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If you're looking to study the beginnings and nature of Zen this would be a good book to pick up. It seems to be mainly for study though it reads like a textbook. I think the purpose of this is to help anybody to understand the nature and what it means to bring. This book tries to take away the assumptions that come with many people thinking that by practicing Zen they can make a major change in their life (i.e. become a better person, release anxiety, enduce happiness) when this book stresses,...more
I was looking for a book to help me understand what Zen was all about. I don't really have a desire to dedicate myself to Zen, but I did want to understand it better. This book took me through the basics of za-zen and more. It's a good introduction to Zen philosophy, but will not satisfy your palate for anything beyond that. It's an easy read, though a bit dry now and again. I think it accomplishes what it set's out to do: help you become familiar to the elements of Zen.
Wanted to get a background on the history and practice of zen. This book was similar to a philosophical textbook with confusing metaphors and anecdotes. Regarding the actual practice of zen, this book does give a nice overview for an introduction. Would recommend to those wishing to understand the practice, but to learn the history/purpose of zen I would look to other sources.
Librarian's note: there is more than one author of this name.More about David Scott...