Fascinating introduction into Zen Buddhism. Very dense at times and I will have to read the whole thing again, probably a couple of times, and practicFascinating introduction into Zen Buddhism. Very dense at times and I will have to read the whole thing again, probably a couple of times, and practice often, to even begin to really understand it. His later chapters on Haiku, calligraphy and landscape painting were extremely instructive and acted as a bright lamp, shining light on dark corners impenetrable concepts.
I am now reading Shinzen Young's The Science of Enlightenment. Young was trained in the Japanese Shingon sect of the vajrayana school of Buddhism, which is more descriptive and prescriptive. Young's writing concentrates on meditation process and intersperses theory with practical instruction. If you find Watts book too abstract, you may prefer Young.
I highly recommend Watt's The Way of Zen, an elegant and thoughtful book. ...more
This is a book I will read again and again. Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk and his guide to meditation is very practical and written with a seculaThis is a book I will read again and again. Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk and his guide to meditation is very practical and written with a secular reader in mind. Ricard is also involved in the Mind and Life Institute, (http://www.mindandlife.org/) dedicated to the collaboration between Buddhism and modern science. Universities such as Princeton, Harvard and Berkeley are conducting intensive studies on meditation and its long-and short-term effects on the brain (page 21) and Ricard himself has been a subject of such studies.
Ricard defines meditation, suggests what one should meditate on and explains how to meditate. He includes exercises, inspiring extracts from learned writers on meditation and a detailed bibliography, citing Buddhist and scientific sources.
In his acknowledgements, Ricard refers to his "lack of natural literary talent". He is being too modest. Ricard writes simply and elegantly and no one could ask for more than that. ...more