Two Arrows Meeting in Mid-Air: The Zen Koan

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Through a comprehensive introduction and twenty-one chapters centered on koans from classic collections, western literary sources, and modern encounters, this book explains the relevance of koan study to Zen training today. It illuminates the value of koans in the practice of self-realization and their aliveness within the teacher-student relationship. This collection will prove an invaluable reference on koan study for those pursuing a greater understanding of Zen Buddhism. ...
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Two Arrows Meeting in Mid-Air: The Zen Koan

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Overview

Through a comprehensive introduction and twenty-one chapters centered on koans from classic collections, western literary sources, and modern encounters, this book explains the relevance of koan study to Zen training today. It illuminates the value of koans in the practice of self-realization and their aliveness within the teacher-student relationship. This collection will prove an invaluable reference on koan study for those pursuing a greater understanding of Zen Buddhism.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this masterful study, Zen teacher Loori, abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery in upstate New York, lucidly demonstrates the power of the koan (a poetic riddle that, lacking a logical answer, disrupts the reason of the hearer so that enlightenment may follow). In an introductory section, Loori traces the history of dharma (wisdom about harmony with the cosmos) in Zen Buddhism. In the remainder of the book, he collects 21 koans from classical and modern sources and then teaches them through his extended dharma discourses. Loori's teachings sparkle with the insight of one who has been illuminated by the constant challenge of the koans; and his collection, both in its variety and its authority, greatly surpasses such previous books as Thomas Cleary's No Barriers: Unlocking the Zen Koan. In sum, a beautifully illuminating meditation. (July)
School Library Journal
In this collection of lectures, Loori, the abbot of a Zen monastery, speaks on the uses of koans (unanswerable thought questions) in Zen Buddhist training. There are 21 chapters, each explaining the history, thought, and importance of a single, well-known koan. This collection does not attempt to be a purely historical or comprehensive study or an encyclopedia on Zen koans; it is aptly described as a ``Zen workbook'' to be used by the practitioner, not necessarily the academic. The language is conversational and pedagogical. A minor drawback is the use of the classical Zen expository style, which may make the discussions seem confusing and nonsensical to those unfamiliar with Zen philosophy and its writings. Yet for the initiated, this book is a good reference source for koans and their exegesis. Recommended for public and theological libraries.-Glenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804830126
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/1994
  • Series: Tuttle Library of Enlightenment
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.51 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

John Daido Loori, Roshi was the founder of Zen Mountain Monastery and the Mountains and Rivers Order, and served as the guiding teacher for almost 30 years. A holder of the Soto and Rinzai Zen lineages, Daido Roshi drew on his background as a scientist, artist, naturalist, parent and Zen priest to establish a uniquely American Zen Buddhist training center. He is the author of numerous books, including The Eight Gates of Zen and The Zen of Creativity.
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