Elegant Failure: A Guide to Zen Koans

Overview

Zen koans are stories of exchanges between Zen masters and their disciples at the moment of enlightenment or near-enlightenment. These stories have long fascinated Western readers because of their wisdom, humor, and enigmatic quality. Drawing on over 30 years of practice and teaching, Richard Shrobe (himself a recognized Zen Master) has selected 22 cases from The Blue Cliff Record and Wu-men-kuan that he finds deeply meaningful and helpful for meditation practice. In Elegant Failure, he provides a wealth of ...

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Elegant Failure: A Guide to Zen Koans

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Overview

Zen koans are stories of exchanges between Zen masters and their disciples at the moment of enlightenment or near-enlightenment. These stories have long fascinated Western readers because of their wisdom, humor, and enigmatic quality. Drawing on over 30 years of practice and teaching, Richard Shrobe (himself a recognized Zen Master) has selected 22 cases from The Blue Cliff Record and Wu-men-kuan that he finds deeply meaningful and helpful for meditation practice. In Elegant Failure, he provides a wealth of background information and personal anecdotes for each koan that help to illuminate its meaning without detracting from its paradoxical nature. As Shrobe reminds us, "The main core of Zen teaching is the bare bones of what is there. In a certain sense, embellishing a story takes away from the central teaching: Don't embellish anything, just be with it as it is."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781930485259
  • Publisher: Rodmell Press
  • Publication date: 5/25/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Yen-kuan's Rhinoceros Fan 7

Chapter 2 Ma-ku's Two-Place Ring Staff 15

Chapter 3 Yao-shan's Elk of Elks 25

Chapter 4 National Teacher Chung's Seamless Monument 37

Chapter 5 Nan-ch'uan's Flowering Tree 49

Chapter 6 Te-shan Carrying His Bundle 59

Chapter 7 Yang-shan Asks San-sheng, "What Is Your Name?" 71

Chapter 8 Tung-shan's No Cold or Hot 81

Chapter 9 Te-shan Carrying His Bowls 93

Chapter 10 San-sheng's Golden Fish Who Has Passed Through the Net 105

Chapter 11 Ho-shan's Knowing How to Hit the Drum 115

Chapter 12 Jui-yen Calls "Master!" 125

Chapter 13 Yun-men's Bell Sound and Seven-Fold Robe 135

Chapter 14 Tung-shan's Three Pounds of Flax 147

Chapter 15 Hsuan-sha's Three Kinds of Sick People 157

Chapter 16 You Are Hui-ch'ao 167

Chapter 17 Hsiang-lin's Meaning of the Coming from the West 173

Chapter 18 Tou-shuai's Three Gates 183

Chapter 19 Manjushri's Before Three, Three 195

Chapter 20 Vimalakirti's Not-Two Dharma Gate 205

Chapter 21 The Diamond Sutra's Extinction of Sinful Karma 213

Chapter 22 Aspects of Failure: A Woman Comes Out of Samadhi 223

About the Author 233

From the Publisher 234

Index 235

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