Books

Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Zen: Tradition and Transition

by Kenneth Kraft

“A significant collection of essays . . . Unlike most books about Zen, which state or imply that (like Gertrude Stein’s rose) enlightenment is enlightenment is enlightenment, essays in this anthology repeatedly make it clear that enlightenment is at worst often a matter of opinion and at best usually a matter of degree. Only readers with illusions on this point need be disillusioned.” –Choice

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 240
  • Publication Date July 01, 1989
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-3162-1
  • Dimensions 5.38" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $13.00

About The Book

Zen: Tradition and Transition brings together some of the foremost Zen masters and scholars to create a unique sourcebook for anyone interested in understanding this rich tradition, its history, and its current practice. The wide-ranging original contributions include Chinese master Shen-yen on the essential techniques of meditation; Philip Kapleau on he master-disciple relationship; and Philip Yampolsky on the historical evolution of Japanese Zen. Burton Watson explores Zen poetry using classics from China and Japan, while Albert Low demonstrates the spirited style of Zen commentary in his essay on one of the tradition’s best-known texts. Other fascinating pieces include Morinaga Sato’s memoir, “My Struggle to Become a Zen Monk,” and T. Griffith Foulk’s portrait of the daily life of modern Zen monks in Japan. Both accessible to beginners and challenging to the serious student of Zen, this is an authoritative and complete perspective on a philosophical tradition that has flourished for a thousand years.

Contents:

• “My Struggle to Become a Zen Monk” by Morinaga Soko
• “Zen Meditation” by Sheng-yen
• “The Private Encounter with the Master” by Philip Kapleau
• “Zen Koans” by Eido T. Shimano
• “Master Hakuin’s Gateway to Freedom” by Albert Low
• “Zen Poetry” by Burton Watson
• “The Story of Early Ch’an” by John R. McRae
• “The Development of Japanese Zen” by Philip Yampolsky
• “The Zen Institution in Modern Japan” by T. Griffith Foulk
• “Recent Developments in North American Zen” by Kenneth Kraft
• “Problems of Authority in Western Zen” by Martin Collcutt

Praise

“A useful book. I like the balance of scholarship, historical overviews, and familiarity with the experiential and personal essence of Zen practice.”—Gary Snyder

“A significant event. We should congratulate Kraft for bringing together [Zen masters and Zen scholars] and for picking first-rate people to represent both contingents. . . . The book shows repeatedly the human side of Zen in its present practice, its history, its place in society. . . . Anyone who cares about the present and future of Zen should applaud Kraft’s effort.”—Parabola

“An unprecedented collection . . . The essays are enlightening, direct, and reflect the clarity of mind that Zen epitomizes.”—Body Mind Spirit

“A significant collection of essays . . . Unlike most books about Zen, which state or imply that (like Gertrude Stein’s rose) enlightenment is enlightenment is enlightenment, essays in this anthology repeatedly make it clear that enlightenment is at worst often a matter of opinion and at best usually a matter of degree. Only readers with illusions on this point need be disillusioned.”—Choice

“Refreshing and salutary . . . This book strongly presents the dynamic interface of continuity and change in Zen in North America.”—Journal of Asian Studies