The Way of Ch'an Essential Texts of the Original Tradition

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The Way of Ch'an Essential Texts of the Original Tradition by Hinton, David, 9781611809237
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  • ISBN: 9781611809237 | 1611809231
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 7/25/2023

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This sweeping collection of new translations paints a brilliant picture of the development of Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism, China’s most radical philosophical and meditative tradition.

In this landmark anthology of some two dozen translations, celebrated translator David Hinton shows how Ch'an (Japanese: Zen)—too long considered a perplexing school of Chinese Buddhism—was in truth a Buddhist-inflected form of Taoism, China's native system of spiritual philosophy. The texts in The Way of Ch’an build from seminal Taoism through the “Dark-Enigma Learning” literature and on to the most important pieces from all stages of the classical Ch’an tradition. Guided by Hinton’s accessible introductions, readers will encounter texts and authors including: 

  • I Ching (c. 12th century BCE)
  • Lao Tzu (c. 6th century BCE
  • Bodhidharma (active c. 500-550 CE)
  • Sixth Patriarch Prajna-Able (Hui Neng, 638-713)
  • Cold Mountain (Han Shan: c. 8th-9th centuries)
  • Yellow-Bitterroot Mountain (Huang Po, d. 850)
  • Blue-Cliff Record (c. 1040)                                                                 
Through this steadily deepening and transformative reading experience, readers will see the profound and intricate connections between native Chinese philosophy, Taoism, and Ch’an. Contemporary Zen students and practitioners will never see their tradition in the same way again.

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