Essential Chan Buddhism: The Character and Spirit of Chinese Zen

Essential Chan Buddhism: The Character and Spirit of Chinese Zen

by Guo Jun
     
 

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Essential Chan Buddhism is the rare unearthing of an ancient and remarkable Chinese spiritual tradition. Master Guo Jun speaks through hard-won wisdom on Chan's spiritual themes familiar to Western readers, such as mindfulness and relaxation in meditation, as well as profound, simply expressed teachings and insightful explorations of religious commitment.

Overview

Essential Chan Buddhism is the rare unearthing of an ancient and remarkable Chinese spiritual tradition. Master Guo Jun speaks through hard-won wisdom on Chan's spiritual themes familiar to Western readers, such as mindfulness and relaxation in meditation, as well as profound, simply expressed teachings and insightful explorations of religious commitment. Essential Chan Buddhism filters formal spiritual practices through the lens of mundane and everyday life activities. The work captures the lyrical beauty and incantatory style of Guo Jun’s spoken English from the talks he gave at a fourteen-day retreat near Jakarta in 2010 and in subsequent conversations with his editor Kenneth Wapner. This value-priced hardcover edition is both a distinctive addition to Buddhist collections and a thoughtful gift for anyone looking for spiritual guidance.

Chan master Guo Jun is one of a new breed of international teachers taking the world’s great wisdom traditions into the twenty-first century. He is currently abbot of Mahabodhi Monastery in Singapore and teaches internationally. Chan master Sheng Yen’s youngest dharma heir, he served as abbot of his Pine Bush, New York, retreat center from 2005 to 2008. A native of Singapore, Guo Jun received his full monastic ordination in Taiwan. He is a lineage holder and successor in Chan as well as the Xianshou and Cien schools of Chinese Buddhism. Essential Chan Buddhism is his first book.

Kenneth Wapner’s Peekamouse Books is a book packager and editor. Clients include Bantam, Tarcher/Putnam, Ballantine, and Doubleday. He is well known for his work on Rabbi Jesus, Bones of the Master, and The Zen of Creativity.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
While Western students of Zen are primarily familiar with Japanese traditions, Zen originated in China, and is known there as Chan, before it spread to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Master Guo Jun, abbot of the Mahabodhi Monastery in Singapore, introduces Chan Buddhism in brief essays based on talks and conversations in Indonesia. He eschews Buddhist theory common to introductory books, explaining that “Chan is not the formal teaching of what is called the buddhadharma.... The teachings of Chan are called Xinfa in Chinese—the teaching of heart and mind.” As if he were looking at different facets of a jewel, Guo Jun describes in graceful language the many aspects of Chinese Zen, such as “the taste of liberation is the taste of Chan” and “in Chan, you fall in love with your breath.” He touches lightly on topics such as mindfulness, relaxation, wisdom, courage, and impermanence, often with vivid analogies and acute analysis. Throughout, the author puts Chan in the context of Confucianism, Taoism, and Chinese culture, describing their impact on this Buddhist tradition. Guo Jun weaves traditional stories, explanations of Chinese terms, and elements of his own spiritual journey into this loving tribute to Chan’s fundamental spirit. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

“The book offers much for those new to Buddhism, and insight to long-time Buddhists looking to return to the "Beginners Mind" of Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki. … Overall, I'd recommend this book to beginners, long-time practitioners and especially those looking for direct lessons from the Chan tradition of Buddhism.”--Buddhist-Being Truly Human.blogspot.com -

“We look forward to Chan Master Guo Jun's next book for in this one he has made the spirit and character of Chinese Zen palpable and glorious.”--Spirituality & Practice

"Guo Jun weaves traditional stories, explanations of Chinese terms, and elements of his own spiritual journey into this loving tribute to Chan’s fundamental spirit."--Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781939681034
Publisher:
Monkfish Book Publishing Company
Publication date:
04/02/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
File size:
1 MB

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Meet the Author

CHAN MASTER GUO JUN was ordained as a novice monk at Mahabodhi Monastery, Singapore under Venerable Master Song Nian and received his full monastic ordination at Guangde Monastery, Taiwan under Venerable Master Jingxin, Venerable Master Liaozhong, and Venerable Master Guangyuan.

Dharma heir of Venerable Master Shengyen from Dharma Drum Mountain, Taiwan and Venerable Master Qinyin from Fuhui Monastery, Taiwan; Venerable Guo Jun is the lineage holder and successor of the Chan, Xianshou, and Cien schools of Chinese Buddhism. He has also studied and practiced in Thai, Burmese, Chinese Pure Land, Tibetan, Korean Son, and Japanese Shingon traditions.

Guo Jun was the deputy director of Dharma propagation at Singapore Buddhist Federation and abbot of Dharma Drum Retreat Center, New York. He is a member of Australian Psychological Society; spiritual and guiding teacher of Chan Meditation Centre Australia, Chan Community Canada, Dharmajala Indonesia; and abbot of Mahabodhi Monastery, Singapore.

Guo Jun has a diploma in biotechnology from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore; a degree in Buddhist philosophy from Fuyan Buddhist Institute, Taiwan; a bachelor of arts in psychology and sociology from Monash University, Australia and a master of Buddhist studies at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Guo Jun is actively propagating the teachings and practices of Chinese Buddhism. He has taught in different parts of the world such as Australia, Canada, Europe, Indonesia, North America, and Singapore.


ROBERT THURMAN is an author of popular and scholarly Buddhist works and frequent translator of H.H. the Dalai Lama.


KENNETH WAPNER's company Peekamoose Productions develops book and film projects. Kenneth is an author, editor, book doctor, agent, co-writer, ghostwriter, journalist, and book packager. As an author, his books have included national bestsellers and been published by major houses including Putnam, Bantam, Villard, Miramax, Random House and Free Press. His work has appeared in many national magazines and newspapers, including Gourmet, Field&Stream, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, and Philadelphia Inquirer

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