Library JournalKoans (those gnomish, paradoxical conversational exchanges between Zen master and student) have been used as focal points for Buddhist meditation for centuries in China and Japan. Cleary's excellent introduction is a perfect setting for this little Chinese Zen gem from about 1600. Included are lessons on using koans given by a wide range of classic Zen teachers. Cleary compares the effort needed in Zen work to athletic training, so that one begins to understand the ceaseless, exasperating effort needed to progress toward the Buddhist goal. As Cleary warns, this is serious work, not antirational amusement. An appendix gives a small collection of koans. For serious collections in Buddhism.-- Jeanne S. Bagby, formerly with Tucson P.L., Ariz.
- Jain Publishing Company, Inc.
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