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Zen and the Birds of Appetite (New Directions Paperbook) Paperback – 1 Feb 1968

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; Reprint edition (1 Feb. 1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081120104X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811201049
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 391,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

"Zen enriches no one", Thomas Merton provocatively writes in his opening statement to Zen and the Birds of Appetite--one of the last books to be published before his death in 1968. "There is no body to be found. The birds may come and circle for a while...but they soon go elsewhere. When they are gone, the 'nothing', the 'no-body' that was there, suddenly appears. That is Zen. It was there all the time but the scavengers missed it, because it was not their kind of prey". This gets at the humour, paradox and joy that one feels in Merton's discoveries of Zen during the last years of his life, a joy very much present in this collection of essays. Exploring the relationship between Christianity and Zen, especially through his dialogue with the great Zen teacher D T Suzuki (included as Part Two of this volume), the book makes an excellent introduction to a comparative study of these two traditions, as well as giving the reader a strong taste of the mature Merton. Never does one feel him losing his own faith in these pages; rather one feels that faith getting deeply clarified and affirmed. Just as the body of "Zen" cannot be found by the scavengers, so too, Merton suggests, with the eternal truth of Christ. "It was there all the time but the scavengers missed it ..." --Doug Thorpe

From the Back Cover

In this collection of essays Merton wrote about complex Asian concepts with a Western directness.

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5 April 2013
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18 May 2015
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews
inch worm
3.0 out of 5 starsCourageous and insightful
29 February 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
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8 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsAre Christianity and Zen Incompatible?
20 March 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
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Benjamin Vineyard
4.0 out of 5 starsHow does Merton connect Zen (distinct from Buddhism) to the story of Jesus?
20 April 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
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8 people found this helpful.
James Kenney
4.0 out of 5 starsThere is an innocence, almost a naivete, to this book that helps convey the ineffable essence of the mystical experience
5 March 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
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Bro. John
5.0 out of 5 starsAn Important Collection
5 June 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
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