Author's Objectives

Cliff, the author, evolved this website starting in 1995 to express his understanding of Zen within the nexus of scientific and mystical religious traditions (see e.g. Jikoji's Science Discussions, and/or his Dharma Talks). With help from his sons Wes and Peter he built Jakkoan zendo, circa 1990. His daughter Terry designed and integrated this website's aesthetics. Cliff was a student of Jikoji's founder Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi from 1970-2002, and thereafter of Jikoji's Guiding Teacher Shoho Michael Newhall; he receiving Dharma transmission from Shoho in 2014. He subsequently served as a Guiding Teacher and administrator at Jikoji until he retired in 2020.

Buddhism, in a Nutshell attempts to clearly identify key tenets of Buddhism in a way that is not cut and dried, but not necessarily warm and fuzzy either. The "nutshell" evolved from a handwritten page, circa 1980, by Angie Boissevain, a teacher of Zen in Kobun's lineage.

Most of the information accessible from the links from "nutshell" is described further in the review of Right, According to Buddha, that follows Thich Nhat Hahn's book "The Heart of Buddha's Teaching". It also reflects related books that attempt to represent Buddhism, rather than teachings from a particular sect or or school within Buddhism, such as "One Dharma", by Joeseph Goldstein, "Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness" by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, and Thich Nhat Hahn's books. Some basic books on Zen, and on meditation, are described in Favorite Authors.

Note that there is no central authority, and no requisite beliefs or commandments, in Buddhism. For any given aspect, there are alternative translations and conflicting opinions. Buddhist practices are open to interpretation, and teachings differ widely among the variety of Buddhist schools and sects.

A few links to web sites that are local or relevant follow. (There are millions of documents, and thousands of web sites, relating to Buddhism.

Kobun, and Jikoji

Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi was an innovative Zen teacher and master. 
Kobun founded Jikoji, a zen retreat and teaching center on Skyline Boulevard, above Saratoga CA.
Talks by Kobun, and related teachings, are online.

Local and Related Sites

San Francisco Zen Center includes news, contacts, schedules etc. for Zen Center as well as Tasajara monastery, Green Gulch Farm, and related practice centers in the Bay Area. 
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction describes the center that initiated MBSR classes in medical facilities, as well as its programs, and includes a locator for finding MBSR classes and programs in many other cities and states.
Insight Meditation Society
describes the society including the Barre MA center and its programs, and provides capsule biographies of many noted teachers. 
Vipassana Meditation describes the many centers and programs founded by S. N. Goenka.
Access to Insight describes Theravada readings and resources, with extensive libraries.
Buddhanet links people and teachings world-wide on a varied and stimulating multimedia site.
A Korean Buddhist center links dharma talks and books from a number of Korean masters. 
A virtual library of Buddhist studies categorizes and links many sects and teachers.
Dharmanet International is an early and large site with extensive references, including an International Directory of Buddhist Associations, Monasteries, and Practice Centers. 
Tibet House represents and links much of Tibetan teachings and culture. 
Kodaiji Zen Site animates Zen.

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