Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
Incredible and without parallel
on July 26, 1999
I have finally found a concise yet thourough story of Zen Buddhism ...it is a book called THE STORY OF CHINESE ZEN by Huai-Chin...trans..T Cleary. This books is written by a learned Zennist and accomplished historian and professor of Taoism and Confucianism....this well written book is without equal in its Buddhist approach to Ancient Indian History and the period of Shakyamuni and the intricate web of philisophical factors influincing Buddhism and the nature and causes of spread of Zen and reasons and splits of Hinayana and Mahayana trappings and practices and their roots....As a complete 180 degrees from the professorly books on Buddhist history that takes a dry and bland timetabled look at Zen and Buddhist history this book is both straigthforward in every sense of the term ..not only from the point of view as being written by a very competent Buddhist but by a equally skilled historian ... This book appraoches the branching of Buddhism and the external and internal shapings that were undoubtably the reasons for the formation of the Zen school.....of ALL the scholastic and analytical writtings on Zen and its philosophical compare and contrast chapters ...this is the ONLY book that is written succinctly and thoruoghly on the subject of Buddhism starting with the period of Shakyamuni and the historical catalysts that shaped Zen to its present day form....in short wow......remarkable in all aspects. Having a great deal of experience with other such books in the same genre. I can say with a strong basis for comparison that this book is a real diamond among the numerous lumps of coal that are dry analysises of Zen.