Books by Rafe Martin

 A Zen Life of BuddhaA ZEN LIFE OF BUDDHA
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Zen Buddhism begins with the Buddha’s enlightenment. While the word, “enlightenment” suggests there is something you get and that once have it you are “enlightened,” “intimacy” comes closer to the truth. We gain nothing. Rather, through attention to counting the breath, experiencing the breath, or putting our attention into a koan, we become of less interest to ourselves and, in this losing is finding. The world steps in — trees, mountains, bugs, rivers, people — and we rediscover our original, undiminished intimacy with all things. No longer strangers to this Earth, to others, or to ourselves, such intimacy has healing power. This is to live our own Zen life of Buddha.

Drawing on ancient myth, on Zen koans, on stories, and on his own over fifty years of formal Zen practice and more than ten years of active Zen teaching, Roshi Rafe Martin reveals the life of the Buddha as our own actual life. Using his skills as an award-winning author and storyteller, he organizes the life of the Buddha into five archetypal chapters – Birth, Leaving Home, Enlightenment, Teaching, and Death and reveals how, at every point, the historic/legendary/mythic life of the Buddha is our own lived life. The end result is transformative, helping us to potentially live each day more consciously, skillfully, and gratefully – whatever comes.

"Wonder of wonders, Rafe Martin once again brings ancient story to life and reveals the Buddha not as a distant archetype and legend but as you and me, intimately practicing together in this very moment for the benefit of all beings. Rafe’s thoroughly lived Zen life shines with wisdom and love of the dharma as he invites us to walk with him in the Buddha's footsteps, to touch and entrust ourselves to the ground of living earth, and to awaken to who we already are in this impermanent and precious human body and life. The bodhisattva path of compassion and goodness is illumined right in the midst of the fire and with Rafe's humble and steady guidance we begin to see and know everywhere as home. Don’t miss this treasure.”

—Chris Fortin, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi lineage; priest and teacher Everyday Zen Foundation and Dharma Heart Zen

"Rafe Martin, Roshi, is a longtime Zen practitioner and experienced Zen teacher. So when he shares in this groundbreaking book the reality that Siddhartha Gautama, known as The Buddha, was no different from us despite the fact that he lived more than two millennia ago it’s a startling realization for most Zen students, who commonly place the Buddha “above” the rest of us. Here, Rafe brings him right down to earth, walking hand in hand with each of us.”

—Mitra Bishop, Roshi, Abbot, Mountain Gate