Hot Best Seller

An Introduction to Zen Buddhism

Availability: Ready to download

One of the world’s leading authorities on Zen Buddhism, D. T. Suzuki was the author of more than a hundred works on the subject in both Japanese and English, and was most instrumental in bringing the teachings of Zen Buddhism to the attention of the Western world. Written in a lively, accessible, and straightforward manner, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism is illuminating f One of the world’s leading authorities on Zen Buddhism, D. T. Suzuki was the author of more than a hundred works on the subject in both Japanese and English, and was most instrumental in bringing the teachings of Zen Buddhism to the attention of the Western world. Written in a lively, accessible, and straightforward manner, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism is illuminating for the serious student and layperson alike. Suzuki provides a complete vision of Zen, which emphasizes self-understanding and enlightenment through many systems of philosophy, psychology, and ethics. With a foreword by the renowned psychiatrist Dr. Carl Jung, this volume has been generally acknowledged a classic introduction to the subject for many years. It provides, along with Suzuki’s Essays and Manual of Zen Buddhism, a framework for living a balanced and fulfilled existence through Zen.

*advertisement

Compare

One of the world’s leading authorities on Zen Buddhism, D. T. Suzuki was the author of more than a hundred works on the subject in both Japanese and English, and was most instrumental in bringing the teachings of Zen Buddhism to the attention of the Western world. Written in a lively, accessible, and straightforward manner, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism is illuminating f One of the world’s leading authorities on Zen Buddhism, D. T. Suzuki was the author of more than a hundred works on the subject in both Japanese and English, and was most instrumental in bringing the teachings of Zen Buddhism to the attention of the Western world. Written in a lively, accessible, and straightforward manner, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism is illuminating for the serious student and layperson alike. Suzuki provides a complete vision of Zen, which emphasizes self-understanding and enlightenment through many systems of philosophy, psychology, and ethics. With a foreword by the renowned psychiatrist Dr. Carl Jung, this volume has been generally acknowledged a classic introduction to the subject for many years. It provides, along with Suzuki’s Essays and Manual of Zen Buddhism, a framework for living a balanced and fulfilled existence through Zen.

30 review for An Introduction to Zen Buddhism

  1. 5 out of 5

    Foad

    ١. ع. پاشايى چند بخش از كتاب "ذن چیست؟" خودش را از اين كتاب اقتباس كرده بود و به اين كتاب آدرس داده بود. فكر مى كنم جا داشت اين كتاب را او ترجمه كند. هر چند ترجمۀ فعلى بد نيست، اما بدون شك ترجمۀ پاشايى چيز بهترى از آب در مى آمد. ٢. نويسنده زياد تأكيد مى كند كه براى فهم ذن نبايد زياد گرد تئورى گشت. تا جايى كه كسى دنبال تئورى است، كار ذن فقط گيج كردن و سر دواندن است. براى فهم ذن واقعى بايد دست از نظريه پردازى برداشت و ديد ذن چه نوع زندگى اى را پيشنهاد مى كند. به خاطر همين هم تصميم گرفتم به جاى كتاب ه ١. ع. پاشايى چند بخش از كتاب "ذن چیست؟" خودش را از اين كتاب اقتباس كرده بود و به اين كتاب آدرس داده بود. فكر مى كنم جا داشت اين كتاب را او ترجمه كند. هر چند ترجمۀ فعلى بد نيست، اما بدون شك ترجمۀ پاشايى چيز بهترى از آب در مى آمد. ٢. نويسنده زياد تأكيد مى كند كه براى فهم ذن نبايد زياد گرد تئورى گشت. تا جايى كه كسى دنبال تئورى است، كار ذن فقط گيج كردن و سر دواندن است. براى فهم ذن واقعى بايد دست از نظريه پردازى برداشت و ديد ذن چه نوع زندگى اى را پيشنهاد مى كند. به خاطر همين هم تصميم گرفتم به جاى كتاب هايى از اين دست، شروع كنم به خواندن كتاب هاى عملى تر، مثل "ذن در هنر عکاسی خیابانی" كه امشب از فيديبو گرفتم. ٣. نويسنده در مكتب خاصى از ذن پرورش پيدا كرده كه به معماهاى "كوآن" اهميت زيادى مى دهند. به خاطر همين هم بيشتر حجم كتاب به حكايت هاى ذن و معماهاى كوآن اختصاص دارد، و اين خواندن كتاب را ساده مى كند. نويسنده براى توضيح يك مطلب به جاى توضيحات انتزاعى، چهار پنج حكايت از استادان كهن ذن مى آورد. هر چند گاهى اين حكايت ها بى معنا يا معماگونه اند و چندان كمكى در فهم مطلب نمى كنند، و نويسنده هم از اين مسئله آگاه است. ٤. در مقدمۀ کتاب "ذهن ذن، ذهن نوآموز" ویراستار بین نویسندۀ آن کتاب و نویسندۀ این کتاب مقایسه ای کرده بود، و گفته بود نویسندۀ این کتاب، "ساتوری" (اشراق ذن) را در مرکز توجه خود قرار می دهد و بدون ساتوری ذن را ناممکن می داند. در حالی که نویسندۀ کتاب "ذهن ذن، ذهن نوآموز" اهمیتی برای ساتوری قائل نیست و در کتابش حتی یک بار هم اسمی از آن نمی آورد. ویراستار تعریف می کند که یک بار وقتی نویسندۀ آن کتاب در بستر بیماری بود پیشش رفت و از علت این امر پرسید. او در پاسخ گفت: آن چه ذن را ذن می کند یک اشراق نیست، بلکه نوع زندگی کردن است. اشراق ممکن است بیاید و ممکن است نیاید، و اگر هم بیاید تأثیری بیش از یک حال خوشِ انگیزه بخش ندارد. چیزی که مهم است شکل ثابتی از زندگی است که فرد باید خودش حاصل کند، نه یک حال خوش یا اشراق موقتی که از بیرون به او می رسد. ۵. اين را در جواب يكى از دوستان در كامنتى نوشتم و فكر كردم بد نيست اين جا هم بياورم: ذن (بر خلاف چیزی که ممکن است تصور شود)‌ دنبال اين نيست كه ما به غار درون‌مان برويم يا به جهان اهميت ندهیم و از زندگى دور شویم. اتفاقاً برعكس، ذن طالب اين است كه ما با تمام وجود در فعاليت هامان حضور داشته باشيم، و با تمام وجود در لحظۀ حاضر زندگى كنيم. معمولاً ما به خاطر تشويش هاى ذهنى، نمى توانيم در لحظۀ حاضر به طور تمام و كمال زندگى كنيم، و به خاطر همين فعاليت هامان (شغل‌مان، غذا خوردن‌مان، مصاحبت با دوستان‌مان و...) هميشه از لحاظ كيفى و معنوى ناقص هستند (هر چند از لحاظ كمّى و مادى شايد كامل باشند). ذن دنبال كامل كردن این تجربه هاى ماست. و معتقد است که راه آن، كم كردن تشويش ذهن، و حضور كامل در لحظۀ حاضر است.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Peter Zockoll

