Dharma combat is a practice form unique to Zen in which student and teacher confront each other before a live audience, so to speak. The Zen master takes a seat at the front of the meditation hall and is approached by students, one by one, who challenge the master with questions. The Zen master challenges them in return, and the pithy, energetic exchanges become a teaching for all involved.
"Cave of Tigers" is proof that the ancient practice of dharma combat is alive and well in American Zen. It consists of records of actual dharma combat sessions between John Daido Loori Roshi and his students at Zen Mountain Monastery. The highly charged encounters range from koan-like exchanges to practical discussions of meditation, Buddhist philosophy, and the always-pertinent issue of bringing spiritual practice into everyday life.
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