Zen Buddhism Explained in English

Jan 10th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Reading Room

The Record of LinjiThe Linji lu, The Record of Linji, has been the essential text of Zen Buddhism for nearly a thousand years. This work is the first complete English translation of the Linji lu and will surely be a valuable resource to practitioners of Zen Buddhism and those interested in learning more about the history of the Buddhism in Asia.

Thomas Kirchner, spent the last 10 years working on the translation of The Record of Linji based on work that was started by legendary Zen master Shigetsu Sasaki (1882-1945).  The work was taken up after his death by his wife, Ruth Fuller Sasaki, who moved from the United States to Japan in 1949 and assembled a team of talented young scholars, both Japanese and Western, to continue work on this important, and some say definitive, translation.  With her death in 1967, the translation work was derailed until Kirchner picked up where she left off in 1998.

“A compilation of the recorded sermons, statements, and acts attributed to the great master Linji Yixuan (d. 866), it serves as both an authoritative statement of Zen’s basic standpoint and a central koan text for the Linji school of Zen. Scholars regard it as important for understanding not only Zen thought but also Mahayana doctrine and East Asian thought in general, while Zen practitioners find a unique appeal in its unusual simplicity, directness, and ability to inspire.”

Source: International Research Institute for Zen Buddhism at Hanazono University – Book Dust Jacket

“The book even explains the relationship between Zen and Chinese Confucianism and Taoism. That kind of background information can help people better understand Zen and Buddhism” says Kirchner, who now serves as caretaker of Rinsenji Temple on the grounds of  Tenryuji Temple in Kyoto.  He is also a researcher at the International Research Institute for Zen Buddhism at Hanazono University.

Purchase The Record of Linji today through Amazon.

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  1. Wow sounds fantastic! Thanks for bringing it to my attention – on the amazon shopping list!

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