University of Hawaii Press, 2003 - Religion - 764 pages
Zen Sand is a classic collection of verses aimed at aiding practitioners of koan meditation to negotiate the difficult relationship between insight and language. As such it represents a major contribution to both Western Zen practice and English-language Zen scholarship. In Japan the traditional Rinzai Zen koan curriculum includes the use of jakugo, or capping phrases. Once a monk has successfully replied to a koan, the Zen master orders the search for a classical verse to express the monk's insight into the koan. Special collections of these jakugo were compiled as handbooks to aid in that search. Until now, Zen students in the West, lacking this important resource, have been severely limited in carrying out this practice. Zen Sand combines and translates two standard jakugo handbooks and opens the way for incorporating this important tradition fully into Western Zen practice. For the scholar, Zen Sand provides a detailed description of the jakugo practice and its place in the overall koan curriculum, as well as a brief history of the Zen phrase book. This volume also contributes to the understanding of East Asian culture in a broader sense.
What people are saying - Write a review
I use this book to find capping phrases for koan study under my Zen teacher. However, reading this book is like thumbing through a dictionary or encyclopedia. Every page contains a jewel that points you toward some insight you did not know to look for. Don't try to make a list of your favorites, every time you pick up the book, something new will catch your attention, something that fits that day, that moment.
CappingPhrase Practice in Japanese Rinzai Zen
The Nature of the Rinzai Kōan Practice
The Steps of Kōan Practice
Literary Study in Kōan Practice
The Kōan and the Chinese Literary Game
The History of Zen Phrase Books
Guide to Conventions and Abbreviations