Essays in Zen Buddhism
D. T. Suzuki


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Zen Buddhism is a unique school of spiritual development using many systems of philosophy, psychology and ethics in the course of its own technique of “Sudden Enlightenment”.

In this first volume of Essays in Zen Buddhism, the opening chapters are concerned with Zen as the Chinese interpretation of the Doctrine of Enlightenment; Enlightenment and ignorance and the history of Zen Buddhism in China up to the time of the Sixth Patriarch, Hui-neng, who gave shape to the purely Chinese aspect of Zen. The next chapters discuss the attainment of Satori, or the opening of the spiritual eye, and the methods which are needed to bring this about. The educational system is described in the chapter on the meditation hall, and finally the stages of spiritual progress by gradual purification are discussed in terms of the ten ox-herding pictures.

The second volume contains essays on the Koan, the Secret Message of Bodhidharma, and Passivity in the Buddhist Life.

In the third volume D.T. Suzuki shows that the changes to the Mahayana teaching were immense and the story of this evolution is lucidly told. The chapter on the Bodhisattva Ideal is the answer to all who regard Buddhism as “cold”, whilst that on Zen and Japanese culture tells more of the actual practice of Zen Buddhism than any number of theoretical text books.

The book also contains a superb collection of pictures reproduced from Japanese and Chinese paintings—these are accompanied by the author’s illuminating comments and observations.

With a foreword by Christmas Humphreys.

Essays in Zen Buddhism, D.T. Suzuki, Rider, 1985

Paperback. Octavo. Three volumes. The covers show some wear. Spine is creased and leans on each volume. Pages are unmarked. 387, 367 & 396 pp.