A Zen Forest: Sayings of the Masters by Soiku Shigematsu

By Soiku Shigematsu

Zen Buddhism can really be referred to as the indispensable philosophy of the Orient. not only a puzzle to be unraveled via the mind, Zen deals 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 individual 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 some of the variations of Zenrin Kushu, or the "Zen woodland asserting Anthology." critical Zen scholars are nonetheless required to memorize hundreds and hundreds of those sayings. In monasteries everywhere Japan, would-be monks are available thoughtfully thumbing via their well-worn anthologies through the dim candle-light, trying to find the correct word to "cap" their Zen adventure 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 convey 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 vibrant, poetic, English translation. From the hundreds of thousands of sayings in life, the writer has compiled a consultant choice, including his personal illuminating advent on the way 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 figuring out at the moment are to be had to English audio system. Readers are inspired to learn the sayings, to consider them, and finally to use to their very own lives the knowledge chanced on there.

Included is a variety of the author's favourite sayings rendered in notable calligraphy through his father, abbot of the well known Shogen-ji Zen temple in Shizuoka. for college students with an curiosity in additional research, the publication additionally comprises an appen-dix with the unique chinese language characters and their eastern romanizations. A word list of individuals and locations and a bibliographical resource observe 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 attracted to utilising the Zen point of view to the examine of yank 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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570) A world is in a grain of sand, as William Blake saw. Or, it is better to leave out the " i n " : a world is a grain of sand, and a wild flower is a heaven. The fact is, all circumstances focus on a single existence. The whole universe concentrates all its innumerable conditions together on one creature. Otherwise, namely, if this universal harmony should lack even one condition, nothing exists. In this sense, every existence is the very one possibility out o f myriads o f impossibilities.

Cold plum blossoms show Bodhidharma's exact intention: One petal flutters west— another, east— (192) (186) Five thousand forty-eight volumes of sutras: roll up them all. (187) To open eyes wide, lying in the coffin. (193) The cold water waits for spring: the ice is thinning— Dawn mountains meet a clear sky: the snowy peak soars— Cold comes— double your robes! Heat comes— fan it away! (194) Eyes level, nose vertical. (188) Eyes southeast, Mind northwest. An autumn cicada, sticking to the dry tree, Chirps and chirps without moving its head.

He never fails to do it thoroughly. His principle is Killing a man: do it till the blood gushes out. (403) He devotes all his energies to one shout. One roar o f a lion Cracks the brains o f a hundred beasts. (463) His dignity naturally subdues all. These rhetorical hyperboles are not so far removed from scientific truth. Through the analysis o f brain waves, scientists have proved that during (and even after) zazen the trained Z e n monk's brain waves are just as calm as those o f a sleeping person, but still perfectly sensitive to each stimulus from outside.

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