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Buddhism and Zen

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  17 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Written for the neophyte who has no prior knowledge of the subject, Buddhism and Zen defines basic terms, translates key words, and answers the ten most frequently asked questions that are posed by Westerners interested in Zen Buddhism. Much of the Western world's interest in Zen is based on our growing awareness that the literal, the pragmatic, and the rational, while use ...more
Paperback, 76 pages
Published January 1st 1988 by North Point Press
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This book is quick and dirty. It doesn't explain much, glosses over some of the finer points, and avoids some of the more esoteric ideas altogether. This is by no means a complete instruction in Buddhism or Zen in particular, but it does serve well as a short introduction to some, albeit not all, of the central ideas. Given how brief it is, it's worth the read regardless.
If I was new to Buddhism, I would be more confused after reading this. It's a mix of approaches and sects of Buddhism without explanation of what goes with what. The ten questions at the start sidestep and fail to mention fundamental key concepts.

There are many better introductions. Without too much theory Kornfield's work such as A Path with Heart, anything by Adyashanti, Chrodron's work and HHDL's How to practice. With a zen flavor: Watt's The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are and
A ground-level introduction to the primary tenets of Budhist philosophy. It's a quick, uncomplicated read. And though not particularly in depth, it's quite servicable as a launching point for a novice taking his or her first tentative forays into Eastern philosophy.
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Nyogen Senzaki (千崎 如幻, 1876–1958) was a Rinzai Zen monk who was one of the 20th century's leading proponents of Zen Buddhism in the United States.
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