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Zen Speaks: Shouts of Nothingness Paperback – April 15, 1994
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Chinese
From the Publisher
Inspired by the earliest and core texts of Zen Buddhism, Zen Speaks distills the philosophy and wisdom of Zen in a series of illustrated Chinese character cartoon panels that are irreverently humorous and profoundly wise.
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Why a Buddhist comic book? Because you can simply open it, point to a page and work on THAT THING. If you have children and they are curious about Buddhism, voila! You have a damn comic book! If there are folk about who think it's just about sitting in a pond pondering bellybuttons, just hand them the book. Memorize the lessons and appear wise to those around you (well, or just memorize them for your own well-being).
Illustrated learning is a foundation of understanding.
That is all.
However, the content is absolutely superb. Not only does it provide a good historical background, it has wonderful selections of various Zen works that would make for a beautiful guide on how to live one's life with less stress and less day-to-day demands that cause us problems. I read it for the Buddhist aspect, and was also quite pleased with its lessons.
The translation is quite clear and easy to understand. There are a few historical foibles on part of the artist (when Japanese Zen parables are illustrated with traditional Chinese garb and mannerisms), but all in all it's a great work and well worth your time to read.
Each panel is short, to the point, yet teaches a lesson. It may be common sense lessons, yet is so profound.
It truly changed my life. After studying Zen in boring, complicated, heavy books, this is all I needed. Absolutely delightful.
If you want to discredit or bash this book, go ahead, it only means you need to read it again, simple, easy, forgiving.
Have a Zen Day.