This work is a classic that has influenced generations of readers and played a major role in shaping conceptions of Zen’s influence on Japanese traditional arts. In simple and poetic language, Daisetz Suzuki describes Zen and its historical evolution. He connects Zen to the philosophy of the samurai, and subtly portrays the relationship between Zen and swordsmanship, haiku, tea ceremonies, and the Japanese love of nature. Suzuki uses anecdotes, poetry, and illustrations of silk screens, calligraphy, and architecture. The book features an introduction by Richard Jaffe that acquaints readers with Suzuki’s life and career and analyzes the book’s reception in light of contemporary criticism, especially by scholars of Japanese Buddhism. Suzuki’s work remains a valuable source for those wishing to understand Zen in the context of Japanese life and art.
Suzuki was a key figure in the introduction of Buddhism to the non-Asian world. Many outside of Japan encountered Buddhism for the first time through his writings and teaching, and for nearly a century his work and legacy have contributed to the ongoing religious and cultural interchange between Japan and the rest of the world, particularly the United States and Europe. Selected Works of D.T. Suzuki gathers the full range of Suzuki’s writings―both classic essays and lesser-known but equally significant articles. This first volume in the series presents a collection of Suzuki’s writings on Zen Buddhist thought and practice. In an effort to ensure the continued relevance of Zen, Suzuki drew on his years of study and practice, placing the tradition into conversation with key trends in 19th- and 20th-century thought.
Here are the famous sutras, or sermons, of the Buddha, the gathas, or hymns, the intriguing philosophical puzzles known as koan, and the dharanis, or invocations to expel evil spirits. Included also are the recorded conversations of the great Buddhist monks—intimate dialogues on the subjects of momentous importance. In addition to the written selections, all of them translated by Dr. Suzuki, there are reproductions of many Buddhist drawings and paintings, including religious statues found in Zen temples, each with an explanation of its significance, and the great series of allegorical paintings “The Ten Oxherding Pictures.”
One of the world’s leading authorities on Zen Buddhism, D. T. Suzuki was the author of more than a hundred works on the subject in both Japanese and English, and was most instrumental in bringing the teachings of Zen Buddhism to the attention of the Western world. Written in a lively, accessible, and straightforward manner, this work is illuminating for the serious student and layperson alike. Suzuki provides a complete vision of Zen, which emphasizes self-understanding and enlightenment through many systems of philosophy, psychology, and ethics. With a foreword by the renowned psychiatrist Dr. Carl Jung, this volume has been generally acknowledged a classic introduction to the subject for many years. It provides, along with Suzuki’s Essays and Manual of Zen Buddhism, a framework for living a balanced and fulfilled existence through Zen.