Book of Equanimity: Illuminating Classic Zen Koans

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Overview

The Book of Equanimity contains the first-ever complete English language commentary on one of the most beloved classic collections of Zen teaching stories (koans), making them vividly relevant to spiritual seekers and Zen students in the twenty-first century. Continually emphasizing koans as effective tools to discover and experience the deepest truths of our being, Wick brings the art of the koan to life for those who want to practice wisdom in their daily lives.

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The Book of Equanimity: Illuminating Classic Zen Koans

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Overview

The Book of Equanimity contains the first-ever complete English language commentary on one of the most beloved classic collections of Zen teaching stories (koans), making them vividly relevant to spiritual seekers and Zen students in the twenty-first century. Continually emphasizing koans as effective tools to discover and experience the deepest truths of our being, Wick brings the art of the koan to life for those who want to practice wisdom in their daily lives.

The koan collection Wick explores here is highly esteemed as both literature and training material in the Zen tradition, in which koan-study is one of two paths a practitioner might take. This collection is used for training in many Zen centers in the Americas and in Europe but has never before been available with commentary from a contemporary Zen master. Wick's Book of Equanimity includes new translations of the preface, main case and verse for each koan, and modern commentaries on the koans by Wick himself.

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Editorial Reviews

Joan Halifax
"This rich and contemporary commentary on the Book of Equanimity takes us through a world of liberating insights. It challenges the reader to look beyond the predictable and obvious to the depth and subtlety of a mind that is truly free."
John Daido Loori
"Wick's pithy commentaries on the Book of Equanimity cut to the quick of the one hundred cases contained in it. A beacon that penetrates through the haze of complications."
from the foreword by Bernie Glassman
"Shishin Wick brings to this important work the depth, precision, and the true vision of the scientist who always stands ready to question everything, never satisfied with platitudes or old standards. He exemplifies the relentless clarity of the teacher challenging us to start afresh in each moment and unabashedly explore in these koans the essence of Zen-and the essence of our lives-in our own words, in the time, culture, and places where we find ourselves."
Robert Jinsen Kennedy
"Gerry Shishin Wick is a Zen teacher of long experience and uncommon depth of practice. Every student of Zen would do well to read this fine book and anything else he writes."
Lama Surya Das
"Wick's brilliant book helps us crack the mystery of the legendary Zen koans that have been driving Dharma students crazy or to enlightenment for centuries. I myself have found it very interesting and useful, both for myself and for Dharma students. It is a real contribution to Buddhist literature in the Western world, further opening the treasure trove of this great wisdom tradition."
Reginald Ray
"With the sureness of one who knows how to travel the beyond, Zen Master Shesshin Wick guides us through this wonderful Zen classic. Through his eyes and his wise hand, he helps us discover in ourselves a life that is ever abundant with the mystery that flows without ceasing from our own primordial nonexistence."
Buddhadharma
"The legacy of Taizan Maezumi Roshi's teachings lives on in The Book of Equanimity: Illuminating Classic Zen Koans by his student, Gerry Shishin Wick. The Book of Equanimity is as central to koan practice in the Soto Zen tradition as the better-known Blue Cliff Record is in the Rinzai tradition. The one hundred koans it discusses were first collected and comment upon with short appreciatory verses by Master Wanshi Shokaku in the twelfth century. A hundred years later, Bansho Gyposhu added prefaces. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Shishin Wick gave a series of talks on each of the hundred cases to Zen students in Colorado, and now with this new publication he offers his commentary and translation to a wider audience. Shishin Wick was trained as a physicist and oceanographer, and his scientific background comes through in his rigorous examination of each case. His poetic sensibility is also evident in the book, such as in his commentary on 'Joshu's Dog,' which describes the noble futility of the bodhisattva vow, by using the image of someone attempting to fill up a well with snow. He draws upon examples ranging from the scholarly (comparisons with other koan collections) to the everyday (a friend's paralyzed dachshund) to show the importance of The Book of Equanimity in the Zen tradition and its relevance to the lives of his students and readers."
Dennis Genpo Merzel
"The Book of Equanimity is one of the most brilliant and subtle texts in the Zen tradition. Shishin Wick's commentaries on this timeless series of koans illuminate the ancient wisdom of the east for our modern scientific world. There are few today who could shed this kind of light for the Western reader in the 21st century."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861713875
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 7/10/2005
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,417,317
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerry Shishin Wick is a dharma heir of Taizan Maezumi. He studied with both Soto and Rinzai Zen masters (as did Maezumi) and for 20 years his understanding of the koans in the Book of Equanimity was examined by Maezumi. A former professor of physics, oceanography, and, later, Buddhism, Wick is a teacher whose unique qualifications make him a particularly appealing author.

