The strange verbal paradoxes called koans have been used in Zen training to help students attain a direct realization of truths inexpressible in words. The two works translated in this book, Mumonkan (Gateless Gate) and Hekiganroku (Blue Cliff Record), both compiled during the Song dynasty in China, are the best known and most frequently studied koan collections, and are classics of Zen literature. In a completely new translation, together with original commentaries, Katsuki Sekida brings to these works the same fresh and pragmatic approach that made his Zen Training so successful. The insights of a lifetime of Zen practice and his familiarity with Western as well as Eastern ways of thinking make him an ideal interpreter of these texts.
As a lay-Buddhist himself, Sekida-sensei knew well the sort of problems that layfolk encounter and therefore avoided writing about Zen practice as if it were the prerogative of Zen monks, throwing in little pointers and hints which would help explicate Zen practice for layfolk. In that sense, Sekida's work will remain useful for years to come.
In other respects, it must be noted that since this book was published (1977), Thomas Cleary has presented us with what is by far the most complete version of the Hekiganroku or 'Blue Cliff Record.'
- Grimstone, A. V.
- Sekida, Katsuki
Book or product condition in points:
95-100 - like new, in perfect A condition.
80-94 - used, in excellent B condition.
50-79 - used, in good C condition.
30-49 - used, in acceptable D condition.
- Minor aesthetic blemishes
No posts found