Part travelogue, part meditation on an author and his work, Zen and Now is a tribute to a beloved American book and the landscape that inspired it. Since it was first published in 1974, Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has become a modern classic, a beautifully constructed blend of travel narrative and philosophical inquiry that has moved generations of readers. One of those readers was journalistMarkRichardson, who after rediscovering the book at middle age, decided to retrace Pirsig’s journey. Fromthe back of his own motorcycle, Richardson investigates what happened to the reclusive Pirsig, his family, and the people described in the book in the years after its surprising success. From the Trade Paperback edition.
zen and now
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Merton, one of the rare Western thinkers able to feel at home in the philosophies of the East, made the wisdom of Asia available to Westerners. "Zen enriches no one," Thomas Merton provocatively writes in his opening statement to Zen and the Birds of Appetite--one of the last books to be published before his death in 1968. "There is no body to be found. The birds may come and circle for a while... but they soon go elsewhere. When they are gone, the 'nothing,' the 'no-body' that was there, suddenly appears. That is Zen. It was there all the time but the scavengers missed it, because it was not their kind of prey." This gets at the humor, paradox, and joy that one feels in Merton's discoveries of Zen during the last years of his life, a joy very much present in this collection of essays. Exploring the relationship between Christianity and Zen, especially through his dialogue with the great Zen teacher D.T. Suzuki, the book makes an excellent introduction to a comparative study of these two traditions, as well as giving the reader a strong taste of the mature Merton. Never does one feel him losing his own faith in these pages; rather one feels that faith getting deeply clarified and affirmed. Just as the body of "Zen" cannot be found by the scavengers, so too, Merton suggests, with the eternal truth of Christ.
Hear Now, written by Zen Master Bub-in (Peter Taylor), is a cheerleader for Zen and mindfulness. It cheers for the process so that you might give it a try to see if it works for you, and it might. The title of the book is both a play on words pointing to a marker in time and space, the here and now, and an instruction to turn to your senses and engage in the present moment. The chapter names are subliminal messages placed on alternating pages to highlight the message of the text. Thinking and Suffering reminds you of a strong link between those activities. Self and Ego reminds you of the important difference between those concepts. Time and Space is another reminder of the vastness of experience that can always be reduced to the here and now. Meditation and Mindfulness is more rah, rah, rah for the way to salvation. Finally, Love and Enlightenment, draws a connection between love, which you understand, and enlightenment, which can mean almost anything. The best way to experience the wisdom of this book is to sit on it and meditate. The second best way is to smack it against a table and hear the sound of now. If those don't work for you, please read it.
Written by one of Japan's foremost contemporary thinkers and scholars, Zen and Modern Society is the third in a series of essay collections on Zen Buddhism as seen in the context of Western thought. Throughout his career, Masao Abe has articulated the meaning of Zen thought in a uniquely compelling way - at once, true to the original tradition and appropriately relevant to a variety of comparative standpoints, ranging from Biblical Judeo-Christianity to modern existentialism, phenomenology, and postmodernism. As a leading representative of the Kyoto School, which has sought a critical, comparative linking of Eastern and Western thought, Abe has based his approach on constructive, mutually respectful yet critical intellectual interaction and dialogue with some of the leading figures in the West (including Paul Tillich, Hans Kung, and Eugene Borowitz) as well as dozens of colleagues, students, and disciples. Together with the previous volumes, this work examines and exemplifies some key features of Kyoto School thought. While the essays presented here should be read in light of the socio-political criticism that has since been lodged against the Kyoto School and, more particularly, i
This collection of Abe's essays is a welcome addition to philosophy and comparative philosophy.
First published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Is meditation an escape from--or a solution to--our psychological problems? Is the use of antidepressants counter to spiritual practice? Does a psychological approach to meditation reduce spirituality to "self-help"? What can Zen and psychoanalysis teach us about the problems of the mind and suffering? Psychiatrist and Zen teacher Barry Magid is uniquely qualified to answer questions like these. Written in an engaging and witty style, Ordinary Mind helps us understand challenging ideas--like Zen Buddhism's concepts of oneness, emptiness, and enlightenment--and how they make sense, not only within psychoanalytic conceptions of mind, but in the realities of our lives and relationships. This new paper edition of Magid's much-praised book contains additional case study vignettes.