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?” This English translation of Hakuin’s intimate self-portrait includes reminiscences from his childhood, accounts of his Zen practice and enlightenment experiences, as well as practical advice for students.
“Norman Waddell presents the cranky, impassioned master Hakuin with an uncanny sense of Right English. Now we know you, old Hakuin.”—Robert Aitken, author of The Practice of Perfection and Taking the Path of Zen
“A rich and rare glimpse into a Zen master's comments on his own spiritual journey, translated for the first time. A welcome and recommended addition to the canon of Zen literature available in English.”—Library Journal