This is a best-selling collection of enlightenment stories, anecdotes, and koans of Zen literature.
This wonderful book actually includes four books: 101 Zen Stories – anecdotes and enlightenment stories of the great masters; The Gateless Gate – forty-eight Zen koans to awaken the mind to enlightenment; The 10 Bulls – depicting the ten stages of awareness (shades of Catch Bull at 4 by Cat Stevens); Centering – offering a four-thousand-year-old Sanskrit text that may well be one of the roots of Zen thought.
If you want to get the existentialist Zen view of life and death then here is your bible starter. While you are at it, also take a read of, The Book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, by Alan Watts. Find it, it will speak volumes.
This little classic ought to be read not only by anyone interested in Zen or Eastern religion in general, but by every person interested in any sort of serious spirituality. As a Roman Catholic, I have found it one of the three or four most helpful books of any sort I have ever read.
This is undoubtedly the best book I have. If you have an interest in human/spiritual philosphy, Zen and Buddhism are not religions, then you have to read this book. The first part is my favourite, full of little stories that challenge your thinking and open you up to new ideas. Congratulations should go to both the editor and the translator for such fine work. When are we going to see more? I have read and re-read this book for at least the last decade and have given several copies away. It should be put into hotels everywhere.
Anyone familiar with koans will find that they know most of what's in this book. The most valuable bit to me was the 112 keys conversation between Shiva and Devi that Osho talks about in the Book of Secrets. It is a brilliant translation of this work, and I have found no other book or website that reproduces this translation.
You keep it in your hands and you keep something very special and as important as a sutra, let's say Lankavatara (my lovely one). The "A Parable" (story 18) contains the entire buddhism, but there are other stories too, that help someone to look deeper into the nature of the things. Excellent written, small, a portable treasure, it could accompany you everytime, in your work for instance, in order to refresh you for it combines humor and wishdom. Do you have something better to do in a two-three minutes break?
I love this book since I bought it in the year 1992. In 1992 I was in Munich and found this book coincidental in a library and bought it. This book was written in German and it was a treasure for me since this time. After I have learned English in 1998 and my progress in this language, I can read this in English now. I am glad that I bought this, some things are better to understand, if you can read this one in the language of the original. Great book which offers the true sense of ZEN
Paul Reps has compiled the nearest equivalent to a scripture that exists in Zen Buddhism. It has been a constant source of pleasure and support to me since I discovered it in the 80's. Oblique, wise and funny. A lot more humble and accessible than the Christian bible as well.
I love this book. My copy is all warn and battered after 25+ years of use. The stories are classics. It could help give you some interesting insights if read in the right way! I recommend it to anybody interested in Zen or Japanese culture.