The Circle of the Way

A Concise History of Zen from the Buddha to the Modern World

By Barbara O'Brien

- Paperback
Shambhala Publications
Pages: 328
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781611805789
Zen Buddhism has a storied history—Bodhidharma sitting in meditation in a cave for nine years; a would-be disciple cutting off his own arm to get the master’s attention; the proliferating schools and intense Dharma combat of the Tang and Song dynasties; Zen nuns and laypeople holding their own against patriarchal lineages; the appearance of new masters in the Zen schools of Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and later the Western world. The Circle of the Way brings clarity to this huge swath of history by charting a middle way between Zen’s traditional lore and the findings of modern scholarship. In an accessible and entertaining style, it parses fact from fiction while always attending to the greatest interest of contemporary practitioners—the development of Zen doctrine and practice as a living tradition across cultures and centuries.