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The Heart of Being: Moral and Ethical Teachings of Zen BuddhismSalmon-Leaping WordsRight Reading Summer book recommendationsA Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of LifeThe Five Houses of ZenEndless Vow: The Zen Path of Soen Nakagawa

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The Heart of Being: Moral and Ethical Teachings of Zen Buddhism

John Daido Loori

Charles E. Tuttle Co.: Boston, 1996.

267 pp., $16.95 (paper)

Amy Hollowell

Near the end of this book dense with principles and interpretations, John Daido Loori writes that it is vital to “take the teachings out of the theoretical and abstract mode and thrust them into the present moment.”

Loori then recounts the story of a dharma teacher in America who knew that he was infected with the virus that causes AIDS and yet had sexual relationships with students. He “essentially made the statement that his realization, his enlightenment, enabled him to transcend cause and effect,” Loori writes. The teacher has since died, his community of practitioners has virtually broken down, and at least one person has been infected with AIDS virus.

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