The Book of Zen: The Path to Inner Peace

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9780764155987: The Book of Zen: The Path to Inner Peace

At first glance, Zen seems to be little more than a web of mystification and contradictions. We think, for instance, of Zen's famous koan, or saying, that presents the image of "one hand clapping". However, a deeper look into the Zen form of Buddhism shows even skeptical critics a rich path toward spiritual enlightenment and personal serenity. The Book of Zen offers a history and overview of Zen, as well as an introduction to its method and ideas. The author describes Buddhism's introduction to Japan, where the Zen form of Buddhism came into full flower. He also discusses Zen's main forms of expression—for instance, in Japanese calligraphy and pictorial art forms; in haiku poetry; in chanoyu or the tea ceremony; in ikebana or flower arrangement; and in the martial arts. Readers will also find an account of how Zen came to the West, first in the nineteenth century, then made a lasting impact on American and European culture in the mid-twentieth century. The volume concludes with advice on ways in which readers can incorporate Zen into their lives. This enlightening and enjoyable book is enhanced with more than 200 illustrations, most of them in color.

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From the Back Cover:

[back cover]
Zen seems to revel in mystification. But does the hype live up to close scrutiny? The Book of Zen traces its history through India, China, Korea, and finally to its home in Japan through the charismatic characters that developed its traditions.

Explore the Zen principles of emptiness, illusion, and Buddha nature. Experience a transcendental state of enlightenment by following the practices of zazen and shikantaza. Learn how to listen for the sound of one hand clapping.

Find out how to incorporate Zen into your life, through painting, poetry, ikebana, and the ritual of the tea ceremony.

[front flap]
The Book of Zen provides an introduction that is at once historical, practical, and informative. Written for the general reader, it attractively presents the history and ideologies of Zen Buddhism in passages that are easy to read and highly illustrated.

[back flap]
Eric Chaline is a professional journalist and writer with book credits in Asian philosophy, history and art, yoga and Hindu philosophy, the martial arts of China and Japan, and the application of Zen Buddhism in everyday life.
A graduate of Cambridge University and The School of African and Oriental Studies, London, he lived in Japan for seven years where he was introduced to the teachings of the Sato Zen school. He now lives and works in London.

About the Author:

Eric Chaline is an English journalist and the author of several books on Asian philosophy, history, and art, as well as on the application of Zen Buddhism in everyday life. He spent many years in Japan, but now lives in London.

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