- Paperback: 196 pages
- Publisher: Buddhist Publishing Group; 1st Thus edition (29 Oct. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0946672296
- ISBN-13: 978-0946672295
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 679,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Old Zen Master: Inspirations for Awakening Paperback – 29 Oct 2009
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
I try and read as widely as possible....and it often means that one needs to kiss many frogs , before one finds a princess.....strongly recommend this author
It is an anthology of short stories combined with personal reflections on spiritual matters. The readings are rich and colorful, giving insights and inspiration to every person who is concerned with spiritual matters. They aren't only suitable for Zen students but will appeal to everyone.
Some chapters are personal reflections triggered by a specific event from the authors life; events that lead to insights which the author craftfully shares with the reader. Some are Zen stories, interesting facts about certain monks and koans, all combined with the author's interpretations. He also comments on some Chinese and Japanese poems and paintings.
Legget's stongest point is the masterfull use of metaphor and free association. He uses examples from martial arts and music to convey spiritual priciples in a most engaging way. He may begin a chapter with a fact about Judo, then associate it with Zen, then associate it with classical music and from this process, extract a principle to apply in everyday life. All this is done in a mature, yet light hearted and free-play way, making for a very interesting and inspiring read.
One of my favorites is the story about when the Buddha went to meditate under the Bo tree. It was prophesied that someone would attain enlightenment under this tree, so the king of the demons, out of jealousy set one of his servants to guard it. For centuries, the demon servant watched people coming and passing by the Bo tree, nothing alerting. One day though, the demon rushed to his master. He was very nervous. When asked what was happening he said "My Lord I've seen thousands of people passing by the Bo tree but I never worried. Now, a man is walking towards it, and he seems to be the kind of man that whatever he sets out to do, he will do. Please beware of him." The comment is that we all know that our spiritual practices take years to produce fruit, but we must approach them with the decisive mindset that we will succeed today. We must walk towards the Bo tree saying Today! Today! Today!
One year before passing away, mr Legget published this great work, one of these books that are rich in insights and everytime you read it, you gain something new from it. Highly recommended.