Bernard (Bernie) Tetsugen Glassman is a dharma heir to Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi. He is the founder of the Peacemaker Circle, the famous Greyston Mandala and the Greyston Bakery (featured on 60 Minutes). He is author of Infinite Circle and, with Jeff Bridges, The Dude and the Zen Master.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Case 1 The world-honored one ascends the platform 11
Case 2 Bodhidharma's vast emptiness 13
Case 3 An invitation for the patriarch 16
Case 4 The world-honored one points to the earth 18
Case 5 Seigan's cost of rice 20
Case 6 Baso's white and black 22
Case 7 Yakusan takes the high seat 25
Case 8 Hyakujo's fox 28
Case 9 Nansen cuts a cat 31
Case 10 Joshu sees through the old woman 34
Case 11 Ummon's two sicknesses 37
Case 12 Jizo plants the field 40
Case 13 Rinzai's blind donkey 43
Case 14 Attendant Kaku serves tea 46
Case 15 Kyozan plants his mattock 49
Case 16 Mayoku thumps his staff 51
Case 17 Hogen's hair's-breadth 54
Case 18 Joshu's dog 57
Case 19 Ummon's Mount Sumeru 60
Case 20 Jizo's "not knowing is the most intimate" 63
Case 21 Ungan sweeps the ground 66
Case 22 Ganto's bow and shout 69
Case 23 Roso faces the wall 72
Case 24 Seepoo's poison snake 75
Case 25 Enkan's rhinoceros-horn fan 78
Case 26 Kyozan points to snow 81
Case 27 Hogen points to the blind 84
Case 28 Gokoku's three shames 87
Case 29 Fuketsu's iron ox 90
Case 30 Daizui's Kalpa fire 94
Case 31 Ummon's free-standing pillar 98
Case 32 Kyozan's state of mind 100
Case 33 Sansho's golden carp 103
Case 34 Fuketsu's speck of dust 106
Case 35 Rakuho's acquiescence 108
Case 36 Baso's illness 112
Case 37 Isan's Karmic consciousness 114
Case 38 Rinzai's true man 117
Case 39 Joshu's bowl-washing 120
Case 40 Ummon's white and black 123
Case 41 Rakuho's last moments 126
Case 42 Nanyo's washbasin 130
Case 43 Razan's arising and vanishing 132
Case 44 Koyo's garuda bird 134
Case 45 The sutra of complete awakening 138
Case 46 Tokusan's completion of study 141
Case 47 Joshu's cypress tree 144
Case 48 Vimalakirti's nonduality 147
Case 49 Tozan offers to the essence 150
Case 50 Seppo's "what's this?" 154
Case 51 Hogen's "by boat or land" 158
Case 52 Sozan's dharmakaya 161
Case 53 Obaku's dregs 164
Case 54 Ungan's great compassionate one 168
Case 55 Seppo the rice cook 171
Case 56 Mishi's white rabbit 174
Case 57 Genyo's one thing 178
Case 58 The diamond sutra's reviling 181
Case 59 Seirin's deadly snake 184
Case 60 Ryutetsuma's old cow 187
Case 61 Kempo's one stroke 190
Case 62 Beiko's no enlightenment 193
Case 63 Joshu asks about death 196
Case 64 Shisho's transmission 199
Case 65 Shuzan's new bride 203
Case 66 Kyuho's head and tail 206
Case 67 The avatamasaka sutra's wisdom 210
Case 68 Kassan's slashing sword 214
Case 69 Nansen's cats and cows 217
Case 70 Shinzan questions the nature of life 220
Case 71 Suigan's eyebrows 223
Case 72 Chuyu's monkey 226
Case 73 Sozan's requited filial piety 229
Case 74 Hogen's substance and name 232
Case 75 Zuigan's permanent principle 235
Case 76 Shuzan's three phrases 238
Case 77 Kyozan holds his own 241
Case 78 Ummon's farm rice-cake 245
Case 79 Chosha advances a step 248
Case 80 Ryuge passes the chin rest 252
Case 81 Gensha comes to the province 256
Case 82 Ummon's sounds and shapes 259
Case 83 Dogo's nursing 262
Case 84 Gutei's one finger 265
Case 85 The national teacher's seamless tomb 268
Case 86 Rinzai's great enlightenment 271
Case 87 Sozan's with or without 275
Case 88 The Shurangama's unseen 278
Case 89 Tozan's no grass 282
Case 90 Kyozan respectfully declares it 286
Case 91 Nansen's peony 289
Case 92 Ummon's one treasure 292
Case 93 Roso's not understanding 295
Case 94 Tozan's illness 299
Case 95 Rinzai's one stroke 302
Case 96 Kyuho's disapproval 305
Case 97 Emperor Ko's cap 309
Case 98 Tozan's heed 312
Case 99 Ummon's bowl and pail 315
Case 100 Roya's mountains and rivers 318
App Masters referenced in the book of equanimity 321
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