By Soiku Shigematsu
Zen Buddhism can actually be referred to as the indispensable 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 exceptional line of chinese language and jap masters. Over the centuries, their sayings and writings were compiled into voluminous handbooks.
The such a lot entire of those are many of the variants of Zenrin Kushu, or the "Zen woodland asserting Anthology." severe Zen scholars are nonetheless required to memorize thousands of those sayings. In monasteries all over the place Japan, would-be clergymen are available thoughtfully thumbing via their well-worn anthologies via the dim candle-light, searching for the suitable word to "cap" their Zen event and job. As their masters assign them more and more tricky koans for contemplation and eventual resolution, they reply with sayings culled from the anthologies, or they bring their very own words so as to add to the dynamic physique of Zen literature.
In the current e-book, for the 1st time, over 1,200 of those brief sayings—from the comical, to the profound, to the downright mystifying— look 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 find out how to learn the sayings. each one poem uniquely illustrates a few element of Zen, from the character of satori to the that means of enlightened task within the genuine world.
These keys to Zen realizing are actually to be had to English audio system. Readers are inspired to learn the sayings, to reflect on them, and at last to use to their very own lives the knowledge came across there.
Included is a range of the author's favourite sayings rendered in extraordinary calligraphy through his father, abbot of the well known Shogen-ji Zen temple in Shizuoka. for college kids with an curiosity in extra learn, the booklet 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 whole this collection.
SOIKU SHIGEMATSU combines his tasks as an lively Zen priest at Shogen-ji temple with a full-time place as professor of English at Shizuoka collage. He has lengthy been drawn to using the Zen point of view to the examine of yankee literature, from Emerson to Gary Snyder. during this quantity he turns his efforts within the wrong way, featuring a vintage of Zen literature for the English-speaking viewers.
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Extra resources for A Zen Forest: Sayings of the Masters
201) (208) Tortoise hair is long; hare horn, short. (209) Now back at home, unburden your shoulders— See, brushwood is green; fire, red! (202) Eat when hungry! Sleep when tired! (210) Sitting in the vacant room after coming back— The evening sun hangs to the west of me. (211) Riding a cow to seek one. (203) The straight word inspires him; The staff tip opens his eyes. (204) Idly trying to catch the meaning: The valley is covered with clouds —only water murmuring. To chase a robber on the robber's horse.
W h e n perplexed as to which alternative to choose, I have always preferred one that maintains the poetic value. What has troubled me most is the peculiarity and variation in Zen readings, which are rather different from ordinary readings of the Chinese characters. I have chosen in many cases the traditional Zen readings—only because I cannot ignore the fact that they have long stood the test o f time, even if some are technically wrong. In other cases, however, I have challenged the traditional readings with new possibilities from an academic or poetic viewpoint.
An old dull-pointed gimlet? A broken mortar? Are these of any use? These are all useless, it is true. Nevertheless, Zen is, as I have said, paradoxical in every way; these are also the way the ideals of all Zen followers should be seen. As you will see later, an old dull-pointed gimlet is more highly admired than any satori-stinking, sharp-pointed tool. Zen is not philosophy. It is best explained by means of the parable of Indra's net in the Kegon (Hua-yen) sutra. Indra is the god w h o lives on the top o f Mount Sumeru.
A Zen Forest: Sayings of the Masters by Soiku Shigematsu