    For a Westerner's view of Buddhism, read Alan Watts or Eugen Herrigel; for an Easterner's view (in English, of course), read D. T. Suzuki. Some other reviewers are saying it's a difficult read. It is, at least to the Western, logic-based mind. Suzuki even says in this book that the book is "a condescension, an apology, a compromise, that this present work has been written.." It is expressly said multiple times in the book that it will not bring you to enlightenment or most likely even to the co For a Westerner's view of Buddhism, read Alan Watts or Eugen Herrigel; for an Easterner's view (in English, of course), read D. T. Suzuki. Some other reviewers are saying it's a difficult read. It is, at least to the Western, logic-based mind. Suzuki even says in this book that the book is "a condescension, an apology, a compromise, that this present work has been written.." It is expressly said multiple times in the book that it will not bring you to enlightenment or most likely even to the concept of satori. All teaching is treated as "a finger pointing to the moon is not the moon itself", in other words, all words in the book and in any Zen-related book anywhere are anathema to the realization of Zen, yet they are necessary because language and writing are how we communicate ideas to one another. The book, in the true spirit of Zen, treats even ideas as stumbling blocks on the path to enlightenment, but again, they are necessary as 'moon-pointing fingers'. If you have an interest in Zen or maybe just the deliciously anti-European 'philosophy' (for lack of a better word to convey a way that is so clearly anti-philosophical), read this book. Confusing? Absolutely. Any book on Zen had better be! It is a rejection, or rather a replacement, of all things Western, logical, intellectual, and so on. But most importantly- Suzuki is well acquainted with the traps that will naturally befall any logical mind as it reads through this book and he does a fantastic job walking one through it. After having finished this book, I'm amazed he even attempted to write it, let alone the literal volumes of other words he has done, which I am dying to start. It' like trying to describe blue to a blind person or the sound of a violin to a deaf person, and this attitude of anxious communication, that he desperately wants to properly convey something so fundamentally incommunicable to the reader bleeds through the pages and helps reinforce and motivate what some might otherwise find twisting and convoluted. Finally, it does what it says on the label: it's an introduction to Zen Buddhism.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ivan Dimitrov

    Интересувам се от дзен будизма от години и чак сега осъзнавам, че никога не бях чел книга за него. Винаги съм чел класически текстове и техните уводи. Но никога не съм се потапял в книга, която си поставя за цел да обясни това екстравагантно учение. Една от настолните ми книги е "Плътта на дзен, костите на дзен" (със съставител Пол Райс). Притежавам я от повече от 10 години и е пътувала с мен по целия свят. Обръщал съм се към нея във всякакви моменти. И ето, някак в ръцете ми попадна "Увод в дзе Интересувам се от дзен будизма от години и чак сега осъзнавам, че никога не бях чел книга за него. Винаги съм чел класически текстове и техните уводи. Но никога не съм се потапял в книга, която си поставя за цел да обясни това екстравагантно учение. Една от настолните ми книги е "Плътта на дзен, костите на дзен" (със съставител Пол Райс). Притежавам я от повече от 10 години и е пътувала с мен по целия свят. Обръщал съм се към нея във всякакви моменти. И ето, някак в ръцете ми попадна "Увод в дзен-будизма". И на всичко отгоре реших да я прочета точно в първия ден от краткия си престой в Япония. Може би, защото възнамеряваме след ден-два да вляза в някой дзен будистки храм с лек страх, поради огромното количество удари с тояги, които отнасят учениците в дзен будистката литература. Въпреки че смятам, че днешните времена не са се отразили добре на тази практика... Книгата на Сузуки е кратка, ясна, а дзен е разказан от най-добрата гледна точка, от която може да се направи това. С много колебание в смисъла на това да се разкаже нещо чрез думи, което в същината си е невъзможно да бъде разказано с думи. Което трябва да се преживее през тялото, вместо да се обясни през ума. Което не е философия, макар често да бъде наричано такова. В чието ядро стои парадоксът, постоянната игра с всичко, дори с най-святото. Чиято основна битка е с дуалистичното мислене (добро-зло, светло-тъмно), което отдавна е завзело нашия свят. Сузуки минава през най-важните точки на дзен, говори и за неговата практика, за развитието му, за неговите "опорни точки". Сузуки минава през тях не като един обикновен разказвач, който се е ровил два-три месеца, че дори и години в темата за новата си книга. Сузуки разказва от гледната точка на човек, който е поел по този нелек, но внушителен път и би искал да сподели нещо за пътя, но като изключи АЗ от разказа си. Тоест става дума за един истински увод в дзен будизма. Сега разбирам и защо името на Сузуки е толкова важно, що се отнася до износа на дзен на Запад. А в увода са споменати и други важни за мен имена от бийт поколението в американската литература. На първо място Гари Снайдър, който освен прототип на Джефри Райдър от "Бродягите на Дхарма" на Керуак е и истинският дзен битник. Той е превеждал японски текстове. Той е живял години в Япония. И това по един красив начин е отпечатано в поезията му, която за съжаление почти не е превеждана на български език. На второ място бих поставил Гинсбърг, тъй като той е доста по-навътре в духовните занимания от Керуак. Макар, че Гинсбърг да е далеч по-посветен в други области от източните духовни практики. Керуак безспорно е много важен, главно чрез написаното от него. Но като последовател на будизма той е най-несериозният от тримата. Вероятно затова и умира вследствие от злоупотреба на алкохол. Не го казвам, защото искам да го съдя по някакъв начин. Може би той е бил най-чувствителният от тримата, затова и винаги се е плъзгал по този начин през реалността. Което за късмет е завещал в книгите си. Друго нещо, което изключително ме впечатли в това издание, беше преводът от Юнг. Юнг е от малцината психолози, които биха могли да обяснят какво представлява дзен. Отново с нужната некатегоричност и съзнанието за това, че има неща, които не биха могли да бъдат казани чрез думи. И все пак неговите търсения имат много допирни точки с източните практики. И смятам, че той е един от психоаналитиците, които най-добре са съумяли да обяснят какво представлява източната мисъл. И по какъв начин лекува тя... Тук ще пропусна да се впусна в пространни обяснения и ще кажа само, че дзен активно работи с несъзнатото. Препоръчвам тази книга на всеки, който иска да разбере нещо повече за дзен будизма. Или за себе си...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Arthur Hoyle

