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First Zen Reader
     

First Zen Reader

by Trevor P. Leggett (Compiler)
 
When Zen Buddhism crossed from China to Japan in the twelfth century, it entered a phase of development that was not only to inspire a magnificent range of artistic achievement but also to exert a tremendous influence upon Japanese life itself and, eventually, to bring to the attention of the West a religious philosophy both unique and challenging in its power. "Yet,

Overview

When Zen Buddhism crossed from China to Japan in the twelfth century, it entered a phase of development that was not only to inspire a magnificent range of artistic achievement but also to exert a tremendous influence upon Japanese life itself and, eventually, to bring to the attention of the West a religious philosophy both unique and challenging in its power. "Yet," as one of the contributors to A First Zen Reader expresses it, "if asked what Zen is, to reply is very difficult." It is the purpose of this anthology to suggest an approach to such a reply.

In the words of Trevor Leggett, the compiler: "The texts here translated will give a general idea of Zen theory and practice. They are not technical Buddhist works but are for the layman. The backbone of the book is two series of lectures by two famous contemporary masters: Takashina Rosen, the present primate of the Soto sect and president of the Japan Buddhist Association, and Amakuki Sessan, a well-known master of the Rinzai sect." The book thus presents the viewpoints of the two main surviving transmissions of Zen Buddhism. It might well have for its epigraph this sentence from Takashina's contribution:

"What I am going to say about Zen is not an adaptation of formal lectures, but intended as a talk to people who wish to have a correct knowledge of Zen and to understand it."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804801805
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
12/28/1989
Pages:
236
Product dimensions:
4.32(w) x 7.16(h) x 0.63(d)

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