The Sword of Wisdom 3


Browse in the religion or philosophy section of quality book stores and you are likely to find many books on Zen, or Ch'an, Buddhism; and the number grows every year. Books on philosophy, books on personal experiences with Zen masters or in monasteries, books by lay people, books by monks and nuns. Many words. And this about a philosophy that tells us to put aside words, to transcend thoughts and language. Then why write another book on Zen Buddhism? There really are few principles to speak of, and all of them inevitably point to the meditation cushion, where the real learning ─ or unlearning ─ takes place. But words are a useful tool, and most of us can comprehend little without them. In any case, people who have transcended thoughts and language probably don't browse in bookstores.

Master Sheng-yen is not a silent teacher. He has written or, edited many books. In English, there is Getting the Buddha Mind, The Poetry of Enlightenment, Faith in Mind, Ox Herding at Morgan's Bay, and The Infinite Mirror. He has also written over thirty books in Chinese, and even one in Japanese. In addition, the Ch'an Meditation Center publishes eight newsletters and four magazines every year, the bulk of which contains his lectures.