    Suzuki clearly distinguishes Zen from other forms of Buddhism and from other religions, especially Christianity. He explains why Zen abjures the notion of God. Zen is concerned only with the here and now. Its discipline is to enable full perception of the total Reality, the reality beyond dualisms. "Zen is emphatically a matter of personal experience; if anything can be called radically empirical, it is Zen. No amount of reading, no amount of teaching, no amount of contemplation will ever make o Suzuki clearly distinguishes Zen from other forms of Buddhism and from other religions, especially Christianity. He explains why Zen abjures the notion of God. Zen is concerned only with the here and now. Its discipline is to enable full perception of the total Reality, the reality beyond dualisms. "Zen is emphatically a matter of personal experience; if anything can be called radically empirical, it is Zen. No amount of reading, no amount of teaching, no amount of contemplation will ever make one a Zen master. Life itself must be grasped in the midst of its flow; to stop it for examination and analysis is to kill it, leaving its cold corpse to be embraced."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Westley Dangles

    Like Zen and the contents thereof, it's wispy. It didn't get good until the end when DT discusses satori, which is the crux of this work, but upon my second reading I do see that you need to build up to it. The whole thing is cryptic, but that's inevitable when you try to expound on Zen. To summarize everything: you can't talk about Zen because as soon as you start talking about Zen it stops becoming Zen. Boom. Ineffable.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Кремена Михайлова

    Ценността на книгата се усеща още по-добре, когато се прегледат други „не-въздействащи” книжки за дзен-будизма. Този Судзуки ми подейства освобождаващо и утвърждаващо именно по неуловимия „истински” начин. (нищо, че по обичайния навик пак клоня към дуализъм - Д.Т. ще ме разбере ;) ) „Във всички тези обреди — благочестиви и пречистващи за повечето вярващи — Дзен вижда нещо изкуствено. „Съвършените йоги не постигат нирвана, а монасите, нарушаващи обета си, не отиват в ада“, гласи един от дзен-прин Ценността на книгата се усеща още по-добре, когато се прегледат други „не-въздействащи” книжки за дзен-будизма. Този Судзуки ми подейства освобождаващо и утвърждаващо именно по неуловимия „истински” начин. (нищо, че по обичайния навик пак клоня към дуализъм - Д.Т. ще ме разбере ;) ) „Във всички тези обреди — благочестиви и пречистващи за повечето вярващи — Дзен вижда нещо изкуствено. „Съвършените йоги не постигат нирвана, а монасите, нарушаващи обета си, не отиват в ада“, гласи един от дзен-принципите. За обикновеното съзнание това противоречи на общоприетите морални норми, но именно тук се крие истината и жизнеността на Дзен. Дзен е духът на човека. Дзен вярва във вътрешната му чистота и доброта. Всичко насилствено добавено или отнето от духа нарушава неговата цялост. Затова Дзен е категорично против всякакви религиозни условности.” „Ако човек отвори уста, за да изрече утвърждение или отрицание, той е загубен. Дзен вече го няма. Но и да пази мълчание не върви. Камъкът на земята мълчи, разцъфналото цвете под прозореца също мълчи, ала те не разбират Дзен. Трябва да се открие някакъв начин, мълчанието и говорът да бъдат едно и също, т.е. отрицанието и утвърждението да се уеднаквят в по-висша форма на изказ.” „Сатори идва при човека изненадващо, тъкмо когато е усетил, че се е изчерпал докрай. В религиозен план това означава ново раждане, а в интелектуален — постигане на нова гледна точка. В този момент светът се облича в нови одежди, изчезва породената от дуализма привидност на нещата, наречена от будизма илюзорност.” „Съзнанието може да се развива и само дори когато е оставено да следва определения му от природата ход. Но човек не може винаги да чака естествения ход — той обича да се намесва, за добро или за зло. Човек е нетърпелив, щом има възможност да се намеси, не пропуска да го направи. Това понякога помага, понякога определено вреди. В резултат се стига до едното или до другото. Ние приветстваме намесата на човека, когато се постига повече, отколкото се губи, и наричаме това усъвършенстване и прогрес, но когато ефектът е обратен, явлението се определя като регрес. Цивилизацията е нещо изкуствено, създадено от хората. Някои не са удовлетворени от нея и искат да се върнат обратно към природата. Наистина така нареченият съвременен прогрес в никакъв случай не може да бъде окачествен като абсолютно благо, но като цяло, поне от материалната страна, животът ни днес е по-добър отпреди и виждаме признаци за по-нататъшно подобрение. Затова нашето недоволство общо взето не се проявява особено силно.” „Дзен се интересува от фактите, а не от техните логически, словесни, предубедени и непълноценни изразители. Съкровената същност на Дзен е непосредствеността и простотата, оттук и неговата жизненост, свобода и оригиналност. В християнството, както и в други религии, също се говори много за простотата на сърцето, което не винаги означава човек да бъде простодушен. В Дзен това означава да не се допусне въвличане в интелектуални упражнения, нито във философски разсъждения, които често са безсмислени и пълни със софистика.” „— Когато съзнанието не се помещава в определен обект, казваме, че то пребивава там, където не съществува постоянна обител. — Какво значи да не се помещава в определен обект? — Това значи да не пребивава в двуначалието добро — зло, съществуване — несъществуване, дух — материя. Това означава да не пребивава в пустотата или не-пустотата, нито в покоя или не-по-коя. Където не съществува постоянна обител, там е истинската обител на съзнанието.”

