Jean Smith's enormously practical approach ensures that The Beginner's Guide to Zen Buddhism will become the book teachers and students alike will recommend.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
This surprising new book from Zen teacher, psychoanalyst, and critical favorite Barry Magid inspires us - in gentle and winking prose - to move on and make peace with the perfection of the way things actually are, including ourselves.
Magid invites us to consider that our "pursuit of happiness" may actually be a source of our suffering. He takes an unusual look at our "secret practices" - what we're really doing when we say we're meditating-like trying to feel calmer, or more compassionate, or even "enlightened" (whatever we imagine that means!). He also uncovers our "curative fantasies" about spiritual practice - those ideas that we can somehow fix all the messy human things about ourselves that we imagine are bad or wrong or unacceptable. In doing so, he helps us look squarely at-and avoid-such pitfalls. Along the way, Magid lays out a rich roadmap of the new "psychological-minded Zen" - a Zen that includes our entire life, our entire personality - as pioneered by his teacher, bestselling author Charlotte Joko Beck.
The Shobogenzo Zuimonki consists largely of brief talks, horatatory remarks, and instructional and cautionary comments by the Soto Zen Master Dogen (1200-1253). Translated, shobogenzo means the eye of the true law. Roughly translated, zuimonki means easy for the ears to understand, or simplified.
Unlike many scholarly studies, which offer detailed perspectives on historical development, or guides for personal practice written by contemporary Buddhist teachers, this volume takes a middle path between these two approaches, weaving together both history and insight to convey to the general reader the conditions, energy, and creativity that characterize Chan. Following a survey of the birth and development of Chan, its practices and spirituality are fleshed out through stories and teachings drawn from the lives of four masters: Bodhidharma, Huineng, Mazu, and Linji. Finally, the meaning of Chan as a living spiritual tradition is addressed through a philosophical reading of its practice as the realization of wisdom, attentive mastery, and moral clarity.
David Landis Barnhill's brilliant book strives for literal translations of Basho's work, arranged chronologically in order to show Basho's development as a writer. Avoiding wordy and explanatory translations, Barnhill captures the brevity and vitality of the original Japanese, letting the images suggest the depth of meaning involved. Barnhill also presents an overview of haiku poetry and analyzes the significance of nature in this literary form, while suggesting the importance of Basho to contemporary American literature and environmental thought.
Thirty years after the publication of his classic work
Dōgen Kigen—Mystical Realist, Hee-Jin Kim reframes and recasts his
understanding of Dōgen’s Zen methodology in this new book. Through meticulous
textual analyses of and critical reflections on key passages primarily from
Dōgen’s Shōbōgenzō, Kim explicates hitherto underappreciated aspects of
Dōgen’s religion, such as the ambiguity of delusion and also of enlightenment,
intricacies of negotiating the Way, the dynamic functions of emptiness, the
realizational view of language, nonthinking as the essence of meditation, and a
multifaceted conception of reason. Kim also responds to many recent developments
in Zen studies that have arisen in both Asia and the West, especially Critical
Buddhism. He brings Dōgen the meditator and Dōgen the thinker into relief. Kim’s
study clearly demonstrates that language, thinking, and reason constitute the
essence of Dōgen’s proposed Zen praxis, and that such a Zen opens up new
possibilities for dialogue between Zen and contemporary thought. This fresh
assessment of Dōgen’s Zen represents a radical shift in our understanding of its
place in the history of Buddhism.
“Kim … makes sense of Dōgen’s puzzling
grammar in lucid prose … Kim’s scholarship and delivery are impeccable.” —
“By offering a creative approach to reflections
about Zen through philosophical musings and weaving a path that ties together
diverse themes and outlooks, Kim provides a new generation of readers who are
eager to learn from the ‘grand master’ of the field an insightful analysis of
key passages from Dōgen’s collected works.” — Journal of
“Kim’s sophisticated forays into Dōgen’s enigmatic texts …
convey the sense of closing in on the essence of this thought.” — Japanese
Journal of Religious Studies
“…Kim spells out his thinking with such
clarity that any reader interested in making a serious effort to understand
Dōgen’s thought will find Kim’s insights indispensable.” —
“Kim has been very successful in providing novel,
innovative means of interpreting Dōgen’s approach to such seminal issues as
meditative thinking, nonduality, illusion, language, logical thinking, and
realization. A new generation of readers will be eager to learn from the ‘grand
master’ of the field and will benefit from his insightful analysis of key
passages from Dōgen’s collected works. This book will take its place among other
prominent philosophical studies of Dōgen by Masao Abe, Joan Stambaugh, and
Gereon Kopf.” — Steven Heine, author of Dōgen and the Kōan Tradition: A Tale
of Two Shōbōgenzō Texts