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Novice to Master
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About the Author

Soko Morinaga, was head of Hanazono University and abbot of Daishu-in in Kyoto, one of the twenty-four sub-temples of Daitoku-ji. After finding himself adrift following World War Two, he took up Zen training at Daishuin under Goto Zuigan, formerly abbot of Myoshin-ji and at that time abbot of Daitoku-ji. Morinaga later became the Dharma successor to Oda Sesso Roshi, becoming head monk of Daitoku-ji. He taught regularly at Rinzai temples in California and in England during the latter part of his life. He is author of Pointers to Insight: Life of a Zen Monk, The Ceasing of Notions: Zen Text from the Tun-Huang Caves, and Novice to Master: An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of My Own Stupidity. Morinaga Roshi passed away in 1995.

Belenda Attaway Yamakawa is a longtime student of Zen. She lives with her husband and children near the Sea of Japan.

Reviews

"His story begins with a first awakening to his own mortality when he is drafted into WWII. After the war, he finds that he thought was real is not. What follows is a nearly 50-year personal journey, from young novice to respected master, that finds him living a "succession of realizations of my own misunderstanding and idiocy." It's a touching story of phenomenal growth, wisdom, and - although he never owns up to it of course - enlightenment. - NAPRA Review.

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