Stephen Mitchell's many books include The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, The Book of Job, Tao Te Ching, Parables and Portraits, The Gospel According to Jesus, Meetings with the Archangel, and The Frog Prince.
Dropping Ashes on the Buddha: The Teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahnby Stephen Mitchell
“Somebody comes into the Zen center with a lighted cigarette, walks up to the Buddha statue, blows smoke in its face, and drops ashes on its lap. You are standing there. What can you do?” This is a problem that Zen Master Seung Sahn is fond of posing to his American students who attend his Zen centers. Dropping Ashes on the Buddha is a delightful,
“Somebody comes into the Zen center with a lighted cigarette, walks up to the Buddha statue, blows smoke in its face, and drops ashes on its lap. You are standing there. What can you do?” This is a problem that Zen Master Seung Sahn is fond of posing to his American students who attend his Zen centers. Dropping Ashes on the Buddha is a delightful, irreverent, and often hilariously funny living record of the dialogue between Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn and his American students. Consisting of dialogues, stories, formal Zen interviews, Dharma speeches, and letters using the Zen Master’s actual words in spontaneous, living interaction with his students, this book is a fresh presentation of the Zen teaching method of “instant dialogue” between Master and student which, through the use of astonishment and paradox, leads to an understanding of ultimate reality.
- Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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- 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
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This book is a great read. It teaches you about zen buddhism through stories of zen master Seung Sahn's students. Many of the stories are very funny. I really like this way of teaching buddhism. It really opens up your mind to the different concepts (or lack there-of) in a light-hearted way. Even the title of the book draws you in. Something so radical and distasteful but as you read the book you may come to realize that doing something like dropping cigarette ashes on a religious figure may not be so offensive. This book is very informative and is a great book for younger crowds interested in learning more about zen buddhism. And because it's chapters are set up with stories you can easily pick it up and read a bit if you don't have a lot of time. I still pick it up and flip to a random chapter for inspiration.