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The Way of Korean Zen (Anglais) Broché – 10 février 2009


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Revue de presse

"I highly recommend this wonderful book which affords us a 'bird's-eye' view into the teachings of Korean Zen Master Kusan Sunim. The teachings are concise yet comprehensive. A welcome addition to the growing body of writing on Korean Zen."—Richard Shrobe (Zen Master Wu Kwang), Guiding Teacher, Chogye International Zen Center of New York

"A modern Zen classic with deep roots in the oldest traditions of Korean and Chinese Buddhism. Kusan roars like a lion."—Stanley Lombardo

Présentation de l'éditeur

The power and simplicity of the Korean Zen tradition shine in this collection of teachings by a renowned modern master, translated by Martine Batchelor. Kusan Sunim provides a wealth of practical advice for students, particularly with regard to the uniquely Korean practice of hwadu, or sitting with questioning. An extensive introduction by Stephen Batchelor, author of Buddhism without Beliefs, provides both a biography of the author and a brief history of Korean Zen.



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Amazon.com: 7 commentaires
19 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
One of the best books on Zen practice available 19 janvier 2010
Par Johnny5 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This is one of the few Zen books I recommend to people. I practice in the Rinzai tradition and have tossed out most of my books on Zen philosophy. If you really want to understand Zen, you must practice it. It's really that simple. Everything else is just an intellectual exercise. The great thing about this book is the fact that it contains the teachings of a master who gives excellent advice on how to practice. There are very few books that give this kind of detail and talk about such a critical part of the practice as the Hwa-du (Hua-T'ou in chinese). Aside from Chan and Zen Teachings, vol. 1 (which is out of print), this is one of just a couple of books that address practice in such a down-to-earth manner. This is a true gem of a book. If you are interested in truly understanding Zen, and that requires sincere practice, you will greatly benefit from this book.

The primary technique discussed is the questioning mind. It is essential to maintain the questioning mind at all times. Kusan Sunim discusses this in great detail with a very good introduction to meditation. There are lots of questions and answers, advice and encouragement, and the book ends with a commentary on the 10 ox-herding pictures. It's like having a good friend sit down with you and explain a lot of the practical questions that arise during sincere Zen practice. If you want to take your practice deeper, this book is a very worthwhile purchase. I highly recommend it.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Consummate Zen Handbook 21 juin 2010
Par Gary Reiner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The Way of Korean Zen comes highly recommended -- it is a joy to read and to digest over time. The wisdom of Zen practice is gently set forward throughout the text. Kusan Sunim (Korean for "monk") is a consummate teacher, leading the reader, or student, through a series of interesting and helpful topics including: instructions for meditation; discourses from a winter retreat; advice and encouragement; and the ten oxherding pictures.

This book sets forth Kusan Sunim's deep emphasis on questioning, the heart of the Koan practice of the Korean Zen Buddhist approach. He was constantly challenging the monks and seekers who came to him with abrupt and forthright questions, such as, "right now, tell me, what is the sky?" The book also details Kusan Sunim's biography, and how he practiced extremely diligently for many years, and as a result of his sincere and concerted effort attained profound breakthroughs .

Aside from Kusan Sunim's many accomplishments as a teacher, he was the first Korean Zen teacher to accept Western students in a Korean monastery. Additionally, he lived simply and strictly as a vegan Zen monk. He was a bright, radiant, challenging, freeing, and magnetic presence.

For those interested in another wonderful book on Korean Zen, I would recommend: No River to Cross: Trusting the Enlightenment That's Always Right Here.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The real deal... 12 novembre 2012
Par Craig Shoemake - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I think you would be hard pressed to find a better, more authentic introduction to Zen Buddhism-or, as it is called in Korea, Seon Bulgyo (where "seon" is pronounced like English "son"). But perhaps the word "introduction" is not really appropriate. If you know nothing about Zen Buddhism this is probably not the best place to start. If you've waded into the ocean of Zen and are looking for a fine "fish" to eat, something tasty and nutritious, something truly representative of these particular "waters" (to carry my analogy near the breaking point), this book is marvelous.

It is not about Japanese Zen, though, but Korean. The Koreans have been practicing Buddhism longer than the Japanese, plus there is more active, "authentic" Buddhism happening in Korea than in Japan. (At least that's been my impression; let me know if you think otherwise.) This situation, however, is changing; as I've mentioned elsewhere, the tradition is dying and is probably ready for life support at this point. (In Japan it is as good as clinically dead; there is probably more authentic Zen in America than in Japan.) That said, the Koreans understand the whys and wherefores of koan (or "hwadu") practice in a way I never got the sense contemporary Japanese do. This book delves in depth regarding koans and contains prime instruction for anyone utilizing this particular meditation subject.

