 2023

Special discounted pre-publication price!

Drawing on myth, legend, Zen koans, and Buddhist folklore, as well on his own more than 50 years of formal Zen practice and over 10 years as a fully transmitted teacher, in this companion volume to A Zen Life of Buddha, (Sumeru 2022), award-wining author Roshi Rafe Jnan Martin looks at the nature and role of bodhisattvas, the wise and compassionate beings at the core of Zen Buddhism, and the heart of Zen practice.

Along the way he explores such questions as: What are Bodhisattvas? Are Bodhisattvas real? How do they function? How are they different from Buddhas and from The Buddha? What’s the connection between Bodhisattvas and Zen practice? More importantly, what’s their connection with our own daily lives?


Foreword and Thanks
Section I: Bodhisattvas
1 The Way of Growing-up Beings
2 Manjusri, Bodhisattva of Wisdom: Patron of the Zen Sitting Hall
3 Meeting Manjusri, Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Face-to-Face
4 Manjusri Fails: A Woman Comes Out of Meditation
5 The Bodhisattva of Great Compassion: Kannon, Kanjizai, Kwan-Yin, Avalokitesvara
6 Hands and Eyes of the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion
7 Maitreya Bodhisattva and the Dream Within a Dream: Yang-shan’s Sermon from the Third Seat
8 The Bodhisattva Samantabhadra: A Buddhist Folktale
Section 2: THE Bodhisattva
Introduction: The Buddha as The Bodhisattva
9 Why Be Born Human? The Bodhisattva Makes a Mistake
10 Bodhisattvas We Live Among: Plants, Trees, and Aspiration
11 The Bodhisattva Saves the Realm—as the Consciousness of a Tree
Section 3: The Way of the Ordinary Bodhisattva
12 A Pillar of Zen: Memorial for Roshi Philip Kapleau
13 On Zen and Failure
14 Painting of A Rice Cake: Creative Imagination and the Way of the Bodhisattva
Zen Chants



Rafe Jnan Martin, founding teacher of Endless Path Zendo, Rochester, New York, is a lay Zen teacher in the Harada-Yasutani koan line. A personal disciple of Roshi Philip Kapleau (Three Pillars of Zen) and the editor of Roshi Kapleau’s final books, he also trained with Robert Aitken Roshi (Diamond Sangha) and, later, with Danan Henry Roshi, founder of the Zen Center of Denver, both a Kapleau lineage teacher and a Diamond Sangha Dharma Master. In 2009 Rafe received lay ordination and, in 2016, inka, or formal certification of his successful completion of the Diamond Sangha koan curriculum, as well as Dharma transmission, or authorization to teach as an independent Zen teacher.

Rafe is also an award-winning author of more than twenty books and an internationally known storyteller whose work has been cited in Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, and USA Today. He is a recipient of the prestigious Empire State Award for the body of his work. His most recent books are Before Buddha Was Buddha: Learning from the Jataka Tales, (Wisdom Publications, 2017), The Buddha’s Birth (Merlinwood Books, 2022) A Zen Life of Buddha (Sumeru 2022), and The Brave Little Parrot (Wisdom, 2023). He has spoken at Zen and Dharma Centers around the US and Canada, and his writings have appeared in Buddhadharma, Tricycle, Lion’s Roar, The Sun, Parabola, Zen Bow, Inquiring Mind, as well as other noted publications.

www.endlesspathzendo.org and www.rafemartin.com.

This book is a companion volume to A Zen Life of Buddha. Click on that title for more information about that book.

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