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Zen's Chinese Heritage: The Masters and Their Teachings [Kindle Edition]

Andy Ferguson , Tenshin Reb Anderson , Steven Heine
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $26.95
Kindle Price: $12.90
You Save: $14.05 (52%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Kindle Edition $12.90  
Paperback $20.27  
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Book Description

Zen's Chinese Heritage traces twenty-five generations of inlightened Buddhist teachers, supplementing their core teachings with history, biography, and poetry. The result is an intimate and profound human portrait of the enlightened Zen ancients, and an unprecedented look into the depths of the rich cultural heritage.

In this new edition with even more valuable material, Ferguson surveys generations of Zen masters, moving chronologically through successive generations of ancestral teachers, supplementing their core teachings with history, biography, and starkly beautiful poetry. In addition to giving the reader the engaging sense of the "family history" of Zen, this uniquely valuable book paints a clear picture of the tradition's evolution as a religious, literary, and historical force.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The history of Zen can be almost as perplexing as its cryptic koan. In many accounts of Zen history, it is hard to tell who is Chinese and who is Japanese, who lived in the 6th century and who in the 16th. Andy Ferguson attempts to clear the air once and for all. In Zen's Chinese Heritage, he organizes all of the Chinese Zen masters from Bodhidharma at the turn of the 5th century to Huikai in the 13th century, presenting their core records and writings in chronological order by generation--25 generations in all. Drawing from Wudeng Huiyan (Compendium of Five Lamps) and other records, Ferguson translates the classic Zen teachings (including dialogues, anecdotes, and koan) in spare, straightforward language. He also presents an expertly arranged foldout lineage chart of the Zen ancestors, with cross-referencing by Japanese, Chinese pinyin, and Chinese Wade-Giles transcriptions. Ferguson's work is not only a priceless treasury of Zen literature but also a road map to the history of Zen. --Brian Bruya

From Library Journal

It is something of a commonplace that Zen Buddhism is the property of Japan; this excellent and exhaustive book reminds us of the vast, though now neglected, patrimony of Buddhist spiritual knowledge that comes not from Japan but China. Ferguson's work is at once a history and an anthology of this fascinating tradition and includes many koans, anecdotes, and stories, as well as a wonderfully clear wallchart "Map of the Zen Ancestors." This splendid repository should give instruction and pleasure to the general reader as well as the professed Buddhist. Highly recommended for general and academic collections alike.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3385 KB
  • Print Length: 586 pages
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications; Expanded edition (March 9, 2011)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Q9T8HC
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,292 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discovering Our Zen Heritage June 13, 2000
Format:Paperback
Zen's Chinese Heritage - The masters and their teachings, by Andrew Ferguson, is a long awaited reference for those wishing to appreciate the origins of the Zen tradition. As a long time practioner of Zen, the many illustrious and noteworthy ancestors of my tradition, have often been nothing more than a confusing collection of names, difficult to pronounce and even more difficult to appreciate as once real and living men and women. Andrew Ferguson's painstaking efforts at bringing to life these practioners of old, and providing us with history and anecdotes from their allusive lives, has enlivened my practice and given new meaning to the many wonderful and amazing persons I encounter in my koan study. This book is a wonderful guide and reference, especially with its accompanying lineage chart, for anyone who is either a practioner of this wonderful tradition or is solely interested in furthering their appreciation for the history of Zen.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Awaited Chan History Book November 13, 2004
Format:Paperback
I read this book back when I was living in a monastery. I found it to be extraordinary, the other monk that I was living with at the time was also amazed that such a book had been written and he was the one that order one for the monks and one for the nuns.

The book goes through the very beginnings of Chan (Chinese word for Zen) up through the "Golden Age" and beyond. I found very intriguing particularly to see that at one point in the Chan history that there was this point when so many enlightened masters had arose at once. Probably something we may never see again. You will find all Five Schools in here plus other schools that were not so prominent but had an impact as well.

Definitely a book worthy of your dollar.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Banquet December 20, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I took months to read this book and only ever reached the stage of being an open-mouthed, lightning-struck bystander. Such a treasure is not often found in one life. I congratulate the authors on feeding us such juicy and tangy fruit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST May 7, 2012
By nimenoe
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a 'must read' for ALL Zen/Chan students.
I started Buddhist practice 8 years ago; from the Theravada tradition to the Mahayana. After studying The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma by RedPine; I graduated to the 3 Volumne series of Chan/Zen Teachings by Charles Luk (Lu K'uan Yu). The unfolding history of our forefathers was not completely unknown to me, but a comprehensive understanding of the past was yet to be reached. This book will fill in any gaps, and I recommend it highly to all Chan/Zen practitioners. And of course other interested scholars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Encyclopedia of Zen Lineage September 1, 2011
Format:Paperback
I think my review title sums this up perfect. Never could I image finding such a thorough book that outlines the lineage of zen. It is a great collection of information and something that I will frequently refer to. I enjoy reading and absorbing the brief stories about each one of these zen masters. Though it is a very lengthy text, I found it easy to read. Even taking a few minutes each day to read one section about one zen master is very rewarding. The information about these individual's lives are amazing and I enjoyed hearing about their given names after they had died. I actually spent some time with this author in China and found him to be very knowledgeable. Unfortunately it took me almost ten years after that trip before I actually bought this amazing book. I regret not buying it sooner but realize I am so blessed for having it now. I would highly recommended anyone interested in zen purchasing this book.
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