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andre

    "An ethical man performs acts of service which are praiseworthy, but he is all the time conscious of them, and, moreover, he may often be thinking of some future reward. Hence we should say that his mind is tainted and not at all pure, however objectively or socially good his deeds are. Zen abhors this. Life is an art, and like perfect art it should be self-forgetting; there ought not to be any trace of effort or painful feeling. Life, according to Zen, ought to be lived as a bird flies through "An ethical man performs acts of service which are praiseworthy, but he is all the time conscious of them, and, moreover, he may often be thinking of some future reward. Hence we should say that his mind is tainted and not at all pure, however objectively or socially good his deeds are. Zen abhors this. Life is an art, and like perfect art it should be self-forgetting; there ought not to be any trace of effort or painful feeling. Life, according to Zen, ought to be lived as a bird flies through the air or as a fish swims in the water. As soon as there are signs of elaboration, a man is doomed, he is no more a free being. You are not living as you ought to live, you are suffering under the tyranny of circumstances; you are feeling a constraint of some sort, and you lose your independence." - D.T. Suzuki "As to attaining the goal and taking hold of the thing itself, this must be done by one's own hands, for nobody else can do it for one." - D.T. Suzuki "I allowed my mind without restraint to think of what it pleased, and my mouth to talk about whatever it pleased; I then forgot whether 'this and not-this' was mine or others', whether the gain or loss was mine or others'; nor did I know whether Lao-shang-shih was my teacher and Pa-kao was my friend. In and out, I was thoroughly transformed; and then it was that the eye became like the ear, and the ear like the nose, and the nose like the mouth; and there was nothing that was not identified. As the mind became concentrated, the form dissolved, the bones and flesh all thawed away; I did not know upon what my frame was supported, or where my feet were treading; I just moved along with the wind, east or west, like a leaf of a tree detached from its stem; I was unconscious whether I was riding on the wind, or the wind riding on me." - Resshi (Lieh-tzu)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    Short but very dense. I'm not sure if it's because this was written many years ago, or because DT Suzuki just has a very formal writing style, but I found it really hard to read. Eventually I resorted to reading just a few pages at a time, as a kind of daily dose of zen. For that it was pretty good-- he packs in a lot of good anecdotes, koans, and stories into each chapter. And one more thing-- skip Jung's introduction-- it's even more difficult to read than Suzuki's prose at its worst.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    This was assigned reading for the Senior Seminar capstone course for Religious Studies majors at Grinnell College. It is basically an introduction to Rinzai Zen Buddhism and is constituted by edited essays dating up until 1934.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Howard

    Zen Buddhism is more a lifestyle, a way of liberation, than it is a religion or a belief system: "it is anything but a philosophy in the western sense of the word." As such, it continues to be one of the most difficult subjects I've tried to understand and live. Yet, it somehow feels so natural. Knowing that Suzuki had a huge influence on Alan Watts, and having read several of "the spiritual entertainer's" books, I knew I needed to dig deeper, to get closer to the source. While less humorous and Zen Buddhism is more a lifestyle, a way of liberation, than it is a religion or a belief system: "it is anything but a philosophy in the western sense of the word." As such, it continues to be one of the most difficult subjects I've tried to understand and live. Yet, it somehow feels so natural. Knowing that Suzuki had a huge influence on Alan Watts, and having read several of "the spiritual entertainer's" books, I knew I needed to dig deeper, to get closer to the source. While less humorous and witty than Watts, Suzuki still offers a fairly accessible introduction to Zen. He writes with a blend of humility and authority. I welcomed the foreword from Carl Jung, another person who has influenced my perspectives. In attempting to bridge the gap between the East and the West, Jung writes "I have no doubt that the satori experience does occur also in the West, for we too have men who scent ultimate ends and will spare themselves no pains to draw near to them. But they will keep silence, not only out of shyness but because they know that any attempt to convey their experiences to others would be hopeless." As a plug for his own field of work, as justifiably so, he points out that "the only movement within our culture which partly has, and partly should have, some understanding of these aspirations is psychotherapy." (for more, read Psychotherapy, East and West by Alan Watts) Everything is Zen. Zen is radically concrete and anti-abstraction: "personal experience, therefore, is everything in Zen. No ideas are intelligible to those who have no backing of experience." Truth is delivered through lived sermons, paradoxical statements known as koans. "Zen is the spirit of a man. Zen believes in his inner purity and goodness. Zen, therefore, is emphatically against all religious conventionalism...Zen is a wafting cloud in the sky. No screw fastens it, no string holds it; it moves as it lists. No amount of meditation will keep Zen in one place. Meditation is not zen." Suzuki blasts rationalism for its limitations: "Zen in inflexible and would protest that the so-called common-sense way of looking at things is final, and that the reason why we cannot attain to a thoroughgoing comprehension of the truth is due to our unreasonable adherence to a 'logical' interpretation of things. If we really want to get to the bottom of life, we must abandon our cherished syllogisms, we must acquire a new way of observation whereby we can escape the tyranny of logic and the one-sidedness of our everyday phraseology." He challenges intellectualization even further: "in Zen it means not to get entangled in intellectual subtleties, not to be carried away by philosophical reasoning that is so often ingenuous and full of sophistry...In this sense, Zen is pre-eminently practical. It has nothing to do with abstractions or with subtleties of dialectics..the reason why Zen is so vehement in its attack on logic...is that logic has so pervasively entered into life as to make most of us conclude that logic is life and without it life has no significance." Zen is not some set of abstractions to be learned and repeated. It is a living truth. "Copying is slavery. The letter must never be followed, only the spirit is to be grasped. Higher affirmations live in the spirit." Perhaps the insight most helpful for me in understanding Zen: "a finger is needed to point at the moon, but what a calamity it would be if one took the finger for the moon!" Honestly, it is a near-impossible task to instruct people in the ways of Zen using text, but when most of us don't have the opportunity to live face to face with a Zen master, Suzuki offers some encouraging insights. His collection of short essays nudge one's state of mind in the direction of zen. It appears that satori can require many years to achieve or one incredible moment of enlightenment. I still prefer the work of Alan Watts, but I think most of us westerners will better understand Watts after having read D.T. Suzuki.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rhesa

    I`m still in Japan now, and I just bought this book from a local bookstore called Junku-do in Ikebukuro. It`s funny that the more I read Heidegger`s Being and Time, the more I think that postmodern theology is close to the doctrine and practise of Japanese Zen Buddhism. For example Zen teaches that life must be freed from any purpose or meaning, it teaches not any notion about personal God nor sacred community. Daily life is spiritual. For me all of this resembles Heidegger`s idea of ontical dime I`m still in Japan now, and I just bought this book from a local bookstore called Junku-do in Ikebukuro. It`s funny that the more I read Heidegger`s Being and Time, the more I think that postmodern theology is close to the doctrine and practise of Japanese Zen Buddhism. For example Zen teaches that life must be freed from any purpose or meaning, it teaches not any notion about personal God nor sacred community. Daily life is spiritual. For me all of this resembles Heidegger`s idea of ontical dimension of Dasein, where the meaning of being is partly derived from our engagement with `the furnitures of the world` which is daily life. It`s also similar to the concept of `Natural Supernaturalism` of the Romantic movement in Western Literature. My last week trip to some Zen temples in Kyoto also somewhat persuaded me to think that the Japs have their own glory & pride of their Zen-ness [Garden, ikebana, samurai & tea ceremony:], something we just can`t nullify by simplistic religios jargon & blanket conceptualization. Hmm...I wonder as I wander though it`s not Christmas yet...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sean A.

