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Wisdom of the Zen Masters

by Tsai Chih Chung

ISBN 0385487436 / 9780385487436 / 0-385-48743-6
Publisher Anchor
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

The sixth book in the Zen Speaks series of cartoon-illustrated adaptations of Chinese thought and philosophy by world-renowned author Tsai Chih Chung, Wisdom of the Zen Masters combines selections from the most important and famous Zen texts into a single volume.

Only one Chinese Buddhist work ever attained the status of an official scripture, the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch. Wisdom of the Zen Masters illustrates the key narrative of this text and follows the orthodox line of Zen transmission in a loosely chronological format from patriarch to patriarch, master to master. The result is a delightful romp through the history of forty or so illustrious and irreverent Zen masters, complete with enlightening anecdotes and disarming wisdom.

In addition to the Platform Sutra, many episodes are drawn from other key Zen texts, including the Transmission of the Lamp, the Gateless Gate (Mumonkan), and the Blue Cliff Record. All of these are recognized as rich sources of the famous Zen koan.

Wisdom of the Zen Masters is not only a perfect introduction to Zen Buddhism, but also an essential component of any Zen collection. [via]

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