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Norman Waddell

Norman Waddell is a professor of international studies at Otani University in Kyoto, Japan. He is also the translator of The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin and Zen Words for the Heart: Hakuin's Commentary on the Heart Sutra.

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  1. Beating the Cloth Drum

    Beating the Cloth Drum

    Letters of Zen Master Hakuin

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    • Hakuin
    Hakuin Ekaku (1685-1769) is one of the most influential figures in Zen Buddhism. He revitalized the Rinzai Zen tradition (which emphasizes the use of koans, or unanswerable questions, in meditation practice), and all masters of that school today trace their lineage back through him. He is responsible for the most famous of all koans: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" He is also famous for his striking and… Read More

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  2. The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin

    The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin

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    • Hakuin
    A fiery and intensely dynamic Zen teacher and artist, Hakuin (1685–1768) is credited with almost single-handedly revitalizing Japanese Zen after three hundred years of decline. As a teacher, he placed special emphasis on koan practice, inventing many new koans himself, including the famous “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” As an artist, Hakuin used calligraphy and painting to create “visual Dharma”—teachings that powerfully express the nature of enlightenment.… Read More

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  3. Zen Words for the Heart

    Zen Words for the Heart

    Hakuin's Commentary on the Heart Sutra

    Hakuin Zenji (1689-1769) was one of the most important of all Japanese Zen masters. His commentary on the Heart Sutra is a Zen classic that reflects his dynamic teaching style, with its balance of scathing wit and poetic illumination of the text. Hakuin's sarcasm, irony, and invective are ultimately guided by a compassion that seeks to dislodge students' false assumptions and free them to realize the profound meaning… Read More

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