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Unborn: The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei, 1622-1693 Paperback – July 31, 2000
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Original Language: Japanese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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As early as 1950 Watts specifically identifies Bankei as a resource in an article he wrote for the journal of the Buddhist Lodge in England. He quotes Bankei even more profusely in his 1957 opus The Way of Zen. Finally, in his autobiography In My Own Way, published a year before his death in 1973, Watts reveals having spent many hours studying Bankei and elevates him to a representative of "Zen at its best." He said that he referred people to Bankei's observations whenever they accused him of misinterpreting Zen.
I am delighted to find that the teachings of this Zen iconoclast par excellence are available once again in the revised edition of The Unborn: The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei, translated by Norman Waddell. Highly recommended with one caveat: if your feet are firmly planted in orthodoxy, anticipate the appearance of major cracks in your foundation. A retrofit will not necessarily be an option.
Also recommended: The Zen Teaching of Huang Po - Tr. John Blofeld Mud and Water - Bassui - Tr. Arthur Braverman Be As You Are - The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi - David Godman The Truth Is - H.W.L. Poonja
Bankei speaks to all seekers, devotees and students of religion today, as he did in his day-telling us that we do not need to seek it, it is already our nature-The Unborn.
Thid book should not be out of print-North Point wake up!
I must make clear that this book is not an instructional manual - there are many books far better for that purpose. Rather, I turn to the words of Bankei contained within as a reminder of the tremendous freedom and bliss of enlightenment, or as Bankei calls is, the Unborn Buddha Mind. "All things are perfectly resolved in the Unborn", Bankei famously realized upon his initial awakening. Some may find his repeated descriptions of The Unborn redundant or unnecessary, but I find the repetition instills a sense of faith that such a level of being is indeed possible, and not just for a select few. Bankei again and again reminds us that we already are what we seek. "There are no unenlightened people here", he says in one of this series of recorded talks, and we would all do well to remember that.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a well-written short biography of Bankei with the bulk of the book being a great selection of his sermons and lectures, as well as poetry and sayings. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kindle Customer
Once you have read several pieces of literature penned by different Zen masters, the realization begins to form that each one of us, too, has our own perspective of how we... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Emon
Such A profound teaching (he only had one). Wish I could share this with the world. AMAZON REQUIRED FOUR WORDS.Published on August 20, 2013 by Luis Calvillo
This is one of the most profound teachers. His non-concept of the unborn is the Buddha Dharma at it bear essence.
He taught regular folks to see with their Unborn Minds. Read more
Sutras and Prayers are expedient means, but, all are intended to lead you to the discovery of emptiness. I loved it!Published on November 16, 2012 by N. Blaine Frierson
Bankei teaches us the absolute truth of UNBORN. Every day life, each moment here and now is UNBORN. Live with UNBORN and everything falls in the right place. Read morePublished on July 15, 2011 by unborn
There are two books in English based on translations of Zen Master Bankei teachings, both pusblished in 1984. Read morePublished on May 21, 2006 by Jose Maria Prieto Zamora
Of all the ancient masters-Bankei seems to speak the loudest to us in modern times. The Unborn makes this clear due mostly to the wonderfully natural translation Norman Waddell has... Read morePublished on December 31, 2003 by Swing King
The Unborn: The Life And Teachings Of Zen Master Bankei, 1622-1693 is here presented in a significantly revised and expanded edition containing many talks and dialogues with monks... Read morePublished on February 24, 2001 by Midwest Book Review