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The Way of the Zen by Alan Watts

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This is a thought provoking book about Zen Buddhism, the review is deliberately short, to pay respects to the concepts contained. So if you like things like:

“The real nirvana cannot be desired be[1] cause it cannot be conceived…. There is no Nirvana and Samsara ( the beginningless cycle of repeated birth, mundane existence and dying again) are, all things are not-two. There is no Nirvana except where is Samsara; there is no Samsara except where is Nirvana; for the condition of existence is not of a mutually exclusive character. Therefore it is said that all things are nondual as are Nirvana and Samsara. But the equation “Nirvana is samsara” is true in another sense as well–namely, that what appears to us to be samsara is really nirvana, and that what appears to be the world of form (rupa) is really the void (sunya). Hence the famous saying: Form is not different from emptiness; emptiness is not different from form. Form is precisely emptiness; emptiness is precisely form.”

“In the words of the Cheng-tao Ke: Like the empty sky it has no boundaries, Yet it is right in this place, ever profound and clear. When you seek to know it, you cannot see it. You cannot take hold of it, But you cannot lose it. In not being able to get it, you get it. When you are silent, it speaks; When you speak, it is silent. The great gate is wide open to bestow alms, And no crowd is blocking the way.”

Then definitely worth a read.


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