We imagine ourselves and the universe to be distinct, but within us glimmers the suspicion that we are in fact intimately connected and inseparable from all that there is. The dawning and expansion of such awareness is called enlightenment. In his masterwork—a suite of dialectical works known collectively as the Five Ranks—Dongshan, a Zen master of Old China, approaches enlightenment from five angles, using paradox and poetry to lay out a multifaceted path whereby we might discover enlightenment within this very moment.
Ross Bolleter Roshi assembles and provides commentary on all of the core texts of the Five Ranks, including the precursors that inspired it and works inspired by it. Approaching the Five Ranks from a rich and sophisticated koan perspective, Bolleter Roshi augments his explanations of the works with liberal doses of humor and storytelling, bringing this esteemed classic to life. Each part of the Five Ranks focuses differently on the relationship between the timeless realm of our essential natures and the contingent realm of life and death. They encourage us to transcend naive individualism and to bring our best qualities of compassion and wisdom intimately into our daily lives. In this regard, Dongshan’s Five Ranks lays out the path that every student of the Way must traverse on the journey to becoming a teacher.
The Venerable Myokyo-ni is one of today's most distinguished teachers in the Rinzai Zen tradition. In Gentling the Bull she offers an insightful explanation of the Ten Ox-Herding Pictures, showing how they are a metaphor of both one's Zen training and spiritual journey.
The Ten Ox-Herding Pictures, also known as the Ten Bull Pictures, are believed to have been drawn by Kakuan, a twelfth century Chinese Zen master, but became widely used as a means of Zen study in fifteenth-century Japan. They are used in formal Zen training to this day to show the stages of one's realization of enlightenment. Each of the ten pictures is presented here with a preface and general foreword to the series by Chi-Yuan, a monk in the direct line of Kakuan. Myokyo-ni provides a lucid introduction that sets the pictures in their historical context and shows their relevance to modern Zen training. In her own comments on each picture, she discusses how they are representative of our own search for "oneness" — spiritual fulfillment.
A distinctive feature of Entangling Vines is that, unlike The Gateless Gate and Blue Cliff Record, it presents the koans "bare," with no introductions, commentaries, or verses. Its straightforward structure lends the koans added force and immediacy, emphasizing the Great Matter, the essential point to be interrogated, and providing ample material for the rigors of examining and refining Zen experience.
Containing 272 cases and extensive note material, the collection is indispensable for serious koan training and will also be of interest for anyone drawn to Zen literature. The present translation had its origins in the discussions between three forward-looking modern Japanese Zen masters and Thomas Kirchner, an experienced Zen monk from America. And Kirchner's careful annotation of each koan makes this a brilliant introduction to Buddhist philosophy.
• More than 64,000 copies sold of the first edition
• The first English translation from within the tradition by a Chinese Taoist Master
• Includes translations of the Ten Wings--the commentaries by Confucius essential to the I Ching’s insights
Translated by the eminent Taoist Master Alfred Huang, The Complete I Ching has been praised by scholars and new students of the I Ching since its first edition. A native Chinese speaker, Master Huang first translated the original ideograms of the I Ching into contemporary Chinese and then into English, bringing forth the intuitive meanings embodied in the images of the I Ching and imbuing his translation with an accuracy and authenticity not possible in other English translations. However, what makes his translation truly definitive is his return to prominence of the Ten Wings, the commentaries by Confucius that are essential to the I Ching’s insights.
This 10th anniversary edition offers a thorough introduction to the history of the I Ching, how to use it, and several new divination methods; in-depth and easy-to-reference translations of each hexagram name, description, and pictogram; and discussions of the interrelations between the hexagrams and the spiritual meaning of their sequence.
The I Ching, or Book of Changes, is an ancient manual for divining the future. Its basic text is traditionally attributed to the Chinese King Wen, the Duke of Zhou, and the philosopher Confucius. By tossing coins, rolling dice, using a computer, or, more traditionally, counting yarrow stalks, one can create a seemingly random combination of heads or tails, odd or even, yin or yang, to construct six lines (for example, solid for odd numbers or broken for even numbers). These six lines make up a hexagram that provides advice, predictions, and answers to questions on topics from love and career to family and finance.
While known mostly as a tool of divination, the I Ching is also a repository of centuries of wisdom. Most of the existing translations offer either dense, scholarly commentary or little more than fortune-cookie platitudes, but in The Living I Ching Deng Ming-Dao takes a more holistic approach. His new translation recovers the true wisdom and philosophy of this ancient classic, so that the I Ching becomes more than just a book of fortune-telling -- it becomes a manual for living.