The Zen works of Stonehouse: poems and talks of a fourteenth-century Chinese hermit
One of the classic texts of Zen, essential for anyone interested in Zen practice and tradition. Stonehouse has been called "the greatest of all Zen monks who made poetry their medium of instruction." Until now his works have rarely been available in English. Now all of the hermit monk's poetry, including the major poetic works, "Mountain Poems" and "Gathas," as well as his most illuminating instructional talks, can be read in Pine's superb translations. According to Nelson Foster and Jack Shoemaker in The Roaring Stream: A New Zen Reader, "The ancient Taoist themes of simplicity, naturalness, and ease resound in Shih-wu's [Stonehouse's] writing, ringing out clearly within the Ch'an [Zen] setting. Everything in his mountain life that might seem a hardship to others-very plain food, crude and cramped quarters, dearth of human contact-Shih-wu celebrates as an outright virtue or at least preferable to what a city dweller can know.... Shih-wu packed his verses with practice pointers and encouragements, enticements and goads, allusions to sutras and Ch'an stories." With Red Pine's personal discovery in 1991 of the site of Stonehouse's former hut, this edition provides rare first-hand understanding of the spiritual and physical realm of Stonehouse's era. "Every Zen student will wish to own a copy."-Jim Harrison "An admirable achievement!"-Burton Watson Red Pine is the pen name of Bill Porter. Translator of numerous classical Chinese texts, he lives in Port Townsend, Washington.