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Book Two Zen Classics: Mumonkan and Hekiganroku


Two Zen Classics: Mumonkan and Hekiganroku

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Two Zen Classics: Mumonkan and Hekiganroku.pdf | Language: English

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.

Text: English (translation) Original Language: Chinese

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Book details

  • PDF | 414 pages
  • Weatherhill; 1st edition (October 1, 1977)
  • English
  • 7
  • Religion & Spirituality

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Review Text

  • By Marvin Cohodas on January 10, 2015

    I treasure this book. I have bought copies for friends as well, since I first found it in a Berkeley bookstore decades ago. As I first read through this book, I felt interested and even entertained, but it turned out to be having a much more profound effect on my understanding of Zen and of the world through Zen.

  • By CoffeeTime on July 22, 2013

    The Seller was very prompt, handled the book with care, my book came neatly packaged in paper and an plastic bag, I was very impressed!Two Zen Classics is an essential text for those studying Zen Buddhism.

  • By jacob on October 21, 2014

    Good translation.

  • By Hakuyu on June 28, 2005

    All in all, this is a handy text - two 'Zen classics' under one cover.@So far as translation goes, the collaborators (Sekida and Grimstone) have made a fair job of this task. It is well worth reading in conjuction with Sekida's companion work -'Zen Training:Methods and Philosophy.' 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.' You might as well know what's been missing. In the introductory chapter to Sekida's text, A.V. Grimstone, Sekida's collaborator, described Shaw's version of the Hekiganroku (1961) as the only other 'complete' translation to date - but, it was not - it had omitted material, mainly Yuan-Wu's.@Regrettably, Sekida also omitted portions of Yuan-wu's (Engo's) material, noting, ironically, that popular Japanese versions of the Hekiganroku often do the same. Grimstone described these missing portions as 'commentaries and notes' - as if that might be taken in the customary sense, and such material comfortably dropped. But, this material did not comprise 'commentaries and notes' in the conventional sense. It was an intrinsic part of the Hekiganroku. The whole Hekiganroku is ‚collection of comments, verses, counter-verses and counter-comments.@What Grimstone had been referring to, actually constituted a kind of capping material, intrinsically related to the rest of the Hekiganroku. To put it bluntly, this was messing around.@The Hekiganroku is basically a composite text - Hsueh-t'ou's (Settcho's) hundred verses and verse comments, with Yuan-wu's (Engo's) introductory pointers, verse comments etc. and capping remarks. Of course, Hsueh-t'ou's verse/comments can be considered independently; they were read that way - before the addition of Yuan-wu's material - and are still read that way today, if people so wish. But to present Hseuh-t'ou's verses/verse comments, with fragmentary portions of Yuan-wu's material, was neither one thing nor the other.

  • By Josema on May 30, 1998

    This is a new translation into English both of Mumonkan and Hekiganroku made by a Japanese High School Teacher of English and edited by a Lecturer at the University of Cambridge.The author was enrolled in Zen practice and the study of koans for 72 years. His comments are technical and clear-sighted notes on specific sentences of each koan keeping in mind that the large majority of Zen practitioners all around the world do not study koans in a monastery or under the supervision of a suitable teacher mastering koans. As a consequence it contains a great deal of interpretive material exchanged currently in face-to-face meetings between the teacher and disciple. The author of this translation was a layman, not a monk, and considered koans as an adequate tool for the advancement in the awareness and awakening process and not as occult arcana to held control over students. This book is more comprehensible if the companion book of the author, Zen Training: Methods and Philosophy is read before or simultaneously.

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