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25 Remote Warehouse Religion Eastern- Zen Buddhism

Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

With the growing popularity of Zen Buddhism in the West, virtually everyone knows, or thinks they know, what a koan is: a brief and baffling question or statement that cannot be solved by the logical mind and which, after sustained concentration, can lead to sudden enlightenment. But the truth

about koans is both simpler--and more complicated--than this.

In Opening a Mountain, Steven Heine shows that koans, and the questions we associate with them--such as "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"--are embedded in larger narratives and belong to an ancient Buddhist tradition of "encounter dialogues." These dialogues feature dramatic and often

inscrutable contests between masters and disciples, or between masters and an array of natural and supernatural forces: rouge priests, "wild foxes," hermits, wizards, shapeshifters, magical animals, and dangerous women. To establish a new monastery, "to open a mountain," the Zen master had to tame

these wild forces in regions most remote from civilization. In these extraordinary encounters, fingers and arms are cut off, pitchers are kicked over, masters appear in and interpret each other's dreams, and seemingly absurd statements are shown to reveal the deepest insights. Heine restores these

koans to their original traditions, allowing readers to see both the complex elements of Chinese culture and religion that they reflect and the role they played in Zen's transformation of local superstitions into its own teachings.

Offering a fresh approach to one of the most crucial elements of Zen Buddhism, Opening a Mountain is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the full story behind koans and the mysterious worlds they come from.

Synopsis:

With the growing popularity of Zen Buddhism in the West, virtually everyone knows, or thinks they know, what a koan is: a brief and baffling question or statement that cannot be solved by the logical mind and which, after sustained concentration, can lead to sudden enlightenment. But the truth about koans is both simpler--and more complicated--than this.

In Opening a Mountain, Steven Heine shows that koans, and the questions we associate with them--such as "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"--are embedded in larger narratives and belong to an ancient Buddhist tradition of "encounter dialogues." These dialogues feature dramatic and often inscrutable contests between masters and disciples, or between masters and an array of natural and supernatural forces: rouge priests, "wild foxes," hermits, wizards, shapeshifters, magical animals, and dangerous women. To establish a new monastery, "to open a mountain," the Zen master had to tame these wild forces in regions most remote from civilization. In these extraordinary encounters, fingers and arms are cut off, pitchers are kicked over, masters appear in and interpret each other's dreams, and seemingly absurd statements are shown to reveal the deepest insights. Heine restores these koans to their original traditions, allowing readers to see both the complex elements of Chinese culture and religion that they reflect and the role they played in Zen's transformation of local superstitions into its own teachings.

Offering a fresh approach to one of the most crucial elements of Zen Buddhism, Opening a Mountain is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the full story behind koans and the mysterious worlds they come from.

About the Author

Steven Heine is Professor of Religious Studies and History at books on Zen Buddhism, including (with Dale S. Wright) The Koan: Texts and Contexts in Zen Buddhism (OUP). Dr. Heine was recently awarded the Kauffman Professorship in Entrepreneurship Studies at the Florida International University Business School.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195174342
Author:
Heine, Steven
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
null, Steven
Subject:
Religion
Subject:
Zen buddhism
Subject:
Theology | Buddhism
Subject:
Religion and Theology - Buddhism
Subject:
Buddhism - Zen
Subject:
Eastern - General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Religion & Theology | Buddhism
Subject:
Religion Eastern-Zen Buddhism
Publication Date:
20040231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 map
Pages:
216
Dimensions:
5.600 x 8.900 in 0.781 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Buddhism » Zen Buddhism
Religion » Eastern Religions » General

Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters New Trade Paper
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Product details 216 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195174342 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , With the growing popularity of Zen Buddhism in the West, virtually everyone knows, or thinks they know, what a koan is: a brief and baffling question or statement that cannot be solved by the logical mind and which, after sustained concentration, can lead to sudden enlightenment. But the truth about koans is both simpler--and more complicated--than this.

In Opening a Mountain, Steven Heine shows that koans, and the questions we associate with them--such as "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"--are embedded in larger narratives and belong to an ancient Buddhist tradition of "encounter dialogues." These dialogues feature dramatic and often inscrutable contests between masters and disciples, or between masters and an array of natural and supernatural forces: rouge priests, "wild foxes," hermits, wizards, shapeshifters, magical animals, and dangerous women. To establish a new monastery, "to open a mountain," the Zen master had to tame these wild forces in regions most remote from civilization. In these extraordinary encounters, fingers and arms are cut off, pitchers are kicked over, masters appear in and interpret each other's dreams, and seemingly absurd statements are shown to reveal the deepest insights. Heine restores these koans to their original traditions, allowing readers to see both the complex elements of Chinese culture and religion that they reflect and the role they played in Zen's transformation of local superstitions into its own teachings.

Offering a fresh approach to one of the most crucial elements of Zen Buddhism, Opening a Mountain is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the full story behind koans and the mysterious worlds they come from.

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