A Zen Forest: Sayings of the Masters by Soiku Shigematsu

By Soiku Shigematsu

Zen Buddhism can actually be known as the crucial philosophy of the Orient. not only a puzzle to be unraveled by way of 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 special 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 many of the versions of Zenrin Kushu, or the "Zen woodland asserting Anthology." severe Zen scholars are nonetheless required to memorize 1000s of those sayings. In monasteries in all places Japan, would-be clergymen are available thoughtfully thumbing via their well-worn anthologies through the dim candle-light, searching for the suitable word to "cap" their Zen event and job. As their masters assign them more and more tough koans for contemplation and eventual resolution, they reply with sayings culled from the anthologies, or they bring about 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 hundreds of thousands of sayings in lifestyles, the writer has compiled a consultant choice, including his personal illuminating advent on tips on how to learn the sayings. each one poem uniquely illustrates a few element of Zen, from the character of satori to the which means of enlightened task within the actual world.

These keys to Zen figuring out are actually on hand to English audio system. Readers are inspired to learn the sayings, to reflect on them, and finally to use to their very own lives the knowledge came upon there.

Included is a range of the author's favourite sayings rendered in remarkable calligraphy by way of his father, abbot of the well known Shogen-ji Zen temple in Shizuoka. for college kids with an curiosity in extra examine, the e-book additionally includes an appen-dix with the unique chinese language characters and their jap romanizations. A thesaurus of individuals and locations and a bibliographical resource notice entire 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 employing 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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In the valleys the water murmurs down. . (76) Between snipe and clam the fight doesn't stop: One staff's blow, one scar's streak. Both fall into (77) the fisherman's hands. One true man o f no rank. I'll explain in detail (78) w h y Bodhidharma One blind man leads came to China: many blind men Listen to the evening Into the fire hole hand in hand. bell sounds. Watch (79) the setting sun. . For one thing, Where sun and moon to better the view cannot reach— o f this temple; There For another, is a wonderful sight.

119) Pity! This vessel Flowers open Meets without the help no one to fill it. of men, But thanks to the aid (126) T o display at last o f the spring winds. (123) maturity o f spirit. (12°) (127) Where flowers Blossoms open follow flowers, on a rootless tree; quails chirp; Fishes jump on a high mountain. When the grass sends shot (121) after shot o f scent, a pair of mandarin ducks fly. Flower Mountain, (128) green to the heavens; Yellow River, gold to the bottom. Fire is hot; (122) water, cold.

The more (150) elegant? 45 (15l) Void, void Spring winds void, void have melted away finally all void. his ceaseless worries; (164) He's n o w leaning against the north balustrade From outside the shoes, o f the Fragrant Arbor. to scratch where you itch. 0S8) A c o w in Huai-chou (165) N o cold spot eats rice plants: —in a boiling cauldron. The stomach becomes full (166) — o f the horse in I-chou. U59) Blow o f f the hissing water and flaming charcoal The mud cow — w i t h one puff! biting the moon, Shatter the sword trees treads on the seabed; and blade mountains The stone tiger — w i t h one shout!

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