In the Belly of the Dragon

 

A Zen Monk’s Commentary on the Shinjinmei by Master Sosan (d. 606)

   
  by Rei Ryu Philippe Coupey
   

The Shinjinmei (written in the 6th century by the monk Sosan) is the first of Zen’s four fundamental texts. Thus, it is central to all Zen lineages and schools, and an essential source of study for all Zen practitioners.

Philippe Coupey, a contemporary practicing monk for over 45 years, reflects on each of the 73 verses of this famous text. Despite its ancient roots, the Shinjinmei is still dynamic today, and Coupey’s commentaries are fresh and relevant to life in the 21st century. His remarks are not based on scholarly studies, but on the understanding transmitted through a lineage of practice, teaching and commenting on the Shinjinmei by great teachers and masters of the traditions, including Coupey’s own teacher Taisen Deshimaru, who brought this practice to Europe in 1967.

The underlying message of the Shinjinmei is to avoid clinging to the extremes—left and right, good and bad, love and hate. The opening stanza reads: “Entering the Way is not difficult, But you must not love, or hate, or choose, or reject.” This clinging leads to the separation of one thing from another and is therefore the origin of many of the big problems in society today.

The first half of this book was the result of eight years of teaching lectures (kusen) during which Coupey made oral commentary on the text. The remainder of the book (verses 32-73) was created recently as written essays. The style of these presentations is less formal, and more intimately represents the dynamic spirit of the author’s practice. The entire collected work vivifies the ancient Zen text for modern students of the Way and is a valuable resource for all those interested in Eastern thought and religion.

  View Bio Rei Ryu Philippe Coupey
   
$32.95
504 pages
ISBN: 978-1-942493-53-2
paper, 6 x 9 inches

Available July 2020