Buy Used
£3.26
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Dispatched from the US -- Expect delivery in 2-3 weeks. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase benefits world literacy!
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin Paperback – 31 Jul 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 31 Jul 2001
£3.45 £3.26
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc; New edition edition (31 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570627703
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570627705
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 1.5 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,799,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
1
1 star
0
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Norman Waddell has brought this utter gem of a book to the English speaking world about one the greatest Zen Masters of our modern era. Hakuins words are incredibly timely for the Western Sangha that has digressed into formalistic ritualism as opposed to direct seeing. There are only three other books in English out there deicated to Hakuin and each one is a treasure for our time. At a time of massive degredation in the Zen comunity Hakuin attacked hard and succictly at the "ghost sitters" and blank minded people that taught false Zen to others. Many thanks sincerely to Mr Waddell for this book. As having every book ever published in English on Zen, I can say that this holds among the highest ranks as a book for those that claim to be true Zennists or are interested in it. Hakuin slices to shreds those that claim to preach the Dharma and now more than ever this book is of paramount importance to be read by the Zen Sangha. Thank you Norman, more than you know.
1 Comment 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin is a very inspiring book for the most sincere seekers of truth, excellently presented and researched!
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found Hakuin approach to the spiritual life joyless and attritional.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8e4b603c) out of 5 stars 17 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e44dcf0) out of 5 stars Good Medicine Tastes Bitter 10 April 2002
By richard hunn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Norman Waddel has made an excellent job of this translation. Rare as they are, autobiographies of Zen monks pose special difficulties - yet the translator has surmounted these, leaving us with a powerfully moving and inspiring document. Hakuin Ekaku the great reformer of Rinzai Zen in the Tokugawa,was a towering figure, a religious genius, whose rich spiritual insight expressed itself in countless ways - not only in his many Dharma talks and commentaries, but also in art. The overall impression one gets from Hakuin's teachings - is that of a formidable spirit, for whom all barriers and impediments had melted away. As such, it is easy to imagine Hakuin lacked human vulnerability. The rewarding thing about reading Hakuin's autobiography, is that reveals the trials and tribulationa the Master had to negotiate, to find that 'place of final rest.' Hakuin didn't shrink from revealing the weaknesses and foibles of his own character, and if the mature Hakuin - the accomplished Master, seems daunting, it is because he presented to others - by way of teaching and instruction - the same tasks he took upon himself. This work - the 'Itsumadegusa' shows us this process - in a detailed and exacting way. Quite evidently - going by some readers' comments, Hakuin's rather arduous path doesn't appeal everybody. There is a tendewncy to translate Zen into a kind of 'soft' option, but Hakuin was well aware of this trait - known in his day, also - and he was uncompromising about combatting it. Hakuin's severity is often contrasted with Bankei's 'easy way' - his 'Unborn Zen,' but in truth, even Bankei had to exert himself - and did exert himself. Suzuki Daisetz made this point. Besides, if Hakuin is judged according to the methods of his predecessors - in Chinese Ch'an, the Chinese biographies reveal a similar pattern.
In fact, despite being regarded as a figurehead of 'Rinzai Zen' - and therefore a champion of what is these days deemed the 'hard school' of Zen, Hakuin saw himself as a successor of the great Ch'an schools and masters of the T'ang, including the Ts'ao-tung (Soto) school, using its 'go-i' (wu-wei) or 'Five Ranks' teaching to cap his own training methods. As such, it is a distortion of Hakuin's teaching to confine to a kind of 'closed' Rinzai system. The idea would have meant nothing to Hakuin, who drank freely from the resources of the whole Zen tradition. Moreover, he was also open to certain Taoist disciplines (the 'nai-kan'), which he
utilised to restore his energy and strengthen his practice of Zen. Hakuin was, if anything - versatile. His artistic gifts enabled him to reach the people, with a Zen art style entirely his own, at once pithy, profound, humerous, striking images which could convey deep truths.Please, please - don't underestimate this wonderful figure - by trying to confine him to a sectarian box, when the man was so much alive, in the deepest sense possible. 'Itsumadegusa' gives us the 'blood, sweat and tears' of the Zen quest - and the eventual Dharma-joy, brought one man's way - by dint of following the path, the fruits of which he then dedicated to sharing with others - throughout a long life. Hakuin's autobiography is a preciouas document. It may well scare away the faint-hearted. But so be it! Those who feel bidden to tread the same way, will find an echo in it,and be enrichened thereby.
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e44dd44) out of 5 stars Zen Master Hakuin Zenji strikes again 18 Mar. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Norman Waddell has brought this utter gem of a book to the English speaking world about one the greatest Zen Masters of our modern era. Hakuins words are incredibly timely for the Western Sangha that has digressed into formalistic ritualism as opposed to direct seeing. There are only three other books in English out there deicated to Hakuin and each one is a treasure for our time. At a time of massive degredation in the Zen comunity Hakuin attacked hard and succictly at the "ghost sitters" and blank minded people that taught false Zen to others. Many thanks sincerely to Mr Waddell for this book. As having every book ever published in English on Zen, I can say that this holds among the highest ranks as a book for those that claim to be true Zennists or are interested in it. Hakuin slices to shreds those that claim to preach the Dharma and now more than ever this book is of paramount importance to be read by the Zen Sangha. Thank you Norman, more than you know.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e550fc0) out of 5 stars A wonderful book. 18 Nov. 2004
By Sleepy Hermit - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What I found most inspiring was that here is a great Zen master that has the same questions, doubts, and ups and downs while travelling the spiritual path that every other person would have, but he has found a way to overcome them and achieve enlightenment. Its gives hope to the ordinary lay people that are going through a similar struggle.

