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Founded by Bodhidharma centuries ago in China, Zen and its teachings have since spread widely, exerting a tremendous cultural influence not only across Asia, but also the modern West. To this day, Zen inspires young and old, from all walks of life, to see the world with fresh eyes-beyond our usual assumptions and prejudices.
This compendium of a thousand years of Zen teaching presents the essence of the tradition through stories, sayings, talks, and records of heart-to-heart encounters with Zen masters. The great expositors of the tradition, whose voices are recounted here, encourage us to let go of our clinging and intellectual grasping, and to open ourselves to embrace reality exactly as it is.
Thomas Cleary holds a PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. He is the translator of over fifty volumes of Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian, and Islamic texts from Sanskrit, Chinese, Japanese, Pali, and Arabic.
"One of the foremost contemporary translators of classical Buddhist and Taoist literature."-Library Journal
"There is no doubt in my mind that Thomas Cleary is the greatest translator of Buddhist texts from Chinese or Japanese into English of our generation, and that he will be so known by grateful Buddhist practitioners and scholars in future centuries. Single-handedly he has gone a long way toward building the beginnings of a Buddhist canon in English."-Robert A. F. Thurman, Tricycle