The Zen Koan : Its history and use in Rinzai Zen by Isshu Miura and Ruth Fuller Sasaki ; With reproduction of 10 drawings by Hakuin Ekaku
New York : Harcourt, Brace & World, 1965. First Edition. Hardcover. 156 pages ; illustrated ; 25 cm. $4.50 dust jacket. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is firm.
The Zen Koan by Isshü Miura and Ruth Fuller Sasaki
Koan study is the unique method of religious practice developed in the Zen schools of China and Japan to bring the student, without recourse to the mediation of words or concepts, to direct, intuitive realization of Reality. Originating in T'ang China, Koan Zen reached its culmination under the eighteenth-century Japanese Rinzai Zen master Hakuin, and continues in Japan today in a form almost unchanged since that time. But most Westerners have as yet only scant knowledge of the nature and significance of this practice and its essential function in Zen Buddhism.
The present work is the first scholarly examination in any language of the historical development and traditional method of koan study in Zen Buddhism. In three major parts, it considers first the nature and origin of the koan itself and the gradual development of koan study into a consistent and uniform tradition. The organization and progressive stages of koan study as formulated by Hakuin and still carried on today in the Rinzai School of Zen Buddhism are taken up in specific detail in Part Il. Part Ill comprises translations from Zenrin kushü, the traditional collection of Chinese poems and phrases which, as jakugo or "capping phrases," play an important part in koan study.
RUTH FULLER SASAKI is abbess of the Zen temple of Ryösen-an, Daitoku-ji, Kyoto, and Director of the Kyoto branch of the First Zen Institute of America. One of the very few Westerners to undertake the long and demanding career of full traditional Rinzai Zen training, Mrs. Sasaki has been a tireless guide for Western students of Zen. In recent years she has lectured at several universities in America, and at present she serves as director of the translation program of the First Zen Institute of America in Japan, located in Kyoto. She is the author of Zen: A Religion, Zen: A Method for Religious Awakening, Rinzai Zen Study for Foreigners in Japan, and, with Heinrich Dumoulin, S.J., of The Development of Chinese Zen.
ISSHU MIURA, RÖSHI, is a Zen Master in the Rinzai line of Japanese Zen. In the spring of 1958, he took up residence in New York, as Zen Master of the First Zen Institute of America, thus becoming one of the few Zen röshis ever to teach in the West, and the second only to make his permanent home there. Now teaching independently in New York, Miura, Röshi, continues, however, in his position as priest and röshi of the Köon-ji in Japan.
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