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The Zen Experience [Kindle Edition]

Thomas Hoover
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £3.70
Kindle Price: £0.00 includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

(New American Library,1980)
“The best history of Zen ever written.”
Library Journal

Beginning with Indian Buddhism and Chinese Taoism it shows Zen as it was created by the personalities, perceptions, and actions of its masters over the centuries.

Gradual and sudden enlightenment, shock enlightenment, the koan, the migration of Zen to Japan. With anecdote and memorable quotation, this long-needed work restores Zen to its living, human form.

The truth of Zen has always resided in individual experience rather than in theoretical writings. To give the modern reader access to understanding of this truth, THE ZEN EXPERIENCE illumines Zen as it was created and shaped by the personalities, perceptions, and actions of its masters over the centuries.
Beginning with the twin roots of Zen in Indian Buddhism and Chinese Taoism, we follow it through its initial flowering in China under the First Patriarch Bodhidharma; its division into schools of “gradual” and “sudden” enlightenment under Shen-hsui and Shen-hui; the ushering in of its golden age by Hui-neng; the development of “shock” enlightenment by Ma-tsu; its poetic greatness in the person of Han-shan; the perfection of the use of the koan by Ta-hui; the migration of Zen to Japan and its extraordinary growth there under a succession of towering Japanese spiritual leaders.
Rich in historical background, vivid in revealing anecdote and memorable quotation, this long-needed work succeeds admirably in taking Zen from the library shelves and restoring its living, human form.

TAGS: Zen History, Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Zen History, Bodhidharma, Lin-Chi, Rinzai, Soto, Eisai, Dogen, Hakuin

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1921 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Penguin (13 Sept. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0042X99TY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • : Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,202 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading. 2 Oct. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I tend to avoid writing book reviews, the experience of a book is often too subjective for them to be meaningful, however in this instance I am going to make an exception. This is a very good book, a very good read, and absolutely astonishing considering it costs nothing. If you are interested in the history of Zen, or Chinese/Japanese buddhism in general, or even simply curious, then download this book now. The narrative flows easily, never becoming turgid or technical, and the author's knowledge of the subject is readily apparent. I am sure that if you are in one "camp" or other within the buddhist community some of his opinions may be contentious, but for an outsider's or layman's view of the subject this is as good as any I have read. You lose nothing by giving it a read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic zen 26 April 2012
By gilo21
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I`ve always loved reading about zen,and although i`ve read many books on the subject,this one is for me superb. i have every intention of reading it again from the beginning excellent zen material,and some new stuff as well.Up there with the best for me.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing piece of work 2 Sept. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an amazing piece of work combining anecdotal evidence and history of Ch'an/Zen Buddhism. I have been hooked to this book ever since I received it. Surely this work is a must for any person interested in the history and thinkers - or is that non-thinkers? - behind Ch'an thought,or no-thought, as the case may be. Anyway, I recommend this to anyone interested in Buddhism, philosophy, Daoism and religious history. It has been a long time since a book has had me this engrossed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating 12 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wasn't sure what to expect from this book and i must say i was very pleasantly surprised. Excellent history of how Zen came to be, from its origins in Indian buddhism, through China becoming ch'an then onto Japan to finally becoming Zen. With excellent collections of mini stories of masters along the way you really get a feeling of comfort, wisdom and amusement. Mr Hoover has fitted this all together nicely into a fascinating read. highly recommended
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading 23 Jan. 2013
By Groucho
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written, and very informative, giving an in depth history of how Zen arose and progressed. Background information about China and Japan are interesting too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative 13 Sept. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lovely combination of a philosophies history, interior adaptations and social relevance. With some well chosen stories and folklore which really capture your imagination and inspire.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book 14 Nov. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. It is warm, almost conversational at times, and exudes the author's passion for his subject. Each Master accounted for is brought to life with such affection. Occasionally sweeping statements are made about periods or sects of Buddhism or Chinese and Japanese culture, however this does not detract from the enjoyment I got from reading this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars interesting and helpful 26 Mar. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this is a great book, not what I imagined it would be but actually turned out a lot better. A great history of Zen with very interesting anecdotes and some eye opening dialogue passed down through the ages. It raised many questions for me by way of Zen history and just how easily it is for original ideas, beliefs to become corrupted and change over time as things are bent for political or cultural purposes BUT Zen has survived and developed in some ways after all there is not set way, one must follow the signs and forge ones own path and this book definitely helps as a guide, I would consider myself a beginner in terms of Zen but not in terms of Buddhist belief and ways. It has definitely made me want to travel further and I am already looking at writings by some of the great masters mentioned within. A great scholarly piece of work but I found it very accessible and expansive and it has helped me a great deal. Definately an awakening for me.
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