Uchiyama’s Shōmyō Practice

Uchiyama’s Shōmyō Practice

Postby Mr. G » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:28 pm

Some of the contributors and readers here are already aware that in addition to his devotion to zazen, Uchiyama Kōshō (1912-1998) had a kind of shōmyō (chanting) practice; and, as he became older, even a bowing practice.

Before becoming a Sōtō Zen priest in his late twenties, Uchiyama had already earned a Masters degree in Western Philosophy from Waseda University and had even briefly taught at a Christian school (a Catholic seminary, I believe). So, he had a number of intellectual influences in his life besides the Zen practice of Sawaki-rōshi that he ultimately committed his life to and came to express in his own, unique way. Okumura-rōshi once told a group of us at a retreat that Sawaki-rōshi represented one of the last of the old type of Japanese Zen teacher and that Uchiyama represented one of the first of the new.

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