Zen Buddhism - Simple Guides by Diana St. Ruth

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Synopsis

THIS BOOK WILL HELP YOU

• to appreciate the significance of this particular school of Buddhism,famous for its focus on meditation and self-awakening

• to understand the history of Zen and the ‘Ways of Zen’

• to discover how Zen is a way of life — not a belief system

• to avoid faux pas in conversation, in travelling and in personal relationships

Zen (in Chinese, Ch’an) is the form of Buddhism which the great teacher Bodhidharma brought to China from India in the late fifth century. Today it is practised mainly in Japan and Korea,. Based upon the understanding that each of us has the potential for complete awakening, Zen is in fact a coalition of practical ways of stilling the mind in order to attain self-knowledge.

Because the realization of the true nature of reality, including one’s own, is not an intellectual pursuit but an experienced truth, Zen teachers transmit the truth (dharma) from mind to mind or heart to heart without the use of words, using different techniques to break through the limitations of the logical mind.

This engaging book explains the essence of Zen in simple terms.. It traces its development and looks at its unique methods of teaching, such as meditation, koans — startling paradoxes that stop the intellect — the use of texts, ceremonies, poetry, and the martial arts. It describes life in monasteries and in the everyday world. Because Zen is rooted in Reality, its practitioners often experience a delightful sense of wonder in the commonplace. This democratic and liberating philosophy does not require us to give up our own traditions, but rather helps us to deepen our understanding of them, and continues to inspire growing numbers of followers in the West.
 

About Diana St. Ruth

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BOTH THE AUTHORS were born in 1943, Richard in London, Diana in Leicester, and both developed an interest in Buddhism during their teens. They were married in 1969. In 1983 they founded the Buddhist Publishing Group, and in 1989 started a magazine, Buddhism Now, of which they are joint editors. They also organize annual Buddhist summer schools and a Korean Zen retreat. Other titles by the authors include: An Introduction to Buddhism, BPG, 1988; Zen Graffiti, BPG, 1991; Experience Beyond Thinking: A Guide to Buddhist Meditation, BPG, 1993; The Little Book of Buddhist Wisdom, Element, 1997; Sitting: A Guide to Buddhist Meditation, Penguin, 1998; and in the Simple Guides series Theravada Buddhism.
 
Published July 19, 2011 by Simple Guides. 144 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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