Some words about the source of these teachings. Kusan Sunim was, along with Seong-cheol Sunim ("sunim" means monk in Korean), arguably the greatest living exponent of Zen Buddhism in twentieth century Korea. He started life as a farmer and barber, was even a married man. At the age of 26 a life-threatening disease struck him. He survived by going to a temple and reciting the mantra Om mani padme hum for a hundred days, which practice cured him. Three years later he renounced family life and ordained as a monk and soon after took up meditation, which he did with fanatic resolve. Sometimes circumstances intervened to interrupt his practice, but he repeatedly went back to it with increased determination. During one stint, to fight off drowsiness he practiced continuous standing meditation for days on end, during which time "he lost any sense of the outside world. He was no longer concerned whether he lived or died. He was so absorbed in his meditation that birds would come and sit on his head and shoulders and take pieces of stuffing that protruded from his padded coat for their nests" (45). Eventually he attained Great Awakening, which caused his teacher Hyobong Sunim to say "Until now you have been following me; now it is I who should follow you" (47). This book gives you a chance to follow this great man.

The contents offer a good variety. The introduction (by Stephen Batchelor) chronicle the history of Buddhism in Korea, a much neglected area of study by Western Buddhists. Readers who wish to delve more deeply into this would be advised to check out Mu-Seong Sunim's Thousand Peaks: Korean Zen Tradition and Teachers. Those with a philosophical bent will appreciate Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul's Korean Way of Zen. (Chinul, a contemporary of Dogen's, is the intellectual godfather of Korean Zen, though in the last several decades he has been somewhat overshadowed by Seong-cheol's "sudden awakening, sudden cultivation" teachings which hearken back to the Sixth Patriarch.) There follows an overview of life in a Korean Zen monastery and a brief bio of Kusan. Those wishing to know more about the former should read The Zen Monastic Experience by Robert E. Buswell.

The second half of the book constitute the teachings proper. They consist of meditation instructions, specifically how to practice the koan (hwadu), as well as discourses from winter retreats delivered by Kusan to monks assembled at Songgwang-Sa, where Kusan was the abbot. (This is also the temple where I lived most of the time that I spent in Korean temples.) There are also less formal talks-"advice and encouragement"-and a series of poems and commentaries on the traditional "Ten Oxherding Pictures."

The feeling one gets from reading the words of Kusan is This is the real deal. Imagine if one of the ancient Chinese masters-Huang-po or Linchi or even Huineng-were suddenly resurrected in the here and now and started spouting off-this is what you'd expect to hear. Kusan has the same punch, energy, sense of paradox, and intrinsic authority. You can't help but want to take this man's advice, to run off to the mountains, live in a cave and risk all for the breakthrough.

But don't believe me. Listen to him:

"To live long would be to live for a hundred years. A short life is over in the time it takes to inhale and exhale a single breath. A hundred years of life depends upon a single breath, for life stops when respiration ceases. Can you afford to wait for a hundred years when you do not know how soon death will come? You may die after having eaten a good breakfast in the morning; you may die in the afternoon after a good lunch. Some die during sleep. You may die in the midst of going here and there. No one can determine the time of death. Therefore, you must awaken before you die" (78-9).

What will it take to awaken? Kusan tells us:

"The Buddhas and the patriarchs did not realize Buddhahood easily. They realized it through great effort and much hardship. They exerted themselves with such great effort because the sufferings of birth and death are so terrifying. Therefore, even though you want to sleep more, you should sleep less. Even though you want to eat more, you should eat less. Even though you want to talk a lot, you should try to talk less. Even though you want to see many things, you should see less. Your body will definitely feel restrained by acting in such a way. This is indeed a practice of austerity. However, none of the Buddhas and the patriarchs would have awakened had they not trained themselves in this manner" (81-2).

Finally, if you want to help sentient beings, how can you do it? Kusan says

"In order to be able to actually help others, you should seek to emulate the spirit of a great hero. This is necessary because only one who is the greatest hero among heroes is able to accomplish this difficult task [of awakening]. You need supreme courage in order to bring this practice to its completion. To transform this world into a Pure Land and to change ordinary sentient beings into accomplished sages is no easy matter. It is truly the work of a great hero" (118).

I advise all you wanna-be great heroes to get a copy of this illuminating and inspiring book and enter soon the practice of the Way!
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent 9 juin 2014
Par JOHN Gorski - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
An excellent source for the beginning of those who are starting on the path, and a comfort to those who are walking the path now.
Hua Tou 23 juin 2013
Par Upasaka Heng He - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
One of the best texts I read on the Hua Tou (Hwadu) practice in "Rinzai style" Zen, following master Dahui. Highly recommended if you're interested in this method of practice, or in Korean Buddhism in general.
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