No Cover Image

The Quest for Self: Zen in Business and Life

Copyright Date: 1995
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 174
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The Quest for Self
    Book Description:

    The principles of Zen philosophy have been applied to professions as varied as motorcycle maintenance and baseball. In The Quest for Self author Takeshi Iizuka shows how he has himself applied Zen principles in business. Iizuka starts from the realization that life is but a single existence, and this leads to his reflections about how best we should live our lives. Iizuka teaches a management style that does not stand in conflict with the fulfilled and meaningful life that is based on Zen principles. Drawing on both eastern and western philosophies, The Quest for Self strives to help others find meaning and purpose in life and business.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-3776-7
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
    Takeshi Iizuka
  4. 1 The Original Landscape
    (pp. 1-16)

    We live our lives only once, whoever we are. When I attended funerals as a heedless youth, I felt that death was only a matter for others and had nothing to do with me.

    In the spring of 1939 I was a law student at Tõhoku Imperial University (present-day Tõhoku University). I remember (though vaguely, for it was well over fifty years ago) reading a book popular among students at that time calledEinleitung in die Pbilosopbie(Introduction to Philosophy) by the German philosopher and leader of the Marburg school of neo-Kantianism, Wilhelm Windelband (1848–1915). In it I came...

  5. 2 The Master’s Teachings
    (pp. 17-32)

    The words “True enlightenment is not enlightenment; true emptiness is not emptiness” are to be found in the Zen classic,The Transmission of the Lamp, accounts of Chinese masters compiled in 1004. If we are conscious of having attained true and correct enlightenment we have not achieved enlightenment at all, for we are caught up in its idea rather than its reality. Similarly, even if we consider that we have achieved absolute enlightenment, this is not the true enlightenment that goes beyond all duality, what we call “emptiness.”

    People think Zen is a religion whose goal is enlightenment, but this...

  6. 3 The Fundamentals of Mind
    (pp. 33-96)

    Many people believe that the image they have of themselves in their head or mind is their true self. This assumption should be considered a little more carefully. The “self” you paint in your mind is a self which has been painted, not the self which paints. People become discouraged because of the mistakes this painted image of the self makes and the ignorance it exhibits; they suffer, and hate themselves. What they are actually doing is playing a sort of game based on a misapprehension. I think there are a good number of people working at TKC who play...

  7. 4 The Wisdom of the Buddha
    (pp. 97-112)

    Chinese Zen speaks of six patriarchs: Bodhidharma, who brought the teachings to China from India, Hui-k’o (487–593), Chien-chih (d. 606), Tao-hsin (580–651), Hung-jen (601–674), and Hui-neng (638–713). Why Hui-neng is generally considered to have been the man who brought Chinese Zen to completion I do not know. I suppose it is because Hui-neng appears to have been the first to speak of Zen in a way ordinary people could understand and the popularizer of the expression “seeing into one’s own nature” (kenshõin Japanese).

    This expression poses many problems. It is used in Zen to mean...

  8. Conclusion: Making the Most of the Now
    (pp. 113-126)

    The problem of self-interest is an eternal question, one which has shadowed us since humankind first began to live in groups, and one which, I think, will be with us for as long as the human race survives. It is probably natural that people should put their own benefit first, if the self they comprehend is that which is merely an object of sensory knowledge. Ramsay MacDonald, the first Labor prime minister of Great Britain, drew a picture of the future in his bookSocialism,Critical and Constructive, which of course reflected the views of his cabinet. The final chapter,...

  9. Appendix 1: The New Era of Auditing and the Accounting System of Japan, Part 1 (October 1990)
    (pp. 127-138)
  10. Appendix 2: The New Era of Auditing and the Accounting System in Japan, Part 2
    (pp. 139-148)
  11. Appendix 3: The New Era of Auditing and the Accounting System in Japan, Part 3
    (pp. 149-160)
  12. Index
    (pp. 161-164)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 165-165)