From Publishers Weekly
The late Korean Zen Buddhist master Seung Sahn, who died in 2004, came from the "kill the Buddha" school of Buddhism that relishes paradox and shrewd foolishness. The playfulness of this teacher's challenges to his pupils is clearly conveyed in this compilation of short exchanges with students. These are dharma (teaching) encounters rather than the lengthier talks found in many teachers' books. When Seung Sahn is not teaching students that one plus two equals zero, he is sharply banging his Zen stick on the floor to remind them to stop thinking, or talking, in order to understand. These short pieces nicely communicate a forceful style, and they are almost philosophical for someone who reiterates the shortcomings of an intellectual understanding of things. "Primary point" is a term the master uses to explain something like an absolute, except that Buddhism constructs no absolutes. Some biographical material, including a letter the Zen Master wrote to former South Korean dictator Gen. Chun Du-Hwan, provides helpful context. Seung Sahn's students in the Kwan Um School will especially prize this collection, and its easy-to-read format should also pique the interest of students of other Zen masters. (Aug. 8)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“Now that Soen Sa Nim [Zen Master Seung Sahn] is gone, we have only the stories, and, thankfully, books such as this one, to help bring him alive to those who never had a chance to encounter him in the flesh. In these pages, if you linger in them long enough, and let them soak into you, you will indeed meet him in his inimitable suchness, and perhaps much more important, as would have been his hope, you will meet yourself.”—Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Coming to Our Senses
“Zen Master Seung Sahn’s teachings will always bring great light into the world. His extraordinary wit, intelligence, courage, and compassion are brought to us in this wonderful and important book. Thousands of students have benefited from his great understanding. Now more will come to know the heart of this rare and profound human being.”—Joan Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Zen Center