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Exploring The Original Frontier

In 2020, I mentioned to Taiun-roshi that the Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha would be studying his new book: The Original Frontier. We begin doing so Tuesday April 27, 2021. A few months ago I shared my review of the book while sending a copy to Amazon and following-up with a shorter version among many other impressions now offered.

We begin by looking at the Forward, Introduction, and last chapter of the book entitled The Original Frontier. Taking a cue from Hojo’s section in the introduction entitled How to Read This Book, along with Mortimer Adler’s book of How To Read A Book, we will be deliberately slow-paced in our exploration: no place to find no demand of time.

The choice of Forward, Introduction and last chapter, allow us to read what others think having read the book, what Hojo suggests will unfold and the conclusion as a reflection of the forward and introduction. This is a process I used for fifteen years of college teaching. Looking ahead we will add one chapter a month in our conversations. Some chapters will beg for more discussion reflecting the depth of our immersion. This is not a book to finish, rather it is one to cogitate.

Here are the steps to be used for each chapter in our conversational review:

  • Briefly, what is the general impression of what you read about each of the assigned sections?

  • Each person will give her/his thoughts as we compile thoughts for further discussion.

  • Each person in turn may make a point about or ask a question regarding sentences of paragraphs by section.

  • After each section I’ll respond to the conversation and may offer my impressions as well.

  • After all sections have been covered, we will each give a final impression of the sections based on what we've heard in our conversation.

I encourage everyone to take part in the conversation. You may listen if you have not read the sections and I’ll have a Kindle copy to share as we are discussing the work.

Afterward you may send additional questions for comments and I’ll respond as best I can. Also remember Elliston-roshi will be interviewed about the book, during the Silent Thunder Order retreat: Vows In Bloom, May 13-16, 2021

I'll see you all on Zoom this Tuesday night at 7:00 EDT.

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