    Perhaps the most readable of Suzuki's treatises on Zen (thus the term "Introduction"). Clear and surprisingly humorous and instant, just like Zen itself. Suzuki takes great care to form an ethos out of the parables. These modern lessons run the risk of seeming like a bygone era, but they would serve us especially well in the here and now. The unexpected but rigorous becoming of bliss.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peycho Kanev

    “Учителю, ще се преродя ли някога за нов живот?” “Животът е огън. Пепелта никога не се превръща обратно в дърво.” Това стихотворение не е от книгата, но прочитът й ме накара да го напиша, както и още няколко други.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Masque Chen

    是大約正文一百五十頁的小講義,輕薄又不輕薄。 鈴木大拙直接點名禪不是哲學,無法邏輯思考、非二元論、無法以言語解釋。於是一開始他企圖揭示「禪」給大眾只能以負向列表開始:禪也不是虛無主義、禪也不主張棄世、禪也不是萬神論。 在這個過程中我是辛苦的,就如同誠品講堂有時聽人提問便知那人哪裡過不去,我內心深處是相信邏輯,相信語言能解釋萬物的(如果有語言不能解釋的,那必然是現有語言不夠好)。 於是吃盡苦頭。 我只能(依照楊照老師不時棒喝我們的)先完全放下自己,全心去相信作者的話,鈴木大拙說禪不是什麼那就不是什麼,是超越理性及語言能描述的什麼那就是超越。 一則一則的典籍引用,禪是庭前柏樹子又不是柏樹子,禪在一則一則的公案裡然而我們必須焚毀之。有那麼一瞬間我大概體驗到那確實是超脫「是或不是」的狀態,是同時包納一切的流動。 不過我知道那不是開悟。 最後一章講禪人的生活,簡樸、勞動而內省,能體會那些減法是為了心靈更大的自由,禪確實不是刻意棄世、苦修,那裡面有豐沛的積極與自適。 我終究、現在還是離那個世界有距離的,我終究還是個熱愛喝酒吃肉的人,雖然我相信禪是不反對人喝酒吃肉的,但我的罣礙在於我太愛喝酒吃肉了。 至少至少走過這本 是大約正文一百五十頁的小講義,輕薄又不輕薄。 鈴木大拙直接點名禪不是哲學,無法邏輯思考、非二元論、無法以言語解釋。於是一開始他企圖揭示「禪」給大眾只能以負向列表開始:禪也不是虛無主義、禪也不主張棄世、禪也不是萬神論。 在這個過程中我是辛苦的,就如同誠品講堂有時聽人提問便知那人哪裡過不去,我內心深處是相信邏輯,相信語言能解釋萬物的(如果有語言不能解釋的,那必然是現有語言不夠好)。 於是吃盡苦頭。 我只能(依照楊照老師不時棒喝我們的)先完全放下自己,全心去相信作者的話,鈴木大拙說禪不是什麼那就不是什麼,是超越理性及語言能描述的什麼那就是超越。 一則一則的典籍引用,禪是庭前柏樹子又不是柏樹子,禪在一則一則的公案裡然而我們必須焚毀之。有那麼一瞬間我大概體驗到那確實是超脫「是或不是」的狀態,是同時包納一切的流動。 不過我知道那不是開悟。 最後一章講禪人的生活,簡樸、勞動而內省,能體會那些減法是為了心靈更大的自由,禪確實不是刻意棄世、苦修,那裡面有豐沛的積極與自適。 我終究、現在還是離那個世界有距離的,我終究還是個熱愛喝酒吃肉的人,雖然我相信禪是不反對人喝酒吃肉的,但我的罣礙在於我太愛喝酒吃肉了。 至少至少走過這本書,當黑潮咖啡的冰滴滑入喉嚨時我能盡情享受它的香氣(另外冰滴充足的咖啡因可以活腦),席巴女王巧克力蛋糕有整個宇宙。 最後說到禪人的生活是要「長養聖胎」,行住坐臥都在體驗禪。依然記得與恩人律師在天下第一龍都酒樓吃飯時,律師只呷了兩三片烤鴨便停箸,因為美好已在裡面,當時對我的衝擊。 希望我自己能把握每個時時刻刻。 (雖然在家永遠都攤在沙發當廢人彥) (BTW,這本書的翻譯蒸der很蚌,鮮美,原汁原味。大約有高中國文程度就可以徜徉在那原典與通達翻譯的流暢中,非常美好。)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Edward

    Most people seem to be familiar with a few aspects of Zen Buddhism, first popularized in the west a half century ago by beat writers such as Allan Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. J. D. Salinger added to the mix with his mention of the Zen koan question - what is the sound of one hand clapping.? Suzuki's short introduction predates these writers by decades and gives a short and informative commentary on the precepts of Zen Buddhism. One of the most important things to understand about Zen Buddhism is Most people seem to be familiar with a few aspects of Zen Buddhism, first popularized in the west a half century ago by beat writers such as Allan Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. J. D. Salinger added to the mix with his mention of the Zen koan question - what is the sound of one hand clapping.? Suzuki's short introduction predates these writers by decades and gives a short and informative commentary on the precepts of Zen Buddhism. One of the most important things to understand about Zen Buddhism is that it tries to show that humans live psychologically or biologically, and not logically. It's true, of course, that logic is used in every aspect of our practical lives, particularly in the west, a civilization based on the logic of science. Science works with space and time, and Suzuki writes, "So long as one is conscious of space and time, Zen will keep a respectable distance from you." I think he means a type of self-consciousness which is far too invested in categories, in distinctions that slide into a way of using our brains that is all too logical. If we want to get to the bottom of life, to go beyond categories, distinctions, and syllogisms, then we have to develop a new way of observing and being a part of life. This new way attacks logic; there is more to life than thinking logically. Speaking poetically, Suzuki writes, "Life, according to Zen, ought to be lived as a bird flies through the air or a fish swims in the water." Only humans live, aware of themselves. One way to begin to break down the reliance of logic is through the use of koans, questions or riddles that seem to have no answer. Examples: "empty-handed I go, and behold, the spade is in my hands," "I walk on foot and yet on the back of an ox I am riding," "if you should meet the Buddha on the road, kill him," "what is the fundamental principle of Buddhism? Answer: how high those bamboos are, how short are those others." The lists of koans proliferate endlessly. Their purpose is to question the value of words and ideas which have no place in the real understanding of Zen. In that respect, all of the words that I've written so far won't get anyone very far in understanding Zen. What every practitioner of Zen hopes to achieve is "satori", an enlightenment which cannot be described in words. What it tries to do is to upend all of the accumulations of intellect and awaken a sense which sees the world from a whole new perspective. That perspective will be "more satisfying, more peaceful, and more full of joy" than anything ever experienced before. Satori comes not as something that can be willed into existence, but as a state of awareness that simply appears when the person is ready for it. It may come quickly, or it may take a life time or it may never come. Well, as you can see in having read this far, there is no easy way to pin down Zen Buddhism. In a sense, all of these words I've just logically written lead away from it but they also point toward it. Another koan-like paradox.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alienated

