The Light That Shines through Infinity by Dainin Katagiri has the subtitle Zen and the Energy of Life, and discusses the dynamic energy of the universe – known variously as chi, qi, or ki – as it relates to the practice of Zen. Dainin Katagiri, who was the founder and abbot of the Minnesota Zen Meditation Centre, died in 1990, so this book is an edited collection of talks that he gave, and that gives this volume a wonderfully personal tone that all readers are sure to appreciate.
The book is divided into five main parts, the first of which discusses Life Force and Life. The first chapter focuses on The Energy of Life, and introduces the concept of life force from the Buddhist perspective. Subsequent chapters deal with Studying the Self, Time and Space, the Light of the Self and the fact that Everyone Has a Light.
Part Two of the book discusses Practice and Enlightenment, and chapters in this section are titled Awareness of Enlightenment, Let the Flower of Your Life Force Bloom, and The Spiritual Mirror, whilst Part Three, which focuses on Body and Mind, discusses Buddha’s Body, The Human Mind and Being One Mind.
Wisdom and Compassion is the subject of Part Four, with chapters on The Wisdom of Emptiness, Basking in the Buddha’s Compassion and Directing Your Boat, whilst Part Five, on Peace and Harmony, answers the questions, Where Do You Come From? and Where Are You Heading, before concluding with a chapter on Walking Alone with an Open Heart.
We have focused on providing an overview of this book because any attempt to summarise its content would do the title a great disservice. The book is eloquently presented, and delightfully accessible, but it also has incredible depth, and whatever you take from the text on an initial reading is probably only scratching the surface of what you will take from it on subsequent visits.
That said, we can tell you that this book looks set to become a classic, and will serve the Zen practitioner very well for decades to come.