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Footprints in the Snow: The Autobiography of a Chinese Buddhist Monk Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 21, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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This straightforward account of the possibility of a contented mind in a complex world, from the outset, is spoken in such a voice of sweet compassion. Endearing and touching, it is like Zen itself.” —Sylvia Boorstein
“Chan Master Sheng Yen is a great teacher and I have great confidence in his scholarship and wisdom. I feel privileged to be his friend, and admire what he has been doing for the Buddhadharma in the East as well as in the West.” —Thich Nhat Hanh
“When I listen to Master Sheng Yen’s presentation of Chan Buddhist teachings, my immediate and very profound feeling is that I am listening to words of wisdom from someone who is very experienced and a great practitioner.” —His Holiness, the Dalai Lama
Top Customer Reviews
Footprints in the Snow is the autobiography of Sheng Yen, a Chan ("Chinese Zen") Master. There are several biographies of the man in Chinese, but this is the first edition in English. Sheng Yen was born in an extremely poor farming family in the Chinese countryside. With few other options, he was taken by a family friend to the Wolf Mountain monastery, where he learned the basics of becoming a monk. He later moved on to Shanghai, but the war between the Communists and the Nationalists drove him to become a soldier-for-life in Taiwan. Eventually securing his freedom from the soldier's life, he once again became a monk. After travels to Canada, the USA, and back to China, he finally became a Chan Master and one of those most influential Buddhists alive today. He combines his personal story with historical events, and we can see how political changes in China and Taiwan altered not only his life, but Buddhism in general.
I found this book hard to put down. I'm not usually a fan of biographies, but his easygoing writing style and obvious love of what he does makes every page enjoyable. Along with the story, the author explains a bit of Buddhist philosophy in a comfortable, jargon-free style that DailyBuddhism readers will appreciate. My favorite parts of the book, however, are his interactions with the monks and abbots of the various monasteries. Far from being the altruistic teachers and devoted worshipers we usually envision, he shows us the real picture.Read more ›
He talks about his meditative experience as well as the readings he undertook. His story is not meant to paint an ideal picture, it is very much an account of how it was. He talks about various stages on path, how he find perfect happiness in being a wandering, homeless monk, how he overcame language and other barriers in teaching an eastern science to western students and how he learnt from every one around him. He comes across as a very humble and down to earth person. Indeed a treat for any one interested in life of Buddhist masters.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting biography. Liked this book, but it is easily read in a day. Felt like it was written more for middle school age kids, but it is still an enjoyable book.Published 1 month ago by Kimberly Castellanos
"Keep on moving"
In my humble opinion he is the most important Chinese Buddhist
teacher in our so called modern era. Read more
The book is not only about the basic pholosophy of Zen (Chan) but is a good historicla reference of the events in China and Taiwan that Master Chan lived through. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Mililani
This is an interesting and edifying autobiography by one of the most respected Buddhist teachers. His life was instructional in both the spiritual aspects and as an historical... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Thomas Tenney
It is a beautiful journey starting from page 1 to the end. Only if you take the same journey you will know what beauty i am talking of.Published 20 months ago by Hajir Naghshi
I studied under Master Sheng Yen in Queens NY when he was visiting. He was wise and funny and much of his undergraduate work was with Chinese poetry so he had a wonderful sense of... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Alan E. Pottinger
Master Sheng Yen's autobiography takes the reader from his very humble beginnings in China through his realization that his path was to become a Buddhist monk. Read morePublished on March 2, 2013 by Dan Charnas
If you want to know something about endurance this is a good book to pick up and read. Sheng Yen has gone the distance in this autobiography. Read morePublished on November 20, 2011 by Tom W. Dodson
Readers interested in this title should also read "When the Saints Go Marching In - Modern Day Zen Hagiography," an article by Sheng Yen's longtime student Stuart Lachs. Read morePublished on March 21, 2011 by A reader