If you're looking for the book that Hakuin found to be so helpful, entitled "Spurring Students Through the Zen Barriers". This appears to be Norman Waddells translation of the Chinese title "Ch'an kuan ts'e chin". J.C. Cleary has translated this important work originally written by Zhuhong into English. It is titled "Meditating With Koans" by J.C. Cleary and is available online from Amazon.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e44de1c) out of 5 stars Feeling Uninspired 27 Mar. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying that I like Hakuin. He's delightfully grouchy at times which I can relate to, his zeal for Zen practice is undeniable, and he certainly isn't afraid to voice his opinions. I have two other books of his writings - "The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin" and "Zen Words for the Heart", both translated by Norman Waddell.

Usually I wouldn't go anywhere near an autobiography but in the case of Wild Ivy I thought it might be inspiring to read about this towering figure in Zen history in his own words. As other reviewers have noted, the book certainly succeeds in bringing out the human being behind the legend. But in retrospect, I guess I was hoping for less of the human being and more of the enlightened being.

I can think of several reasons why I felt a little let down - here are just a couple.

First, by his own admission, Hakuin was driven to the spiritual life at a very early age by an almost obsessive terror of being reborn in one of the Buddhist hells. This terror continued to haunt him throughout his life. This gives his Zen practice an almost frantic, desperate quality which I found hard to relate to. He seems to glorify a severe kind of Zen which borders at times on self-mortification. He lavishly praises one priest who would deprive himself of sleep by stabbing himself in the thigh with a sharp object. Later he applauds a fellow who strips naked knowing that he will be assaulted by swarms of mosquitos while he meditates. Well, that's one way to practice - but forgive me if I don't rush to sign up.

Second, his constant rants about the evils of Silent Illumination, or "do nothing Zen" as he called it, show how polarized his thinking was. I don't practice Silent Illumination myself, but I understand it to be a very beneficial form of meditation. While I appreciate that Hakuin was trying to prevent what he saw as the downfall of Zen - I would have expected a more balanced point of view from a man who spent his life cultivating wisdom and compassion. It seems that for Hakuin the only right way was his way.

I could go on but I think you get my drift. Wild Ivy is a perfectly good book that many will no doubt enjoy and benefit from - just be aware that Hakuin presents a very one-sided view of Zen practice. If you appreciate his tough-guy kind of Zen, where every time you open your mouth you get hit with a stick, this may be for you. But I guess I'm just a little too far removed from Hakuin's circumstances and opinions to get inspired by his story.
HASH(0x8e451168) out of 5 stars Fantastic beginner book on Zen Buddhism 31 Aug. 2015
By Kathleen A. Bishop - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a fantastic read. It is clear, concise, and has some practical tips on living a life by Buddhist precepts. The history is very interesting as well. But my favorite part is the healing meditation "The Soft-Butter Method" an introspective meditation. I have shared it with many people and have been using it for several weeks and I am feeling better physically already. Try it I think you'll like whether you know anything about Buddhism or not. in gassho, Shokai
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback