The ninth-century Tang dynasty Chinese master Dongshan is an important ancestor of the Zen tradition that has spread widely throughout the world in the twentieth century. He features prominently in koan texts and teaching stories, but he's not been written about or translated much in English yet. Dan Leighton comes to the rescue with this excellent book that takes the texts and teachings attributed to Dongshan, as well as the teaching stories and koan cases about him, and provides commentary for understanding the teaching of the House of Caodong he's associated with, particularly as it relates to "suchness"--tathata, the absolute and true nature inherent in all appearance--focusing on the practical relevance of the teachings Dongshan represents to the practice and life of us folks today.
TAIGEN DAN LEIGHTON is an adjunct professor at the Institute of Buddhist Studies of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and has taught widely elsewhere, including at the University of Chicago, the California Institute of Integral Studies, Loyola University, the University of San Francisco, and Otani University in Kyoto. He's also a priest and dharma teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki and a dharma heir of Tenshin Reb Anderson. He is the author or translator of numerous academic books on Zen, along with others that straddle the line between scholarly and popular, most prominent among which is his Bodhisattva Archetypes (Penguin, 1998, reissued by Wisdom in 2003 as Faces of Compassion- Classic Bodhisattva Archetypes and Their Modern Expression).
"What a delight! Readers conditioned to believe that Zen koans are mind-bending nonsense puzzles will read here with pleasure lucid and relevant commentaries."--Norman Fischer, author of Training in Compassion "Leighton is masterful in weaving together specific approaches evoked through stories about and sayings by Dongshan to create a powerful and inspiring religious vision that is useful for students and researchers as well as practitioners of Zen."--Steven Heine, author of Did Dogen Go to China? What He Wrote and When He Wrote It
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