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But what a blessing that Tanahashi and Schneider, like others in Zen's long and prolific literary tradition, have nonetheless decided to spill a little ink and attempt to point toward that which cannot be told. In this lively little volume, they bring together some treasures of classical and contemporary wisdom that capture the enigmatic soul of Zen. Included are familiar works from classical masters--haiku by Japanese poet Basho, stories from philosopher Dogen, poems by Chinese recluse Hanshan, and koans and meditations by monks and nuns dating from the 5th century. And placed alongside "on equal footing" with the works of venerated Asian teachers are writings by contemporary Westerners--from poet Gary Snyder to students from Zen centers around the United States and Europe--emphasizing the fresh spirit or "nowness" of the tradition. At turns deeply serious, poignant, and humorous, the selections cover a wide range of concerns, from the inevitability of death to the importance of environmental stewardship. But all have in common a rootedness in the physical present while recognizing its fleeting nature; there is a freedom, they seem to say, that comes in appreciating but not clinging to the things of this world. Each piece is presented "clean," without accompanying commentary, but the editors' excellent endnotes give valuable biographical information and background on unfamiliar concepts. More than an accessible introduction to Zen for Westerners, this is a collection to be read for its insight into what it means to be human in a changing world. --Uma Kukathas
Having trouble getting into Zen? Finding many Zen books difficult? Read this and in just a few pages you will be into Zen. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Michael Boyajian
This book is an easy read, with delightful stories, and full of humor and wit. It nicely captures the essence of Zen, and introduces the reader to a colorful cast of Zen... Read morePublished 17 months ago by SDS
Zen is difficult for me to understand and this book while interesting raises more questions than answers. I would recommend it for people interested in Zen.Published 23 months ago by Sandra A. Branch
This was the most interesting buy of 2012. I have bought more copies for my friends. The quotes re amazingPublished on January 22, 2013 by Kristine Taylor