The strange verbal paradoxes called koans have been used traditionally in Zen training to help students attain a direct realization of truths inexpressible in words. The two works translated in this book, Mumonkan (The Gateless Gate ) and Hekiganroku (The Blue Cliff Record), both compiled during the Song dynasty in China, are the best known and most frequently studied koan collections, and are classics of Zen literature. They are still used today in a variety of practice lineages, from traditional zendos to modern Zen centers. In a completely new translation, together with original commentaries, the well-known Zen teacher Katsuki Sekida brings to these works the same fresh and pragmatic approach that made his Zen Training so successful. The insights of a lifetime of Zen practice and his familiarity with both Eastern and Western ways of thinking make him an ideal interpreter of these texts.
This is not a dry scholarly book on Zen. It is a fascinating introduction into a study of self-enlightenment and inner reason that has been a driving force of all Japanese culture. Written by Reginal Horace Blyth (1898-1964) this is a volume free of the dry pedantry that has hobbled so many well meaning French and English studies of Zen. It is free also of the breathless mystery-mongering that unfortunately has bloated American Zen. Blyth reads easily. The questions he poses; the views he offers….all lead to a sense of inner self and an awakening of an awareness of the surrounding universe and one's relationship to it. After discussing "What is Zen?" (and what isn't) Blyth sketches a history of Zen dating from 1000 B.C. to715 A.D., the year of the death of the Sixth patriarch, Huineg. With a historical background thus established, Blyth next provides translations and commentary on some of the most important and basic Zen literature in existence. For the Zen initiate then, this book is an excellent beginning. For the practitioner, further meaningful revelations await.
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.
Author: Katsuki Sekida
Publisher: New World Library
Release Date: 2013-01-15
Very few masters of Zen have been writers; very few writers about Zen have been masters. Katsuki Sekida was both. His finest work, Zen Training, remains one of the most comprehensive books on Zen ever written in English. In A Guide to Zen, Marc Allen, a former student of Sekida, presents selections of the original work to produce a beautifully readable, brilliant guide to Zen meditation. Includes a summary of Zen and a complete course in Zen meditation, with specific practices and commentaries on higher states of consciousness and on a classic series of Zen pictures.
While the philosophical discussion of Zen spirituality reaches its limit, poetry offers an effective expression of the sublime experiences. From a poetic perspective, enlightenment is understood as poetic leaps in the spiritual journey, which brings people from the habitually or conventionally established world toward new horizons of consciousness. This leap is a breakthrough in the overall consciousness, rather than a progression in contemplative thought. Therefore, it cannot be adequately described through abstract representation, but poetry can metaphorically capture this leap and reveal both the spiritual meaning and the practical wisdom of enlightenment. This book will take you on this fantastic journey of enlightenment.
Best known as the man who brought Zen classics to the West, Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki sheds light on all phases of a monk's experience, from being initially refused admittance at the Zendo's door to the definitive understanding the meaning of one's koan as the final act of ordinance into Zen priesthood. The Training of the Zen Buddhist Monk invites us inside the mysterious world of the Zendo, where monks live their lives in monastic simplicity. Suzuki reveals the subtle intricacies of the initiation ceremony, a monk's duty to beg among the laity, and he explains the spiritual remuneration of prayer & meditation as well as a life of service to others.Initially published in 1934, this exceptional hardcover edition contains handsome illustrations of diverse scenes from the life training of a Zen monk.DAISETZ TEITARO SUZUKI (1870-1966) was Japanese author who wrote essays and books on topics such as Buddhism, Zen, and Shin. His books played a role in making the west more knowledgeable with Far Eastern philosophy. He taught at western schools as well as Japanese schools. He was also a translator of Chinese, Japanese, and Sanskrit.