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The Iron Flute: 100 Zen Koans
Koans are the intellectually unsolvable problem riddles at the core of the Rinzai tradition of Zen Buddhism. Though widely recognized, most koan remain narrowly understood. In this new edition, 100 of the most challenging and enlightening koan from the Chinese Ch'an patriarchs of the T'ang and Sung dynasties are presented, along with commentary from three Zen masters, offe ...more
Paperback, 153 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Tuttle Publishing
(first published June 1985)
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I'm going to leave this one unrated. My interest in religion and philosophy is wide-ranging, and this is certainly interesting, but even with the explanations as provided, I found it only partly penetrable. I blame this partly on my current spiritual flow and my complete lack of desire to embrace Zen itself. No judgment here, hence no point in a low rating, and no enticement, hence no point in a high rating. I experienced it, said okay, and now I move on. I suspect this book is of high value to ...more
For me this was the perfect book of Zen; examples of Zen happening in real time, minimal comments in the spirit of Zen, and requiring multiple readings for one open to a less objective, less analytical approach to "reality". For one wanting concrete, answers-to-everything, this is probably not, as Tolle would say, a book in which to find something "interesting" (i.e. something that can be kept at a distance, conceptual). But to read (or listen to the Audible version narrated wonderfully by Ken M ...more
I enjoyed the part in the beginning which introduced the book and concepts therein. However, I didn't really enjoy the koans. I can't say that they were bad, for koans. It's more that koans didn't appeal to me or feel useful as an instructional or self-development tool. In my mind, if I wanted to look at absurdity, strangeness, or apparent contradictions which nevertheless resolve...I could just look at life...
Would have to say this is my all time favourite piece of Buddhist writing. Everytime I read this book I gain new insights into the way of zen. The explanations and commentaries are invaluable for gaining a greater perspective. I also found quite a few good laughs throughout.One of the best eastern mystical book I've ever read. If you want something to take your mind out of your mind and bring you into a space of silent contemplation, this is the book for you.
Il libro raccoglie 100 koan, come da titolo, che nelle loro interpretazioni racchiudono la concezione zen della vita. 100 aneddoti su cui riflettere e che, nonostante l'apparente futilità di alcuni di essi, racchiudono senso profondo.
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.More about Nyogen Senzaki...