In his previous book, Being Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts, Reb Anderson Roshi described how we must become thoroughly grounded in conventional truth through the practice of compassion before we can receive the teachings of the ultimate truth. In The Third Turning of the Wheel, he introduces us to the next stage of our journey by invoking the wisdom of the Samdhinirmocana Sutra.
According to Anderson, the main purpose behind this enigmatic sutra is to reconcile the apparent contradictions between the original teachings of the historical Buddha and the later teachings of Mahayana Buddhism. Anderson reflects on the great metaphysical questions proposed in the Samdhinirmocana Sutra—the nature of ultimate reality, the structure of human consciousness, the characteristics of phenomena, the stages of meditation, and the essential qualities of a buddha—with the clarity of a scholar and the insight of a practitioner.
“Reb Anderson moved to San Francisco from Minnesota, in 1967, to study Zen Buddhism with Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, who ordained him as a priest in 1970. Since then, Reb has continued to study at San Francisco Zen Center, which includes Beginner's Mind Temple at The City Center (San Francisco), Green Dragon Temple at Green Gulch Farm (near Muir Beach, California), and Zen Mind Temple (Carmel Valley, California). Reb served as abbot from 1986 to 1995 and is now a senior dharma teacher.”