Synopses & Reviews
This instant classic is a watershed volume sure to rapidly take its place for generations alongside The Three Pillars of Zen as one the first books someone brand new to Zen will turn to as a starting place. The word "Mu" is one ancient Zen teacher's response to the earnest question of whether even a dog has "buddha nature"and discovering for ourselves the meaning of the master's response is the urgent work of each of us who yearns to be open and at peace. "Practicing Mu" is synonymous with practicing Zen, and "sitting with Mu" is an apt description all Zen meditation. And it is said that all thousands and thousands of koans in the Zen tradition are really just further elaborations of Zen's most important koan, Mu.
This volume brings to together teachers, ancient and modern, from across centuries and the full spectrum of the Zen world to illuminate and clarify the essential matter, the question of how to be most truly ourselves at the deepest level. As the many teachers in this book talk about Mu, we learn how work with the breath in Zen meditation, how to open ourselves to difficulty and joy equally, and how to find freedom amid sinks full of dishes and cars full of children.
Though the third published in Wisdom's "Essential Writings of Zen" series of anthologies (following The Art of Just Sitting, and Sitting with Koans), The Book of Mu is the entryway to the other two, the one with the broadest appeal and the one that everyone should read first.
The word "mu" is one ancient Zen teacher's response to the earnest question of whether even a dog has "buddha nature". Discovering for ourselves the meaning of the master's response is the urgent work of each of us who yearns to be free and at peace. "Practicing Mu" is synonymous with practicing Zen, "sitting with Mu" is an apt description for all Zen meditation, and it is said that all the thousands and thousands of koans in the Zen tradition are just further elaborations of Mu.
This watershed volume brings together over forty teachers, ancient and modern masters from across centuries and schools, to illuminate and clarify the essential matter: the question of how to be most truly ourselves.
Includes writings from: Dogen, Hakuin, Dahui, Thich Thien-An Zenkei Shibayama, Seung Sahn, Taizan Maezumi, Sheng Yen Philip Kapleau, Robert Aitken, Jan Chozen Bays, Shodo Harada Grace Schireson, John Daido Loori, John Tarrant Barry Magid, Joan Sutherland, and many more!
About the Author
James Ishmael Ford is a senior guiding teacher of Boundless Way Zen. James has been a student of Zen Buddhism for over forty years. He is also a senior Unitarian Universalist minister serving at the First Unitarian Church of Providence and a member of both the American Zen Teachers Association and the Soto Zen Buddhist Association. He lives outside Providence.Melissa Myozen Blacker, Roshi, is a Zen teacher and the abbot of Boundless Way Zen, a school of Zen Buddhism with practice centers throughout New England. She is one of the resident teachers at Boundless Way Zen Temple in Worcester. From 1993 to 2012, Melissa was on the staff of the Center for Mindfulness (CFM), founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her positions at the CFM included Director of professional training programs and senior teacher and Associate Director of the Stress Reduction Clinic. In addition to Zen teaching and writing, Melissa also offers private meditation consulting and spiritual direction. She is co-editor of The Book of MU, published by Wisdom Publications in April of 2011. Her chapter from The Book of MU was included in Best Buddhist Writing, 2012, edited by Melvin MacLeod and published by Shambhala Publications.