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Synopsis

THIS BOOK WILL HELP YOU

• to appreciate the significance of this particular school of Buddhism,famous for its focus on meditation and self-awakening

• to understand the history of Zen and the ‘Ways of Zen’

• to discover how Zen is a way of life — not a belief system

• to avoid faux pas in conversation, in travelling and in personal relationships

Zen (in Chinese, Ch’an) is the form of Buddhism which the great teacher Bodhidharma brought to China from India in the late fifth century. Today it is practised mainly in Japan and Korea,. Based upon the understanding that each of us has the potential for complete awakening, Zen is in fact a coalition of practical ways of stilling the mind in order to attain self-knowledge.

Because the realization of the true nature of reality, including one’s own, is not an intellectual pursuit but an experienced truth, Zen teachers transmit the truth (dharma) from mind to mind or heart to heart without the use of words, using different techniques to break through the limitations of the logical mind.

This engaging book explains the essence of Zen in simple terms.. It traces its development and looks at its unique methods of teaching, such as meditation, koans — startling paradoxes that stop the intellect — the use of texts, ceremonies, poetry, and the martial arts. It describes life in monasteries and in the everyday world. Because Zen is rooted in Reality, its practitioners often experience a delightful sense of wonder in the commonplace. This democratic and liberating philosophy does not require us to give up our own traditions, but rather helps us to deepen our understanding of them, and continues to inspire growing numbers of followers in the West.

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