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The World of Zen [Hardcover]

Stephen Hodge
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Oct 2000
This title embraces both the philosophy and the historical aspects of Zen Buddhism and its origins. It also includes sections on how to create a Zen garden, martial arts, healing and meditation.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Godsfield Press Ltd (30 Oct 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841810371
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841810379
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 23.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,453,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A rather disappointing coffee table book 7 Oct 2001
Format:Hardcover
A book written by someone who seems to have made a career of writing about Buddhism but unfortunately, Mr Hodge is not a Zen Buddhist and it shows. There are several errors in the book as a whole, such as one where the beginning Zen meditator is instructed to concentrate on a point just below the nose, when in fact concentration is traditionally placed in the area of the lower abdomen, the 'hara'. The publishers should also take responsibility for the photographs, some of which bear little relation to the text, or even contradict it. At one point, when describing how to set up a space for zazen (zen meditation), the use of a mat is described and how that should be of dark coloured material as light colours are too distracting, the photograph shows a nice bright cream coloured mat and cushion. This is both sloppy and irritating to the reader.
There are also several sections on such things as flower arranging, tea ceremony and the martial arts, that seem to have been more or less tacked on to fill out the book, that are well enough covered elsewhere and are probably of little interest to those in the west looking to learn more about Zen. All in all this is a mediocre book and should be left on the shelf where it belongs. Perhaps next time the publishers will take the time to get someone who actually knows about the Zen tradition to write such a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
It certainly looks like a coffee table book but on closer inspection, the photography is mediocre and frequently either bears little relation to the text or flat out contradicts it. The book also suffers from factual inaccuracy, not surprising when the reader discovers it's written by someone from a totally different Buddhist tradition. If you want a good book on Zen try The Three Pillars of Zen by Phillip Kapleau, also available from Amazon. As for this one - leave well alone.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you like coffee table books - this one's not for you 4 Jun 2002
By Genryu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
It certainly looks like a coffee table book but on closer inspection, the photography is mediocre and frequently either bears little relation to the text or flat out contradicts it. The book also suffers from factual inaccuracy, not surprising when the reader discovers it's written by someone from a totally different Buddhist tradition. If you want a good book on Zen try The Three Pillars of Zen by Phillip Kapleau, also available from Amazon. As for this one - leave well alone.
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to Zen in a large format book. 24 Aug 2009
By Joseph J. Truncale - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I often wonder what people expect of a book. My impression of this book is completely opposite of the first reviewer's evaluation, which gos to show you why it is important to seek out different points of view on a topic. This book is an excellent and beautiful introduction to the philosophy and principles of Zen practice. The photographs are beautiful and blend well with the topics. Even though I have read numerous books on Zen I do not consider myself an expert on the subject. However, I always try to give an objective review of a book. This volume covers the Indian origins of Zen, the development and teachings of Zen, Zen in daily life, Zen and health, Zen and the environment and Zen and the arts.

In conclusion, this is a book for anyone who is interested in some basic knowledge of Zen.

Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Haiku Moments: How to read, write and enjoy Haiku).
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