    "ذن میتواند برای معرفی خود چنین بگوید: نه این، نه آن و نه هیچ چیز دیگر"؛ جایی در کتاب در مورد کتابهای ذن میگه "شرح ابهامگونهایست که درباره ابهامات دیگر داده شده است"، خودشم حداقل برای افراد نوآشنایی مثل من کمابیش همینطوره؛ فرق ذن با سایر فرق بودایی رو بیان میکنه و اصرار داره که تحت هیچ ضابطهای نباید ذن رو با فلسفه خلط کرد. بعضی از عبارات و مضامین کتاب: ذن درصدد رها کردن فرد از اسارت و بندگی منطقه؛ ذن از تکرار و تقلید از هر نوعش متنفره چون اون رو کشندهی اصالت میدونه، برای اینه که ذن هیچوقت توضیح نم "ذن می‌تواند برای معرفی خود چنین بگوید: نه این، نه آن و نه هیچ چیز دیگر"؛ جایی در کتاب در مورد کتاب‌های ذن می‌گه "شرح ابهام‌گونه‌ای‌ست که درباره ابهامات دیگر داده شده است"، خودشم حداقل برای افراد نوآشنایی مثل من کمابیش همین‌طوره؛ فرق ذن با سایر فرق بودایی رو بیان می‌کنه و اصرار داره که تحت هیچ ضابطه‌ای نباید ذن رو با فلسفه خلط کرد. بعضی از عبارات و مضامین کتاب: ذن درصدد رها کردن فرد از اسارت و بندگی منطقه؛ ذن از تکرار و تقلید از هر نوعش متنفره چون اون رو کشنده‌ی اصالت می‌دونه، برای اینه که ذن هیچوقت توضیح نمی‌ده و به عقیده‌ اش زندگی تاب تبیین رو نمیاره. می‌گه هر یک از ما باید راه خودمون رو بپیماییم و راه حل مساله‌ها رو نمی‌تونیم چشم‌بسته بپذیریم. تقلید بردگیه، نباید راه رو تعقیب کرد بلکه باید روحش رو فهمید. ذن موکدا موضوعیه که به تجربه شخصی بستگی داره و هیچ مقدار مطالعه و تعلیم و تفکر نمی‌تونه کسی رو به استادی در ذن برسونه. ذن بدون ساتوری مثل فلفلیه که تندی نداشته باشه، در ساتوری باید حس تازه ای بیدار شه که فرد بتونه به اشیا از زاویه جدیدی که تاکنون تصورشم مقدور نمی‌شده نگاه کنه. تا زمانی که کسی از فضا و زمان آگاهی داشته باشد، ذن با او فاصله احترام آمیزی را حفظ می‌کند، تعطیلات چنین کسی ضایع می‌شود، خوابش آشفته و تمام زندگی‌اش به یک شکست منجر خواهد شد. وقتی ذن به طور کامل فهمیده شد آرامش مطلق عارض می‌شود و آدمی آنطور که باید زندگی خواهد کرد، ما ازین بیشتر چه می‌خواهیم؟ در ذن هیچ چیزی نیست که بتوان ذهن را روی آن متمرکز کرد. ذن مشتاق آزادی مطلقه حتی از خدا. لغات و جملات در ذن معنای ثابتی ندارند و فرد و موقعیت مربوطه است که معنای انها را شکل می‌دهد. درد و رنج و نارضایتی ناشی از وابستگی فرد به شرایط و اشیائی‌ست که به دلیل ماهیتشان دائمی نیستند. "ذن میگوید اگر دوست دارید می‌توانید اکنون که کاملیا شکوفه داده به آن ادای احترام کنید و یا آن را بپرستید" ذن خود را در ساده ترین و غیرمهیج ترین نوع زندگی انسانهای ساده خیابان نشان میدهد. از استاد ذنی می‌پرسن ذن چیه؟ می‌گه " فکر روزانه شما".

  17. 5 out of 5

    ბექა

    რეკომენდირებული საკითხავი ყველასთვის.ბევრს არაფერს ვიტვყი ძენ ბუდიზმზე,მხოლოდ იმას რომ ეს აღმოსავლური ფილოსოფია,ან თუ გინდ დავარქვათ რელიგია(რელიგია დოგმების,ავტორიტეტების,ღმერთების,მედიტაციების,სწავლებების გარეშე,რომელიც ორიენტირებულია ადამიანის პირად გამოცდილებასა და ინტელექტუალურ,ლოგიკურ და რაციონალურ აზროვნებას მიღმა არსებული გრძნობებით სამყაროსა და ცხოვრების შემეცნებაზე),რომელიც ერთი შეხედვით ძალიან შორეული და მიუწვდომელია დასავლური აზროვნების მქონე ადამიანისთვის,ეხმიანება ფსიქოანალიზსს( ht რეკომენდირებული საკითხავი ყველასთვის.ბევრს არაფერს ვიტვყი ძენ ბუდიზმზე,მხოლოდ იმას რომ ეს აღმოსავლური ფილოსოფია,ან თუ გინდ დავარქვათ რელიგია(რელიგია დოგმების,ავტორიტეტების,ღმერთების,მედიტაციების,სწავლებების გარეშე,რომელიც ორიენტირებულია ადამიანის პირად გამოცდილებასა და ინტელექტუალურ,ლოგიკურ და რაციონალურ აზროვნებას მიღმა არსებული გრძნობებით სამყაროსა და ცხოვრების შემეცნებაზე),რომელიც ერთი შეხედვით ძალიან შორეული და მიუწვდომელია დასავლური აზროვნების მქონე ადამიანისთვის,ეხმიანება ფსიქოანალიზსს( https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...-- მიუხედავად იმისა რომ სუძუკი ფროიდის ფსიქოანალიზსა და ძენ ბუდიზმის ადვილად შესამჩნევ მსგავსებას უარყოფს იმ არგუმენტით რომ ფსიქოანალიზი არის ირაციონალურის რაციონალიზმით გაგების მცდელობა,ბევრ რამეში იკვეთება თანხვედრა და საბოლოოდ ორივე ერთ საქმეს ემხახურება) და ეგზისტენციალიზმსს( https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...-- ამ წიგნში განსაკუთრებით მომეწონა ბოლო თავი,სადაც ჰაიდეგერის ეგზისტენციალიზმის ირაციონალური მხარეა განხილული) მე თვითონ ძენ ბუდიზმით დავინტერესდი ამ სერიალის ნახვის შემდეგ - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2802850/e... მთელი ეს სერიალი აგებულია აბსურდის ფილოსოფიაზე და თვითონ სერიების სახელებიც კამიუ,კაფკა,კირკეგორი,იონესკო(სხვები ვერ ვიცანი) ნამუშევრების სახელებითაა დასათაურებული და ეგზისტენციალურ თემებს მიმოიხილავს,მაგრამ გარდა ამისა არის ძენ ბუდიზმის მნიშვნელოვანი ხაზი,რომელიც ჩემთვის თავიდან შეუმჩნეველი იყო სანამ თვითონ ძენ ბუდიზმს გავეცნობოდი. საბოლოო ჯამში რეკომენდირებულია როგორც ამ წიგნის და ზოგადად ძენის გაცნობა,ისევე ფარგოს მეორე სეზონის ნახვა.

