Zen: Tradition and Transition brings together some of the foremost Zen masters and scholars to create a unique sourcebook for anyone interested in understanding this rich tradition, its history, and its current practice. The wide-ranging original contributions include Chinese master Shen-yen on the essential techniques of meditation; Philip Kapleau on the master-disciple relationship; and Philip Yampolsky on the historical evolution of Japanese Zen. Burton Watson explores Zen poetry using classics from China and Japan, while Albert Low demonstrates the spirited style of Zen commentary in his essay on one of the tradition’s best-known texts. Other fascinating pieces include Morinaga Sato’s memoir, My Struggle to Become a Zen Monk,” and T. Griffith Foulk’s portrait of the daily life of modern Zen monks in Japan. Both accessible to beginners and challenging to the serious student of Zen, this is an authoritative and complete perspective on a philosophical tradition that has flourished for a thousand years.
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Serious training in Zen Buddhist meditation is hard work, as these 11 essays demonstrate. At one Japanese monastery, for instance, morning meditation begins at 4:20 a.m. Fortunately, one can get involved with Zen on different levels, and the contributorspractitioners and scholars, Western and Japanesecover a broad spectrum of approaches. Philip Kapleau, who wrote The Three Pillars of Zen, portrays meditation as a voyage into the vast inner world of mind. Zen abbot Eido Shimano draws parallels between Zen stories, New Testament passages and the Western mystical tradition. Two essays on internal upheavals in North American Zen Communities discuss their emphasis on open dialogue with other religions and the instrumental role of women. Other pieces look at Zen poetry, the master-pupil relationship and little-known Chinese Zen lore. Kraft, assistant professor of Japanese studies at the University of Pennsylvania, helps to bridge the gap between Zen meditation and scholarship.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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