Since the first publication of this book in 1957, Zen Buddhism has become firmly established in the West. As Zen has taken root in Western soil, it has incorporated much of the attitude and approach set forth by Watts in The Way of Zen, which remains one of the most important introductory books in Western Zen.
Zen has often been portrayed as being illogical and mystifying, even aimed at the destruction of the rational intellect. These new translations of the thirteenth-century Zen master Dogen—one of most original and important Zen writers—illustrate the rational side of Zen, which has been obscured through the centuries, tainting people's understanding of it.
Rational Zen consists of enlightening selections from Dogen's two masterworks, "Treasury of Eyes of True Teaching" (the famed Shobogenzo, Japan's most sophisticated philosophical work) and "Universal Book of Eternal Peace," which until now has been unavailable in English. The translator also provides explanations of the inner meanings of Dogen's writings and sayings—the first commentaries of their kind of English. A compendium of authentic source materials further enhances the reader's insight into Dogen's methods, linking them to the great classical traditions of Buddhism that ultimately flowered in Zen.
The Blue Cliff Record is a classic text of Zen Buddhism, designed to assist in the activation of dormant human potential. The core of this extraordinary work is a collection of one hundred traditional citations and stories, selected for their ability to bring about insight and enlightenment. These vignettes are known as gongan in Chinese and koan in Japanese.
Secrets of the Blue Cliff Record is a fresh translation featuring newly translated commentary from two of the greatest Zen masters of early modern Japan, Hakuin Ekaku (1685–1768) of the Rinzai sect of Zen and Tenkei Denson (1648–1735) of the Soto sect of Zen. This translation and commentary on The Blue Cliff Record sheds new light on the meaning of this central Zen text.
Some types of meditation are aimed at promoting a sense of confidence and well-being in everyday life, while other types focus on producing altered states of consciousness, transcending the world, or developing skills for serving other people. The instructions in this book focus on the highest type of all, “pure, clear meditation”: a state of true objectivity that enables the practitioner to use all the other types of meditation freely and consciously, without becoming fixated or obsessed. Minding Mind is based on traditional texts by renowned teachers from various Buddhist schools of China, Japan, and Korea.
Drawn from the records of Chinese Zen masters of the Tang and Song dynasties, this collection may surprise some readers. In contrast to the popular image of Zen as an authoritarian, monastic tradition deeply rooted in Asian culture, these passages portray Zen as remarkably flexible, adaptive to contemporary and individual needs, and transcending cultural boundaries.
The readings contained in Zen Essence emphasize that the practice of Zen requires consciousness alone and does not depend on a background in Zen Buddhism and Asian culture. The true essence of Zen resides in the relationship between mind and culture, whatever that culture might be. This unique collection of writings creates a picture of Zen not as a religion or philosophy, but as a practical science of freedom.
Kensho is the transformative glimpse of the true nature of all things. It is an experience so crucial in Zen practice that it is sometimes compared to finding an inexhaustible treasure because it reveals the potential that exists in each moment for pure awareness free from the projections of the ego. Among the traditional Zen works are a number of important texts focusing on the profound subtleties of this essential Zen awakening and the methods used in its realization. The selections here are taken from: Straightforward Explanation of the True Mind, by Korean Zen teacher Chinul (1158-1210), which provides the contextual balance needed to understand kensho by relating it to the broader teachings of the Buddhist scriptures and treatises. Several works by Japanese Zen master Hakuin (1786-1769), whose teachings emphasize the techniques used in the cultivation and application of kensho and the importance of going beyond the experience itself to apply Zen insight to the full range of human endeavors. The Book of Ease, a Chinese koan collection from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, with commentary showing the practical dimension of classical koan practice.
The translator provides extensive introductory notes and detailed commentary on each of the selections to help the reader understand the inner meaning of this essential experience of Zen.
Hui-neng (638–713) is perhaps the most beloved and respected figure in Zen Buddhism. An illiterate woodcutter who attained enlightenment in a flash, he became the Sixth Patriarch of Chinese Zen, and is regarded as the founder of the "Sudden Enlightenment" school. He is the supreme exemplar of the fact that neither education nor social background has any bearing on the attainment of enlightenment. This collection of his talks, also known as the Platform or Altar Sutra, is the only Zen record of its kind to be generally honored with the appellation sutra, or scripture.
The Sutra of Hui-neng is here accompanied by Hui-neng's verse-by-verse commentary on the Diamond Sutra—in its very first published English translation ever.
This watershed volume brings together over forty teachers, ancient and modern masters from across centuries and schools, to illuminate and clarify the essential matter: the question of how to be most truly ourselves.
Includes writings from: Dogen, Hakuin, Dahui, Thich Thien-An Zenkei Shibayama, Seung Sahn, Taizan Maezumi, Sheng Yen Philip Kapleau, Robert Aitken, Jan Chozen Bays, Shodo Harada Grace Schireson, John Daido Loori, John Tarrant Barry Magid, Joan Sutherland, and many more!
The Blue Cliff Record is a translation of the Pi Yen Lu , a collection of one hundred famous Zen koans accompanied by commentaries and verses from the teachings of Chinese Zen masters. Compiled in the twelfth century, it is considered one of the great treasures of Zen literature and an essential study manual for students of Zen.