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By Dale S. Wright,Steven Heine

Bodhidharma, its first patriarch, seemingly stated that Zen Buddhism represents "a precise transmission outdoors the teaching/Without reliance on phrases and letters." This announcing, besides the usually puzzling use of language (and silence) via Zen masters, gave upward thrust to the idea that Zen is a "lived religion," dependent strictly on non-linguistic perform and missing a considerable canon of sacred texts. Even those that realize the significance of Zen texts typically restrict their concentration to a couple decide upon texts with out spotting the big variety of Zen literature. This selection of formerly unpublished essays argues that Zen truly has a wealthy and sundry literary history. one of the most important textual genres are hagiographic debts and recorded sayings of person Zen masters, koan collections and commentaries, and principles for monastic existence. in periods of political turmoil in China and Japan, those texts have been the most important to the survival and good fortune of Zen, they usually have for hundreds of years been valued via practitioners as important expressions of the reality of Zen. This quantity deals realized but obtainable experiences of a few of crucial classical Zen texts, together with a few that experience got little scholarly realization (and lots of that are available basically to specialists). every one essay presents old, literary, and philosophical observation on a specific textual content or style. jointly, they give a critique of the "de facto canon" that has been created by means of the restricted procedure of Western scholarship, and exhibit that literature is a various and crucial a part of Zen Buddhism.

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The Zen Canon: Understanding the Classic Texts by Dale S. Wright,Steven Heine

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