Zen Baggage: A Pilgrimage to China

Zen Baggage: A Pilgrimage to China

by Red Pine
     
 

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In the spring of 2006, Bill Porter traveled through the heart of China, from Beijing to Hong Kong, on a pilgrimage to sites associated with the first six patriarchs of Zen. Zen Baggage is an account of that journey. He weaves together historical background, interviews with Zen masters, and translations of the earliest known records of Zen, along with

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Overview

In the spring of 2006, Bill Porter traveled through the heart of China, from Beijing to Hong Kong, on a pilgrimage to sites associated with the first six patriarchs of Zen. Zen Baggage is an account of that journey. He weaves together historical background, interviews with Zen masters, and translations of the earliest known records of Zen, along with personal vignettes. Porter’s account captures the transformations taking place at religious centers in China but also the abiding legacy they have somehow managed to preserve. Porter brings wisdom and humor to every situation, whether visiting ancient caves containing the most complete collection of Buddhist texts ever uncovered, enduring a six-hour Buddhist ceremony, searching in vain for the ghost in his room, waking up the monk in charge of martial arts at Shaolin Temple, or meeting the abbess of China’s first Zen nunnery. Porter’s previously published Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits has become recommended reading at Zen centers and universities throughout America and even in China (in its Chinese translation), and Zen Baggage is sure to follow suit.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Porter (Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits) has carved out a niche as a translator of classic Zen poetry, sometimes under the name Red Pine. He has lived and traveled extensively in Asia, pursuing his understanding of Zen Buddhism. In his 2006 trip, he visited (and revisited in some cases) several rather remote historical sites that were key to the spread of Buddhism in China. He writes of a China that is not only embracing the future but also regenerating its heritage. Temples and monasteries are being repaired and expanded, and more people are returning to traditional religious practices. Porter takes the reader to places far off the tourist track and far from the economic and political frenzy of major cities, traveling on buses and sleeping rough in monasteries. He does it without pedantry or zeal and with some humor. This book reveals another China and will provide balance to public library travel collections.
—Harold M. Otness

From the Publisher

“Porter takes the reader to places far off the tourist track and far from the economic and political frenzy of major cities, traveling on buses and sleeping rough in monasteries. He does it without pedantry or zeal and with some humor.” —Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781593761325
Publisher:
Counterpoint Press
Publication date:
12/16/2008
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

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