Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Orthodox Chinese Buddhism: A Contemporary Chan Master's Answers to Common Questions
As a well-known scholar and meditation master—His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama called him “extremely modest, a true spiritual practitioner of deep and broad learning”—Sheng Yen is uniquely qualified to guide Western seekers into the world of contemporary Chinese Buddhism. Written while the author was secluded in solitary retreat in southern Taiwan, Orthodox Chinese Buddhism provides a wealth of theory and simple, clear guidelines for practicing this increasingly popular form of spirituality. One of the most influential Buddhist books in the Chinese language, the book explores a wide range of subjects, from distinguishing core teachings from outdated cultural norms to bridging the gap between Western and Chinese traditions. In the process, it addresses such questions as “To what extent should Buddhism be Westernized to fit new cultural conditions?” and “Does Westernization necessarily lead to ‘a dumbing down’ of Buddhism?” In addition to the translation of the complete original text, this edition includes new annotations, appendixes, and a glossary designed for the Western reader.