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Being Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts



  • "In the Buddha Way, We are Supporting All Beings" ~ A talk by Reb Anderson ♡ Zen Dharma 2013
  • Jason Espada recites The Medicine Buddha Sutra (healing)
  • Lecture: Tathagatta & The Twelve Great Vows w/Elizabeth Clare Prophet
  • Phật Thuyết Kinh Vô Lượng Thọ – Buddha Pronounces the Sūtra of Amitāyus Buddha (Sub)
  • Honest and Upright [The Way to the Beyond for the Benefit of All Part 6]
  • Buddhism Education – What supports Buddhism?
  • BUDDHIST STORIES: THE STORY OF CAI SU – Aug 16,2015
  • Yoga | Wikipedia audio article | Wikipedia audio article
  • Yoga | Wikipedia audio article
  • Sangha (Buddhism) | Wikipedia audio article | Wikipedia audio article
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Amazon Price: $16.95 $16.95 (as of February 1, 2019 12:48 pm – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Being Upright takes us beyond the conventional interpretation of ethical precepts to the ultimate meaning that informs them. Reb Anderson first introduces us to the fundamental ideas of Zen Buddhist practice. Who was Shakyamuni Buddha and what was his central teaching? What does it mean to be a bodhisattva and take the bodhisattva vow? Why should we confess and acknowledge our ancient twisted karma? What is the significance of taking refuge in Buddha, dharma, and sangha? The author explores the ten basic precepts, including not killing, not stealing, not lying, not misusing sexuality, and not using intoxicants. A gifted storyteller, Anderson takes us to the heart of situations, where moral judgments are not easy and we do not have all the answers. With wisdom and compassion, he teaches us how to confront the emotional and ethical turmoil of our lives.

Product Details

  • Series: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rodmell Press; First Edition (US) First Printing edition (September 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930485018
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930485013
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces

Customer Reviews

Fantastic! A Must-Read For Anyone On the Buddhist Path or Looking to Live an Ethical Life!

 on November 5, 2017
By Michael
This a wonderfully written book on the Precepts, looking at them from different angles. Andersen shares situations in his life that have helped him see the precepts more clearly. This book has greatly helped my understanding of the precepts and how to approach exploring them in my life.

Not An Introductory Zen Book

15 people found this helpful
 on July 22, 2009
By C. D. White
If you are one who intends to “receive the precepts” by whatever ceremony or process your sangha follows, then this is definitely the book for you. It does not presume to dictate precept practice to anyone. As the book makes clear: Practice arises out of one’s realization while practice simultaneously fosters realization. The author does discuss targets to aim for. However hard those targets may seem at this point in your life, shooting at a target with no bullseye won’t improve anyone’s aim. Ultimately, of course, we each set our own targets. One caution: “Being Upright” says it is written for people already in Zen practice. It is for those who are considering making a public, formal statement of their personal dedicated intent to follow specific Buddhist precepts. As the author says, his title refers to “the integration of precept practice and meditation.” He makes it clear that it is the Zen meditator who decides whether or when to make the vows to practice the precepts. He also says that while some, in his experience, might make their avowal after six months of meditation practice, most should have sat for three years or more (many, many more in his own case).

Thorough and Yet Concise

2 people found this helpful
 on August 27, 2012
By John R. Gigliotti
This book was recommended to me by a local Zen priest because of my Zen practice and questioning of how to live in a Zen manner. “Being Upright” did not disappoint. You will learn much about the precepts and have a good foundation upon what living in a manner that is “free from suffering” is all about. Reb Anderson mixes Zen stories and personal stories to make this book well-rounded. Definitely a book I will come back to when I want to be upright and stand still in this chaotic world.

Great read recommended by my therapist.

3 people found this helpful
 on October 16, 2013
By J. M. Skalnik
I was a little surprised that my therapist recommended this book, but after reading it, I understand why, which I won’t bore you with. I don’t consider myself an evolved person, yet after reading “Being Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts” I saw the benefits and importance of having a “practice” for myself. I would not recommend this book for beginners because I think there has to be a basic understanding and a willingness to understand Zen Meditation. Reb Anderson is open and candid, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Great Read

 on April 18, 2018
By Marie G.
This book is the best read I have had in awhile. Very clear, easy to understand. Mainly, full of information and wisdom.

More touchy feely than Aitken

2 people found this helpful
 on January 14, 2014
By Joe
This is a good book. Anderson is an excellent teacher. All his points are solid and he provides narratives that are to the point. While it is more touchy-feely than Aitken, it is still a good introduction to the Precepts. Actually, the best introduction is from your teacher.

Very helpful to Zen precepts study

One person found this helpful
 on March 22, 2015
By J.R.
I have read a few books on the precepts and this one is my favorite. It helped me prepare for my precepts ceremony and now my local sangha and I are using it as part of a precepts discussion group. What I appreciate most is how open Reb is with sharing his real life experiences where he or others struggled with upholding the precepts, which makes the lessons of this book more practical than philosophical.

Being Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts

 on April 11, 2012
By Kindle Customer
This book is really good! It covers a lot of subjects that some Buddist books don’t touch on and a good book for those who are just getting interested in Buddhism. It is easily understood and clear in its meaning. Makes you look at your actions in a new light and helps you to see alternative behavior, which is what so much of Buddhism is about. Good Book
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