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The Compass of Zen (Shambhala Dragon Editions) Paperback – Unabridged, October 28, 1997
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From Library Journal
Zen Maste Sahn is the well-known director of the Kuan Um School of Zen. Active as a teacher in the West for 30 years, Sahn originally wrote this text in the 1970s, as a guide for students with an interest in the fundamentals of Buddhists teaching from a Zen perspective. Much of the Zen teaching with which Westerners are familiar has come from Japanese lineage, but this work has a fresh, Korean Zen slant. For an introductory text, however, Walpole Rahula's classic What the Buddha Taught (Grove, 1987) is probably better. A large part of this volume is given to transcriptions of talks, resulting in repetition and a lack of focus. Viewed as one person's heartfelt expression of his understanding of the teachings, however, this has much to offer. Recommended for academic and public libraries with extensive collections in the areas of Buddhism and Zen.?Mark Woodhouse, Elmira Coll. Lib., N.Y.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"An entertaining and even amusing survey of the varied flavors of Buddhism appears in The Compass of Zen, by Seung Sahn. Based upon his talks, this book presents the basic questions in many short, accessible chapters woven around anecdotes and dialogues. From the Four Noble Truths to the Five Human Dreams, this book seems to cover the whole mathematics of insight."—Michael Sims, Bookpage
"Like two arrows meeting in the air, this extraordinary book meets the mind point. Please relax and enjoy it."—Joan Halifax, author of The Fruitful Darkness
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The author is a Zen master from Korea, and he writes with a direct, light-hearted style that is clear and not at all intimidating or overwhelming. I found myself very drawn to what he was offering.
The book is a transcription of his many Dharma talks, so the text is sometimes a bit choppy. However, that doesn't detract from how well the book is put together. It will change the way you see the world and maybe how you live your life.
This book covers all the angles. It gives you history, examples and the rest. But mostly, it gives you a compass to make sure that you are on the right track. After reading a chapter or three on a regular basis, you will succumb to the basic simpleness of the message and it will start to slowly dawn on you. Little by little, how simple things can really be, if you just "Don't know".