ISBN is

978-0-671-41609-6 / 067141609X

A Glimpse into Nothingness: Experiences in an American Zen Community

by Janwillem van de Wetering

Publisher:Pocket Books

Edition:Softcover

Language:English

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About the book:

From Wikipedia: Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism[a] which originated in China during the 6th century CE as Chán. From China, Zen spread south to Vietnam, and east to Korea and Japan. ~~~ The word Zen is from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle Chinese word ? Dzyen (Modern Mandarin: Chán), which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhy?na, which can be approximately translated as "absorption" or "meditative state". ~~~ Zen emphasizes experiential wisdom in the attainment of enlightenment. As such, it de-emphasizes theoretical knowledge in favor of direct self-realization through meditation and dharma practice. The teachings of Zen include various sources of Mah?y?na thought, including the Prajń?p?ramit? literature, Madhyamaka, Yog?c?ra and the Tath?gatagarbha Sutras. ~~~ Although it is difficult to trace when the West first became aware of Zen as a distinct form of Buddhism, the visit of Soyen Shaku, a Japanese Zen monk, to Chicago during the World Parliament of Religions in 1893 is often pointed to as an event that enhanced its profile in the Western world. It was during the late 1950s and the early 1960s that the number of Westerners, other than the descendants of Asian immigrants, pursuing a serious interest in Zen began to reach a significant level. Especially Japanese Zen has gained popularity in the West. The various books on Zen by Reginald Horace Blyth, and Alan Watts published between 1950 and 1975, contributed to this growing interest in Zen in the West, as did the interest from beat poets as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder. ~~~ Over the last fifty years mainstream forms of Zen, led by teachers who trained in East Asia and their successors, have begun to take root in the West. In North America, the Zen lineages derived from the Sanbo Kyodan school are the most numerous. The Sanbo Kyodan is a Japan-based reformist Zen group, founded in 1954 by Yasutani Hakuun, which has had a significant influence on Zen in the West.

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