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Essays in Zen Buddhism, First Series Paperback – January 18, 1994

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; Edition Unstated edition (January 18, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802151183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802151186
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Hakuyu on May 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
More than any other known source, this series of essays (including the other two companion volumes) have probably done the most to put Zen 'on the map' - in the Western world. In some quarters - at least, it has become fashionable to regard D.T. Suzuki as 'passe' - a bridge builder, whose work has now reached its 'sell-by' date. While I can see why some people might feel that way - if training with a Roshi, or tired of 'reading too much' - Suzuki's 'essays' continue to have relevance for people making their first dip into the world of Zen.

In one sense, you could say that Suzuki wants to say too much, and the 'purists' may fault him for it. But he was good at his job - and knew exactly how to write about such things for a Western audience, saying enough to entice them and whet their appetite, then drop them in at the deep end! His way of doing this was lively and engaging. Suzuki was a good communicator (he had an American wife, which certainly helped. Beatrice Lane Suzuki was an accomplished student of Buddhism in her own right) - and, in some respects, Suzuki was more successful than some of the roshis teaching in the West. He wasn't trying to sell you an institution, but pointing to the 'treasure house' we must all find, for ourselves.

One thing is worth noting about Suzuki's 'essays.' For the most part, the anecdotes he has presented were taken from the T'ang masters in the Dentoroku (Chuan Teng Lu). You get a pretty fair spread of teaching-examples, and they are not all from masters in the Rinzai (Lin-chi) lineage. In the T'ang, there was no such sharp division between the Zen schools and in that sense, Suzuki's account has a freshness about it.

Suzuki will not bog you down with laboured academic digressions.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 3, 1997
Format: Paperback
Suzuki's works offer a clear insight look at the often misunderstood world of zen. Suzuki gives the reader the ability to understand zen, rather than dictating what zen is. This work would be of benefit to any one wishing to see if zen is 'right' for them
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By sam on February 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
I studied Buddhist philosophy in some detail as an undergraduate, but that was many years ago. I am revisiting it now, so I turned to the writings of D.T Suzuki, perhaps the most widely respected author in this field, both for his erudition (knowledge of all the primary texts in their original languages from origins in India, through China and Japan) and his accessibility to the layperson. This is something of an amazing feat, given the subtleties involved in explaining Zen, a formidable exercise in itself, given that the entire philosophy is based on enigmatic sayings/practices employed by masters approaching their students.

Suzuki was the first to truly explain Zen Buddhism to the Western world and it is a must read for anyone who seeks the root understanding of the subject.

I give it the highest recommendation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This analysis was classic scholar mode. A little hard to understand because of Sanskrit language at first but the author's handling of converting to English was enlightening. The deeper you get into the meat of the subject the reading becomes much easier. Although I did not give up on trying to pronounce the Sanskrit, it allowed me to understand the Indian roots to the Chinese culture that it became because of the difference in the two cultures. A friend gave me a magazine on United States adaptation of Buddhism and I found it comical to see Eastern Buddhism culture of poverty to the American way of making a buck. Well worth the effort for the historical significance. If you are looking for a twenty-first century model this is not for you. However, if you want to become a student of Buddhism it is a must!
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Format: Paperback
This brilliant book by Suzuki has changed my life. Several times reading it I felt that I had experienced a small degree on satori or enlightenment. Heaven and earth should be experienced as one. The truth is in the present moment inside me.
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By bojangleshiker on January 16, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
written so that Americans can understand
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ana Ribeiro Dos Santos on July 3, 2008
Format: Library Binding
I've read the complete collection in the french translation.
Among other searches on the subject i found D.T.Suzuki who writes the real thing just quietly in a serious and serene way, no explanations no propaganda .
It helped me deffinetly entering through Zen into Awereness simply feeling one together.
The way is not fast it takes the time it takes .

Ana Ribeiro Santos
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