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Zen / Mahayana

The Mahayana tradition of Buddhism, of which Zen is an important expression (along with Chinese Chan and Korean Soen), arose sometime around the first century C.E. in South India and spread throughout Asia.  It is characterized by the ideal of the bodhisattva: the compassionate being whose desire for enlightenment isn’t an individual quest but includes all other sentient beings as well.

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  1. Song of Mind

    Song of Mind

    Wisdom from the Zen Classic Xin Ming

    • by
    • Chan Master Sheng Yen
    "No words can explain enlightenment," says the seventh-century Zen classic Xin Ming, or "Song of Mind," yet, paradoxically, this poem is a masterpiece of expressing the inexpressible. In his commentary on it, Chan Master Sheng Yen takes a practical approach, opening up the language of the Xin Ming to show students how to approach meditation, how to deal with problems that arise in their spiritual practice,… Read More

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  2. Zen Essence

    Zen Essence

    The Science of Freedom

    • edited by
    • Thomas Cleary
    Drawn from the records of Chinese Zen masters of the Tang and Song dynasties, this collection may surprise some readers. In contrast to the popular image of Zen as an authoritarian, monastic tradition deeply rooted in Asian culture, these passages portray Zen as remarkably flexible, adaptive to contemporary and individual needs, and transcending cultural boundaries. The readings contained in Zen Essence emphasize that the practice of Zen requires consciousness… Read More

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  3. Zen and the Art of Insight

    Zen and the Art of Insight

    The Prajnaparamita ("perfection of wisdom") sutras are one of the great legacies of Mahayana Buddhism, giving eloquent expression to some of that school's central concerns: the perception of shunyata, the essential emptiness of all phenomena; and the ideal of the bodhisattva, one who postpones his or her own enlightenment in order to work for the salvation of all beings. … Read More

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  4. Complete Enlightenment

    Complete Enlightenment

    Zen Comments on the Sutra of Complete Enlightenment

    • by
    • Chan Master Sheng Yen
    Complete Enlightenment is the first authoritative translation and commentary on The Sutra of Complete Enlightenment, a central text that shaped the development of East Asian Buddhism and Ch'an (Chinese Zen). The text is set in the form of a transcription of discussions between the Buddha and the twelve enlightened beings(bodhisattvas), who question him on all aspects of spiritual practice. … Read More

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  5. The Sutra of Hui-neng, Grand Master of Zen

    The Sutra of Hui-neng, Grand Master of Zen

    With Hui-neng's Commentary on the Diamond Sutra

    Hui-neng (638–713) is perhaps the most beloved and respected figure in Zen Buddhism. An illiterate woodcutter who attained enlightenment in a flash, he became the Sixth Patriarch of Chinese Zen, and is regarded as the founder of the "Sudden Enlightenment" school. He is the supreme exemplar of the fact that neither education nor social background has any bearing on the attainment of enlightenment. This collection of his talks, also known… Read More

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  6. Zen Essence

    Zen Essence

    The Science of Freedom

    • by
    • Thomas Cleary
    The teachings presented here offer a new view of Zen Buddhism that may surprise some readers. In contrast to the popular image of Zen as being an authoritarian, monastic tradition deeply rooted in Asian culture, this collection of teachings portrays Zen as being remarkably flexible, adaptive to contemporary and individual needs, and transcending cultural boundaries. Because of the very nature of Zen, its essence does not belong to any… Read More

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  7. Zen Letters

    Zen Letters

    Teachings of Yuanwu

    • by
    • Yuanwu
    Zen Letters presents the teachings of the great Chinese master Yuanwu (1063–1135) in direct person-to-person lessons, intimately revealing the inner workings of the psychology of enlightenment. These teachings are drawn from letters written by Yuanwu to various fellow teachers, disciples, and lay students—to women as well as men, to people with families and worldly careers as well as monks and nuns, to advanced adepts as well as beginning students.… Read More

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    $15.00
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  8. The Flower Ornament Scripture

    The Flower Ornament Scripture

    A Translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra

    Known in Chinese as Hua-yen and in Japanese as Kegon-kyo, the Avatamsaka Sutra, or Flower Ornament Scripture, is held in the highest regard and studied by Buddhists of all traditions. Through its structure and symbolism, as well as through its concisely stated principles, it conveys a vast range of Buddhist teachings. This one-volume edition contains Thomas Cleary's definitive translation of all thirty-nine books… Read More

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  9. Zen Dawn

    Zen Dawn

    Early Zen Texts from Tun Huang

    This important book brings together three long-lost texts, the earliest known writings on Zen. Records of the Teachers and Students of the Lanka presents a complete set of biographies of the Zen patriarchs. Bodhidharma's Treatise on Contemplating Mind— written in the form of a dialogue between the first Zen patriarch, Bodhidharma, and his successor, Huke—views all the various practices of the Bodhisattva path from the perspective of… Read More

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