Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters


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Zen Buddhism: The Nature of the Self

Heine organizes koans from a variety of sources to illustrate the Chinese and Japanese historical contexts from which the koan "canon" emerged. He argues that koans play upon, and with, elements of the supernatural that prevailed in the popular religious traditions that Zen encountered and transformed. His 60 selected koans, for which he provides his own prose translations, support his thesis and distinguish yet another interpretive strand in the bundle of non-dualistic possibilities entangled in the koan.

This is not a book for the nightstand Buddhist; readers educated in Buddhist thought, however, can better appreciate the whimsical and formidable discipline that koans represent and cultivate. Heine restores these koans to their original traditions, allowing readers to see both the complex elements of Chinese culture and religion that they reflect and the role they played in Zen's transformation of local superstitions into its own teachings. Offering a fresh approach to one of the most crucial elements of Zen Buddhism, Opening a Mountain is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the full story behind koans and the mysterious worlds they come from.

This is an excellent book.

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Opening a mountain : koans of the Zen Masters

It breaks new ground in the study of Zen and in the interpretation of koan literature, setting a standard for these in terms of scholarly rigor and broad accessibility that is truly impressive. Opening a Mountain will encourage us to read koans in a much more articulate literary, sociological, and historical setting than we have previously managed.

Religious scholar and historian Heine is well-qualified to guide an exploration of the contexts from which various koans have emerged.


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The book is fascinating. For those intrigued with koans, the enigmatic teachings of Zen Buddhism, this text offers translations of and critical commentary on sixty of these always lively, often maddening, anecdotes. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. In the Library Request this item to view in the Library's reading rooms using your library card. Details Collect From YY Order a copy Copyright or permission restrictions may apply.

Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters

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    Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters
    Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters
    Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters
    Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters
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