John Daido Loori was born in Jersey City, New Jersey 1931. He was raised Roman Catholic, and only later on found his way to Buddhism and was ordained as a priest in 1983 and later on received dharma transmission in both a Soto and a Rinzailineage and was the dharma heir of the influential Japanese Zen master Taizan Maezumi Roshi. He is the author of numerous books and also the founder of the Mountains and Rivers Order and Abbot of Zen mountain monastery. He died of lungcancer On October 9, 2009.
Dharma encounter is an public interchange between a teacher and student.. The Dharma encounter can happen after a teaching or reading of a text, but it is not required. It has an long history, but can look very different depending on the sangha, although there are some very ritualized, formalised occurrences of its useage. In the book Cave of tigers we are invited to recapture edited dharma encounters (also know as dharma combat or dharma assembly) Zen mountain monastery between students an John Daido Loori.
The dharma encounters we encounter in this book are not the ritualized form, but rather a soft flowing back and forth between two long time friends. The subjects brought forth has something for the whole spectrum of zenpractitioners, whatever their level of understanding is at, presented in an modern context. What unfolds in the mix might sometimes confound you, and might require several readings before you get it, but when you do, it is a gem.
I like these kind of books who do not try to drag a specific teaching out. In the book, Daido Loori gives an short text and then adds an couple of friendly back and forths corresponding to the initial text. This gives the short text, and the Dharma encounters, an extra depth and although that is not really needed, it is very appreciated.
He covers both a lot off different subjects and an important part of the Buddhist tradition, that of the public back and forthdiscussion that is, in my view, a good practice. I only hope that we get to see more of that in the future, and it no be shyed away, because there is so much to be won in presenting it more..
But you don't have to wait that long, you can get engaged right now, right here.
Thank you for your practice.