Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Robert Baker Aitken
Robert Baker Aitken (born 1917) is an American teacher of Zen Buddhism in the Harada-Yasutani (or Sanbo Kyodan) tradition, a blending of Soto and Rinzai schools. He was a student of Nyogen Senzaki, Soen Nakagawa , and Haku’un Yasutani and was a disciple of Koun Yamada .
The grandson of astronomer Robert Grant Aitken, he attended the University of Hawaii before and after World War II, earning degrees in English and Japanese Studies. During these studies, he worked closely with a number of academic teachers, including D.T. Suzuki. His involvement in Zen academia would continue throughout his life.
While in a wartime Japanese prison camp (he had been captured as a civilian in Guam), he became interested in Buddhism. In 1950, Aitken made the first in a series of ongoing trips to study Zen as a spiritual student, beginning with Soen Nakagawa at Ryutaku-ji monastery. Over the next twenty-four years, he would travel to Japan to study with Zen masters, and to Los Angeles to study with Nyogen Senzaki.
In 1959 Robert Aitken and his wife Anne Hopkins Aitken established a Zen Center , the Diamond Sangha, which had two zendos in Hawaii. Aitken was authorized to teach by Koun Yamada in 1974. He was given full transmission by Yamada in 1985.
His most well-known book is Taking the Path of Zen, published in 1982, a practical guide to zazen and Zen practice. He has since published numerous works, including several translations, teishos and commentaries on koans.
Aitken has been a noted peace activist, demonstrating against nuclear arms, the Vietnam War and violence in general. He was a participant in founding the Hawaii chapter of the ACLU and has always been an advocate of interreligious dialogue. He is notable in his teachings and writings for his views on the moral implications of Zen.
- Taking the Path of Zen
- The Mind of Clover: Essays in Zen Buddhist Ethics
- Encouraging Words: Zen Buddhist Teachings for Western Students
- The Ground We Share: Everyday Practice, Buddhist and Christian with David Steindl-Rast
- A Zen Wave: Basho's Haiku and Zen
- The Gateless Barrier: The Wu-menkuan (Mumonkan)
- The Dragon who Never Sleeps: Verses for Zen Buddhist Practice
- The Practice of Perfection: The Paramitas from a Zen Buddhist Perspective
- Original Dwelling Place: Zen Buddhist Essays
- Zen Master Raven: Savings and Doings of a Wise Bird
- The Morning Star: New and Selected Zen Writings
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details