By Soiku Shigematsu
Zen Buddhism can actually be known as the vital philosophy of the Orient. not only a puzzle to be unraveled through the mind, Zen bargains a problem to either brain and spirit, calling on all our intuitive, social, and self-disciplinary powers.
The distillation of this Oriental philosophy is inside the Zen sayings—pithy words and poems passed down from a distinct line of chinese language and eastern masters. Over the centuries, their sayings and writings were compiled into voluminous handbooks.
The such a lot whole of those are a few of the versions of Zenrin Kushu, or the "Zen wooded area asserting Anthology." critical Zen scholars are nonetheless required to memorize thousands of those sayings. In monasteries in every single place Japan, would-be monks are available thoughtfully thumbing via their well-worn anthologies through the dim candle-light, trying to find the appropriate word to "cap" their Zen adventure and task. As their masters assign them more and more tricky koans for contemplation and eventual answer, they reply with sayings culled from the anthologies, or they carry their very own words so as to add to the dynamic physique of Zen literature.
In the current publication, for the 1st time, over 1,200 of those brief sayings—from the comical, to the profound, to the downright mystifying— seem in bright, poetic, English translation. From the millions of sayings in life, the writer has compiled a consultant choice, including his personal illuminating creation on tips on how to learn the sayings. every one poem uniquely illustrates a few point of Zen, from the character of satori to the that means of enlightened task within the actual world.
These keys to Zen figuring out are actually to be had to English audio system. Readers are inspired to learn the sayings, to contemplate them, and at last to use to their very own lives the knowledge chanced on there.
Included is a range of the author's favourite sayings rendered in notable calligraphy by means of his father, abbot of the well known Shogen-ji Zen temple in Shizuoka. for college students with an curiosity in extra examine, the e-book additionally includes an appen-dix with the unique chinese language characters and their eastern romanizations. A word list of individuals and areas and a bibliographical resource be aware entire this collection.
SOIKU SHIGEMATSU combines his tasks as an energetic Zen priest at Shogen-ji temple with a full-time place as professor of English at Shizuoka college. He has lengthy been attracted to utilizing the Zen standpoint to the learn of yank literature, from Emerson to Gary Snyder. during this quantity he turns his efforts within the wrong way, providing a vintage of Zen literature for the English-speaking viewers.
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Extra info for A Zen Forest: Sayings of the Masters
This superhuman ability is the natural fruit o f Zen practice and is hyperbolically expressed, as in the above-cited sayings. Another remarkable characteristic o f Zen monks is that they are rather foulmouthed. They invent all sorts o f names for those w h o are blind to Dharma. People addicted to words are the first victims and are always bitterly abused and cursed. They are just like A group o f mud-kneading men. A crazy dog chases a clod; A blind donkey pursues the herd. (24) (242) A word is a word.
I am afraid—no, I hope^-I may have composed, inevitably, my own English Zen poems—for the sole purpose o f keeping the original alive and sometimes even creating new poetry. I feel it is time English Zen literature began its own history. From now on, it must be an important obligation for English-speaking Zen teachers to compose their own Zen experiences into English poetry. Regarding the order of the sayings in this book, all the entries are arranged in dictionary form, that is, in the Japanese a-i-u-e-o order according to the most common on-yomi Sino-Japanese phonetic reading) of the Chinese characters.
1123) Everything depends on the rdshi. " (404) In order to rob his student of his last self, he dares to Shave off iron from a needle's point! Scrape off meat from a heron's thigh! (396) The rdshi's urgent and ultimate business is nothing but to 17 Try and make a dead snake a live dragon. (1232) For this very purpose, sometimes he may attack his student and Drill his nostrils! Gouge out his eyeballs! (701) O r he may Pour dirty water right over the head! (4) On the other hand, the student is like the cornered rat w h o has crawled into an old-fashioned bamboo money holder and can't get back out through the small opening.
A Zen Forest: Sayings of the Masters by Soiku Shigematsu