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Zen Buddhism

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,543 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
No other figure in history has played a bigger part in opening the West to Buddhism than the eminent Zen author, D.T. Suzuki, and in this reissue of his best work readers are given the very heart of Zen teaching. "Zen Buddhism," which sold more than 125,000 as an Anchor paperback after its publication in 1956, includes a basic historical background as well as a thorough ov ...more
Paperback, 369 pages
Published July 1st 1996 by Harmony (first published June 1956)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Erik Graff
Mar 27, 2012 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Zen fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: religion
I believe I read this while taking Harold Kasimow's Major Eastern Religions course while at Grinnell College. The writings of D.T. Suzuki (which this collection surveys) were of considerable influence in my understanding of Zen Buddhism and led to my belief that if I had to subscribe to a recognized "religion" it would be Zen.
Dec 18, 2011 Jenwhitson rated it did not like it
Shelves: spirituality
This book showed me that Zen is just as full of dogma and superstition and nonsense as any other religion. Thanks a lot. I think Zen has come a long way since ole Suzuki in making itself accessible to the West. It's maybe a little alarming to see how little Western Buddhism has in common with this articulation of its Eastern roots, but whatever is in this book is completely useless to me.
Feb 04, 2009 j.marvin rated it really liked it
The most awesomest and wonderful zen book foreverandever.
Esp. when he slams Oscar Wilde...or quotes that thing about the mountain.
you know.
the mountain.
Dec 25, 2012 Scott rated it really liked it
Not the most approachable on the subject of Zen but purposefully brilliant in walking the reader through the reasons Zen cant be defined by the written word.
This is a really excellent, if perhaps dated, view of Zen Buddhism written in a way that is accessible to university-educated Westerners. I thought the content of this book was exceptional, and would have given it five stars, except that I thought that the writing style was a bit too dense for most readers. A part of this is simply due to the nuanced nature of the subject matter, but I feel the author could have done better in making his ideas accessible. Overall, though, I would strongly recomm ...more
Jan 06, 2014 Tavi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." Carl Sagan
Vivek Bhandari
And I always wondered what Zen was about

great........... pizzas are here
Jul 15, 2008 Graham added it
An Excellent Selection from an Excellent Writer: This was the first book I ever read on Zen, and it remains, in my mind, one of the best. D.T Suzuki is thorough and imaginative, linking the principles of Zen to the culture and history of Japan, as well as to Western philosophy. Suzuki has a well-deserved reputation as the 20th century's foremost authority on Japanese Zen. While perhaps more of a scholar's book than a practitioner's book, this selection of essays from Suzuki's Zen and Japanese Cu ...more
Jan 29, 2016 Fishface rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, zen
This was pretty good, introducing some of the basic concepts of Zen, albeit the non-soto type of Zen that seeks enlightenment instead of rejecting that whole idea. A valuable read regardless.
Jan 10, 2014 Carolyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If our zin-zang symbol is pristine, in solitary blacks and whites, then Suzuki is all greyed over. This writing is a colloquial handshake: DT Suzuki welcoming the reader, then constructing the thatched roof of Zen Buddhism above your head as you pass through its pages. Suzuki's construct is a bit 'leaky', denying the colder corners of Zen Buddhist theory in favor of a kinder portrait of its ways. It's a lovely book for the novice, but it's not quite on-point.
Matthew Lawrence
Alright. But would've been better if it wasn't by such a bad author.
Tim Weakley
Not for the beginner, nor the conceptually timid. Suzuki makes you think on your feet, and shake your head in confusion. I lost track of the number of times I had to go back and read a passage over again. A workout but a lot of gems inside.
Suzuki is probably one of the best authors who rights on Zen Buddhism. Great analysis and explanation. He does a good job but it doesn't really help to understand Zen. Maybe because the only way to understand it is to experience it. Still the book is very useful.
Mitch Allen
Feb 01, 2014 Mitch Allen rated it liked it
History, practice and thought from the master, but a difficult book to get through. Repetitive, convoluted and confusing—it can be worked out with effort, and in doing so, yields the reward of a comprehensive survey.
Aug 25, 2010 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
learned quite a bit about the "un-logic" and "no-mind" of Zen, but parts of it were a chore. example - the theological hairsplitting of whether the idea of emptiness is empty itself, and things like that.
Jul 11, 2013 Charlie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suzuki's writings, or rather his dictated writings, are always a bit scattered, never focused. Even so the work is always profound and always grants a deeper line of thought.
Mar 29, 2013 Delia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's kind of a slow read, but very interesting and insightful for those who like to learn and are open-minded to other religions/philosophies.
Aug 01, 2007 Shawna rated it liked it
it's been bout 10 years since I began reading this book. It was an eyeopening part of my life at the time and still serves purpose.
Aug 10, 2015 Mo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves
This book requires a lot of thought. Some days I didn't want to delve, but I'm glad I did. I will re-read this book often.
David Bradley
Overly academic for my interests. Overtly making sentences and words complicated.
Jan 05, 2009 Jason rated it it was amazing
This is a great book for beginners. I learned a lot about myself while reading this one.
Bill Baer
Aug 25, 2012 Bill Baer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Suzuki is one of the leading authorities for explaining Zen to western culture
Curt Bozif
Oct 11, 2007 Curt Bozif rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Zen nuts
Okay. I liked Allan W. Watts' book on Zen a lot more though.
Nov 07, 2009 michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read the first chapter. Do it now!
Patricia Brown
Patricia Brown marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2016
Gobbe Gauthier
Gobbe Gauthier marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2016
Rick Barton
Rick Barton marked it as to-read
Jun 21, 2016
Alex marked it as to-read
Jun 21, 2016
Bisser rated it it was amazing
Jun 21, 2016
Peter Reczek
Peter Reczek rated it it was amazing
Jun 19, 2016
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How to get it? 1 6 Jul 21, 2013 12:18PM  
  • Moon In a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen
  • A Buddhist Bible
  • The Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of Hui-Neng
  • The Three Pillars of Zen
  • The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma
  • Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen
  • Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings
  • Taking the Path of Zen
  • This is It & Other Essays on Zen & Spiritual Experience
  • Buddhist Scriptures
  • The Lotus Sutra
  • Zen Training: Methods And Philosophy
  • Crooked Cucumber: The Life and Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki
  • Zen and the Brain
  • Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice
  • The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā
  • The Heart Sutra
  • Insight Meditation: A Step-by-step Course on How to Meditate
Daisetsu (also written Daisetz) Teitaro Suzuki (鈴木大拙) was a Japanese author of books and essays on Buddhism, Zen and Shin that were instrumental in spreading interest in both Zen and Shin (and Far Eastern philosophy in general) to the West. Suzuki was also a prolific translator of Chinese, Japanese, and Sanskrit literature. Suzuki spent several lengthy stretches teaching or lecturing at Western un ...more
More about D.T. Suzuki...

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