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The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen Paperback – November 26, 1991
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From Library Journal
Translated from a larger German work, this excellent A-Z dictionary of 1500 terms commonly encountered and more esoteric was compiled by a team of Buddhist scholars.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
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Top Customer Reviews
I occasionally find this dictionary frustrating when I know only the English version of a term that the editors apparently expect me to know in Sanskrit (e.g., there's no entry for "dependent origination," not even a cross-listing sending you to "pratitya-samutpada"). And there's a strange dearth of information about Korean Buddhism (e.g., no entries for Chinul, Son, or the Chogye Order). But all in all, this is a very good dictionary, and it makes good browsing for learning more about Buddhism.
You might want to compare this dictionary with Damien Keown's "Dictionary of Buddhism," which is more up-to-date and has more entries, including more extensive coverage of Western Buddhism, but the coverage of Zen isn't as good. (John Powers's "Concise Encyclopedia of Buddhism" is less comprehensive than the Shambhala dictionary and only a little less expensive, and Charles S. Prebish's "Historical Dictionary of Buddhism" is less comprehensive and a lot more expensive.)
He gives a nice introduction to each section that helps you understand what is going on. We all know that ancient writings can be tricky but he translated these writings perfectly.
And you don't have to start at any specific point or volume.
All in all, a great little book for the price.
The apprentice student will probably find herself lost amidst the multiplicity of terms and names---Huang-Po is Obaku, Avalokiteshvara is Kwan Yin, Kannon, Kanzeon or Tara, Zen is Ch'an or Ch'an-na or Dhyana---but a little dedication should be very helpful in decoding who's who and what's what.