Zen Sand

Zen Sand : The Book of Capping Phrases for Koan Practice

4.66 (18 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

`Zen Sand' is a classic collection of verses aimed at aiding practitioners of koan meditation to negotiate the difficult relationship between insight and language. As such it represents a major contribution to both Western Zen practice and English-language Zen scholarship. In Japan the traditional Rinzai Zen koan curriculum includes the use of jakugo, or "capping phrases." Once a monk has successfully replied to a koan, the Zen master orders the search for a classical verse to express the monk's insight into the koan. Special collections of these jakugo were compiled as handbooks to aid in that search. Until now, Zen students in the West, lacking this important resource, have been severely limited in carrying out this practice. `Zen Sand' combines and translates two standard jakugo handbooks and opens the way for incorporating this important tradition fully into Western Zen practice. For the scholar, `Zen Sand' provides a detailed description of the jakugo practice and its place in the overall koan curriculum, as well as a brief history of the Zen phrase book. This volume also contributes to the understanding of East Asian culture in a broader sense. "The best scholarly book on actual Zen practice in Japan to appear in recent decades." -Journal of Chinese Religions "This beautiful volume is recommended unreservedly. It is a major contribution to Western zen for academics and practitioners alike." -Zen Book Reviews
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Product details

  • Paperback | 784 pages
  • 154.94 x 233.68 x 43.18mm | 1,065.94g
  • Honolulu, HI, United States
  • English
  • Bilingual edition
  • Bilingual
  • 0824835077
  • 9780824835071
  • 439,368

Review quote

This beautiful volume is recommended unreservedly. It is a major contribution to Western zen for academics and practitioners alike.-- "Zen Book Reviews" The best scholarly book on actual Zen practice in Japan to appear in recent decades.-- "Journal of Chinese Religions" This book is definitely the most important English-language work on the history of capping phrases and contemporary Rinzai practice. It is also useful in that it allows students to acquaint themselves with numerous Chinese allusions and classical stories. Even for general readers, this book offers unique opportunities to ruminate on each beautiful phrase, especially while sipping a cup of green tea.-- "Journal of Buddhist Ethics" Not only a well-documented and meticulously researched, comprehensive sourcebook. . . . It also succeeds superbly in setting the record straight and clarifies some widespread but misguided notions about Zen.-- "Japanese Journal of Religious Studies" Zen Sand is a thorough and excellent piece of scholarship that will, I suspect, be the standard English-language work on jakugo for many decades to come. No serious student or practitioner of Zen will want to be without a copy.-- "Religious Studies Review"
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About Victor Sogen Hori

Victor S gen Hori, who was ordained in Japan as a Zen monk in 1976, is currently associate professor of Japanese religions in the Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University. Victor S gen Hori, who was ordained in Japan as a Zen monk in 1976, is currently associate professor of Japanese religions in the Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University. Victor S gen Hori, who was ordained in Japan as a Zen monk in 1976, is currently associate professor of Japanese religions in the Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University.
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Rating details

18 ratings
4.66 out of 5 stars
5 83% (15)
4 6% (1)
3 6% (1)
2 6% (1)
1 0% (0)
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