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#169430 - 07/20/05 04:57 PM Rhinocerous Zen
VS_Karateka Offline

Registered: 07/20/05
Posts: 23
Loc: England
Anyone read Rhinoceros Zen? Been trying to find info on it. Is it hard going, insightful and more importantly would you recommend it? I'm really interested in finding out more about the spiritual side of Karate so any other suggestions would be great too!.......
Thanks :
Back off or I'll open a can of whoop ass!!

#169431 - 08/25/05 08:52 AM Re: Rhinocerous Zen [Re: VS_Karateka]
VS_Karateka Offline

Registered: 07/20/05
Posts: 23
Loc: England
Had quite a few hits on this thread but no comments so I've just orderd the book, I'll let you know about it soon..........
Back off or I'll open a can of whoop ass!!

#169432 - 08/25/05 09:50 AM Re: Rhinocerous Zen [Re: VS_Karateka]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
I have a hard time giving a thumbs up or down on zen books...especially if they are story/essay collections vs. say, some 'classic' text. Of course, since he contributes articles to the site, and his dojo is one town over from me...I would be a moron if I said anything negative!

I liked it. His tone is reflective, but different from Dave Lowry. I have to admit, however, to not buying it. I cheated: when I saw it in a Northampton bookstore I read it there. (I read REAL fast.)

THE best book that I have read so far about zen (and it includes some analogies using kendo) is:

'An Introduction to Zen Training', by Omori Sogen

Edited by harlan (08/25/05 01:45 PM)

#169433 - 08/25/05 07:17 PM Re: Rhinocerous Zen [Re: harlan]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
This is on my 'to read' list...a list of which would span my lifetime

#169434 - 11/04/05 12:37 PM Re: Rhinocerous Zen [Re: Kintama]
WuXing Offline

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
I think the book is great. It's no so much a book "on" zen, as a book about how zen and martial arts work together in life. It's a very "real" book, that almost anyone should be able to relate to, especially anyone who is serious about martial arts. It doesn't use a lot of MA or Buddhist jargon, so non-practicioners can understnad it. It is an easy read, and quick going, with many interesting stories and anecdotes.

I was a student of Sensei Brooks until 8 years ago, so I was long gone before his book was published, but I can say he is an extremely "authentic" practicioner of karate and zen. Nothing in the book is exaggerated, regarding the way he trains. Honestly, reading it has given me a new fervor for practice. Or more fervor, since I had a lot of fervor already *lol*
So two thumbs up from me.

Edited by WuXing (11/04/05 12:42 PM)

#169435 - 11/17/05 12:02 PM Re: Rhinocerous Zen [Re: VS_Karateka]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
If I can make some time I'll pull my notes down see what I can remember specifically.

As I recall, it needed a LOT of content editing to be a truly good book. The chapters were extremely inconsistant in terms of their message(s) and content. There may be a good reason why it was self published... perhaps this was it?

As I said, purely and simply off the cuff worthless opinion, I could easily and surely be mistaken,


#169436 - 05/03/06 11:46 PM Re: Rhinocerous Zen [Re: Ronin1966]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
finally made time to read it tonight. It's a different kind of book as people times I got the impression of ocillating between reading a personal diary, post-like recollections from a fight tales & stories forum, MA cult victim recovery and the healing shift to a Zen philosophy...but the main thread throughout the book is a Man's personal Martial Arts journey thus far in his life with introspection and retrospection with a conversational tone.
What makes it interesting and at times seem disconnected is it's timeline of events, stories, reflections, etc are non-sequential. but I suspect if it was put in order, it would sound too much like narration.

My only 'wanting' while reading it, was thinking a bit more humor would have been cool to add.

If you enjoy personal journey books, this will be an interesting read.

cool quote from the book: "Through practice, your mind becomes stronger and your body becomes more intelligent."


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