Rather than write a critical review, I have instead listed notes taken during my reading of this book. Perhaps this will help others determine whether or not the book is a good personal fit. Author attended photography workshop led by Minor White. Page 55 - Still point - being in the moment The first step to access the still point is simply to quiet down. We are constantly talking to ourselves.

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By Douglas Martin Oct. He was The cause was complications of lung cancer, Vanessa Zuisei Goddard, his assistant, said. In addition to being abbot of the monastery he started, Abbot Loori founded a worldwide Zen order, was a respected photographer and teacher and wrote 20 books on Buddhism and art.

In 49 days, according to Buddhist belief, he will be reincarnated. The funeral will be held then, Ms. Goddard said. Although there are many Zen centers, some larger, Abbot Loori created one of the few Zen orders based in the United States that has members from Brooklyn to New Zealand.

He published a page quarterly journal and offered Zen instruction on the Internet, and on an online radio station WZEN. Abbot Loori enforced strict rules both for monks and for weekend visitors.

He safeguarded traditions like the precise, meditative Zen way of eating, and decades ago made a video of the ritual that is widely used in Buddhist circles.

But for the thousands who have come to his monastery, he offered not just the expected instruction in traditions like Zen archery but also topics like gay and lesbian spirituality. And unlike traditional Buddhist practitioners, he promoted women as leaders of Zen centers. Some chants were in English. Image John Loori founded an influential monastery in the Catskills. His favorite toy was a Brownie camera.

He forged a birth certificate to join the Navy when he was 16 and served on an aircraft carrier. He went to work for a company that made artificial flavors, meanwhile attending Monmouth College, Rutgers and the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn.

During the s, he felt his life was collapsing. He was working long hours and spending little time with his children. His marriage was shattering. He groped back from his personal crisis by starting a photo studio. His photo career included books, exhibitions and teaching jobs. In and , he exhibited nature photographs at the American Museum of Natural History. A highly regarded teacher in Los Angeles asked him to start a center in the East.

In , he founded the Mountains and Rivers Order along with an arts center. The complex became a monastery in , after visitors wanted more rigor. In , Abbot Loori assumed both roles. The monastery fit right into a Catskills spiritual scene that already included Zen, Hindu, Tibetan Buddhist, yoga and various New Age centers. A Navy souvenir, it depicted an innocent-enough anchor, but Japanese associate tattoos with criminals, and Abbot Loori refused to erase his past. The ordination finally went ahead.

But the abbot wore a bandage over the tattoo when he visited Japan, Newsday reported in


John D. Loori, 78, Zen Abbot and Photographer, Dies

John Daido Loori is an imaginative modernizer yet fierce upholder of the old ways of Zen. Tremper, New York. The mind- what can we say of it? Forms, created by rock shadows. It was a very transforming thing in my life. I had an opening experience in one of his classes and eventually found my way into Zen. His signature talent is bringing ancient Buddhist forms and methods into a contemporary context, without compromising the vitality and veracity of the teachings.


John Daido Loori

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