  18. 5 out of 5

    S.D.

    Everyone understands Zen and no one understands Zen. There’s really no way to explain the absence of antithesis, a concept that is crucial to Zen, without resorting to antithesis. Which is the principal difficulty in trying to explain it at all. Suzuki, however, does his best in the medium available to him, by relying primarily on examples to illustrate the absence of the either/or “dualism”. That his examples may appear nonsensical to many readers exemplifies the hold dualism has on human under Everyone understands Zen and no one understands Zen. There’s really no way to explain the absence of antithesis, a concept that is crucial to Zen, without resorting to antithesis. Which is the principal difficulty in trying to explain it at all. Suzuki, however, does his best in the medium available to him, by relying primarily on examples to illustrate the absence of the either/or “dualism”. That his examples may appear nonsensical to many readers exemplifies the hold dualism has on human understanding. In its understanding of dualism’s logical illogicality, Zen is light-years ahead of human intelligence in coming to terms with itself; whether or not its approach to the threat of nihilism (in the final chapter) is best left to reader’s discretion.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Malissa

    "The truth is, Zen is extremely elusive as far as its outward aspects are concerned; when you think you have caught a glimpse of it, it is no more there; from afar it looks so approachable, but as soon as you come near it you see it even further away from you than before." - D. T. Suzuki "Personal experinece, therefore, is everything in Zen." - D. T. Suzuki "Zen is provokingly evasive." - D. T. Suzuki "This quietude and silence, however, does not point to mere idleness or inactivity." - D. T. Suzuk "The truth is, Zen is extremely elusive as far as its outward aspects are concerned; when you think you have caught a glimpse of it, it is no more there; from afar it looks so approachable, but as soon as you come near it you see it even further away from you than before." - D. T. Suzuki "Personal experinece, therefore, is everything in Zen." - D. T. Suzuki "Zen is provokingly evasive." - D. T. Suzuki "This quietude and silence, however, does not point to mere idleness or inactivity." - D. T. Suzuki "Zen teaches nothing. Whatever teachings there are in Zen, they come out of one's own mind. We teach ourselves; Zen merely points the way." - D. T. Suzuki

  20. 4 out of 5

    Roger Bailey

    This mumbo jumbo is complete nonsense. It even anticipates that a lot of people will consider it nonsensical when it claims that those who do just don't understand it, but then it goes on to add to the nonsense by claiming that if you understand it then you really don't understand it and if you don't understand it then you profoundly understand it. Honestly, I find myself constantly flabbergasted that anyone over the age of two can possibly be so gullible as to believe in religion, any religion.

  21. 5 out of 5

    D.S. West

    Aside from The Way of Chuang Tzu, the only book on spirituality I've read that didn't make me want to laugh or hurl. Zen is like one hand clapping, only louder. What else can I say? It's Zen, bitches.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Venelin Iliev

    И тази си струва много! Поне за мен.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    A brilliant and logical exposé into the fact that Zen cannot be understood using brilliance and logic.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gemma Alexander

    It's like the wind. It's like nothing.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lightning Path

    This is a great book, not because it dives particularly deep in into Zen Buddhism, but because it illustrates quite clearly that Zen Buddhism is a) a Connection Practice and b) this practice is aimed at achieving an Awakening Experience (conceptualized in Zen Buddhism as Satori) by facilitating better Connection to Highest Self. Zen is very focussed on this. The ultimate destination of satori is towards the Self; it has no other end but to be back within oneself. "There is but one straight passag This is a great book, not because it dives particularly deep in into Zen Buddhism, but because it illustrates quite clearly that Zen Buddhism is a) a Connection Practice and b) this practice is aimed at achieving an Awakening Experience (conceptualized in Zen Buddhism as Satori) by facilitating better Connection to Highest Self. Zen is very focussed on this. The ultimate destination of satori is towards the Self; it has no other end but to be back within oneself. "There is but one straight passage open and unobstructed through and through. This is so when you surrender all--your body, your life, and all that belongs to your inmost self. This is where you gain peace, ease, non-doing, and inexpressible delight. All the sutras and shastras are no more than communications of this fact; all sages, ancient as well as modern, have exhausted their ingenuity and imagination to no other purpose than to point the way to this. ...what makes Zen unique as it is practised in Japan is its systematic training of the mind. Ordinary mysticism has been too erratic a product and apart from one's ordinary life; this has Zen revolutionized. What was up in the heavens, Zen has brought down to earth. With the development of Zen, mysticism has ceased to be mystical; it is no more the spasmodic product of an abnormally endowed mind. for Zen reveals itself in the most uninteresting and uneventful life of a plain man of the street, recognizing the fact of living in the midst of life as it is lived. Zen systematically trains the mind to see this; it opens a man's eye to the greatest mystery as it is daily and hourly performed; it enlarges the heart to embrace eternity of time and infinity of space in its every palpitation; it makes us live in the world as if walking in the garden of Eden; and all this spiritual feats are accomplished without resorting to any doctrine but by simply asserting in the most direct way the truth that lies in our inner being.

  26. 4 out of 5

    George Little

    Coming from an areligious perspective, it seemed to me that Buddhism has some clear truth to its tenets that I can't really challenge. I had read the introduction to 'The Bhagavad Gita' before this by Eknath Easwaran, and what was quite striking to me was the persistence of 'perennial philosophies' - philosophies ungrounded in pure reason that existed across cultures. The universality of this made me think that perhaps there is meaning before reason comes in, that we're diverging from. Reason ha Coming from an areligious perspective, it seemed to me that Buddhism has some clear truth to its tenets that I can't really challenge. I had read the introduction to 'The Bhagavad Gita' before this by Eknath Easwaran, and what was quite striking to me was the persistence of 'perennial philosophies' - philosophies ungrounded in pure reason that existed across cultures. The universality of this made me think that perhaps there is meaning before reason comes in, that we're diverging from. Reason has primacy in our modern age, where justification of any sort simply must be backed up by reason or it's discarded; I find that this (at least in my own life) creates a dearth of meaning that i've been struggling with of late. I can't quite buy into Satre's existentialism, (maybe i'm not disposed to, or maybe I don't have the right intellectual framework right now) and these buddhist philosophies that connect to my asian heritage make sense to me more than my forays into Christianity or even aggressive atheism. DT Suzuki makes an interesting comparison between an Eastern Buddhist poet and Tennyson, and though he admits that neither of them are representative of their respective cultures or perhaps would even like to be, they show something of the difference between the two. While the Buddhist Monk looks at a flower and seeks to identify with the existence inside of it, to share its existence rather than to touch the object of the flower, Tennyson looks at a flower and wonders at its objective properties and would prefer to dissect it. The former way of living is, to me, more in keeping with a preservation of beauty of nature and existence, if we seek to keep it, over an incisive reasoning of life which takes objectification of life to be its prerequisite.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Autumn

    The foreword by Carl Jung is the most useless, nay, harmful, foreword to a book I've ever read. Jung basically says that Westerners cannot possibly ever understand Zen Buddhism because we lack the cultural context (he doesn't make this comparison, but I think of it like how native Cantonese speakers have a hard time vocalizing some sounds in English and I'm sure vice versa). Moreover, he says that Westerners wouldn't want to try to attain enlightenment (he seems to think we lack the dedication/c The foreword by Carl Jung is the most useless, nay, harmful, foreword to a book I've ever read. Jung basically says that Westerners cannot possibly ever understand Zen Buddhism because we lack the cultural context (he doesn't make this comparison, but I think of it like how native Cantonese speakers have a hard time vocalizing some sounds in English and I'm sure vice versa). Moreover, he says that Westerners wouldn't want to try to attain enlightenment (he seems to think we lack the dedication/commitment). Whether any of this is true or not, I think Jung misses the point. As Suzuki states in the first chapter, "Herein lies the practical merit of Zen. While it is highly speculative on the one hand, its methodical discipline on the other hand produces most fruitful and beneficial results on moral character." I read this to mean that even without ever attaining satori (which loosely means enlightenment), even the average person has something to gain from the study of Zen Buddhism, which is a far more inviting statement than Jung's position: you're never going to reach satori, which many would translate to mean: so why try? Infuriating. Other than the despicable foreword, the rest of the book was ok. It gives an overview of Zen Buddhist concepts and lifestyle. I was surprised to learn how violent Buddhist masters are: from chopping off fingers to slicing cats in half, I rather expected enlightened people to act with more humility and kindness. I'm sure it's an effective way of getting your point across, but if that's the model to work towards, I'm not sure that's the direction I'd be inclined to head in.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michael Gerardi

    As Zen concerns a search for insight into the truth, I (someone trained in science, mathematics and logical reasoning) was looking for insight into Zen. I found it, to an extent, by reading this book. One insight that came to me is that Zen embodies a denial of logic, in particular a denial of the law of the excluded middle ("either A or not-A"). In Zen, logic limits the perception of reality. It also seemed to me that the concept of "satori" is concerned with a realization of one's true nature, As Zen concerns a search for insight into the truth, I (someone trained in science, mathematics and logical reasoning) was looking for insight into Zen. I found it, to an extent, by reading this book. One insight that came to me is that Zen embodies a denial of logic, in particular a denial of the law of the excluded middle ("either A or not-A"). In Zen, logic limits the perception of reality. It also seemed to me that the concept of "satori" is concerned with a realization of one's true nature, and is thus so personal that each instance of it is exclusive to the one who experiences it and can't be expressed for the understanding of others. I am not at all sure, however, that my understanding has anything to do with the actual truth of Zen. I came away from the book, in some ways, even more baffled. I kept asking myself, "How does one's perception of reality actually change in Zen?" "What problems does Zen actually solve?" Maybe these questions are a reflection of how far a Western mind has to travel to view reality in the new way Zen leads to. In any event, read the book if you have any interest in the subject, and be prepared to be called on to think differently.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    The book is very short (132 pgs) so it looks like an easy read, but don't be fooled; the font is tiny and the prose is dense. Nonetheless this is a good basic intro to Zen for someone who's had little or no prior exposure to it. CG Jung's foreword alternates between deep insights and dumb misunderstandings. But cut him some slack; in his day, no one in the West knew what Buddhism was, much less Zen. Jung was instrumental in introducing Zen and Taosim to European readers almost a century ago. DT S The book is very short (132 pgs) so it looks like an easy read, but don't be fooled; the font is tiny and the prose is dense. Nonetheless this is a good basic intro to Zen for someone who's had little or no prior exposure to it. CG Jung's foreword alternates between deep insights and dumb misunderstandings. But cut him some slack; in his day, no one in the West knew what Buddhism was, much less Zen. Jung was instrumental in introducing Zen and Taosim to European readers almost a century ago. DT Suzuki's prose style is almost as ponderous as Jung's (at least in this English translation) but he covers the basics of Zen pretty well, and throws in quite a few classic koans along the way. Like Jung, he is trying to explain Zen to a western audience, so he focuses a lot on common misunderstandings: Zen is not a religion, not a philosophy, not nihilism, not pantheism, etc.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Simon deVeer

    Reading Erich Fromm's The Art of Being directed me to this book. In the chapter titled "The Great Sham" Fromm discusses why he believes our culture is unable to distinguish between the authentic and the fake. This discussion predates any post-truth narrative and is as relevant today as when it was written. In discussing widespread charlatans, Fromm mentions the preponderance of gurus teaching bastardized versions of Zen, while D.T. Suzuki was in print and available. Admittedly, I was very quickl Reading Erich Fromm's The Art of Being directed me to this book. In the chapter titled "The Great Sham" Fromm discusses why he believes our culture is unable to distinguish between the authentic and the fake. This discussion predates any post-truth narrative and is as relevant today as when it was written. In discussing widespread charlatans, Fromm mentions the preponderance of gurus teaching bastardized versions of Zen, while D.T. Suzuki was in print and available. Admittedly, I was very quickly ashamed of myself as I had not read Suzuki myself. My introduction to Zen was via Alan Watts. Without knowing anymore I figured I should go to the original source. To my pleasant surprise, Watts had actually attended a Suzuki lecture, and it was this that got him introduced in the subject. I had not been led astray by a self-aggrandizing guru in my brief forays into Zen via Watts. An Introduction to Zen Buddhism does not disappoint its self-explanatory title. This is an excellent primer for anyone interested in the subject. It is doubtful one will grasp the nature of Zen after merely reading, but that should be expected. Personal experience, Suzuki teaches, is the only way to truly experience Zen. There are no doctrines, dogmas, or tenants to learn. Zen defies logic and teaches nothing. Whatever teachings there are, they come from the mind. The basic idea is to come into touch with the inner workings of our being. Anything resembling an authority is rejected by Zen. As such, there is little else I could say on the topic.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.