The Book of Mu Essential Writings on Zen's Most Important Koan

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-05-01
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications
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The word "mu" is one ancient Zen teacher's response to the earnest question of whether even a dog has "buddha nature". Discovering for ourselves the meaning of the master's response is the urgent work of each of us who yearns to be free and at peace. "Practicing Mu" is synonymous with practicing Zen, "sitting with Mu" is an apt description for all Zen meditation, and it is said that all the thousands and thousands of koans in the Zen tradition are just further elaborations of Mu.

This watershed volume brings together over forty teachers, ancient and modern masters from across centuries and schools, to illuminate and clarify the essential matter: the question of how to be most truly ourselves.

Includes writings from: Dogen, Hakuin, Dahui, Thich Thien-An Zenkei Shibayama, Seung Sahn, Taizan Maezumi, Sheng Yen Philip Kapleau, Robert Aitken, Jan Chozen Bays, Shodo Harada Grace Schireson, John Daido Loori, John Tarrant Barry Magid, Joan Sutherland, and many more!

Author Biography

James Ishmael Ford is a senior guiding teacher of Boundless Way Zen. James has been a student of Zen Buddhism for over forty years. He is also a senior Unitarian Universalist minister serving at the First Unitarian Church of Providence and a member of both the American Zen Teachers Association and the Soto Zen Buddhist Association. He lives outside Providence.

Melissa Myozen Blacker, Roshi, is a Zen teacher and the abbot of Boundless Way Zen, a school of Zen Buddhism with practice centers throughout New England. She is one of the resident teachers at Boundless Way Zen Temple in Worcester. From 1993 to 2012, Melissa was on the staff of the Center for Mindfulness (CFM), founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her positions at the CFM included Director of professional training programs and senior teacher and Associate Director of the Stress Reduction Clinic. In addition to Zen teaching and writing, Melissa also offers private meditation consulting and spiritual direction. She is co-editor of The Book of MU, published by Wisdom Publications in April of 2011. Her chapter from The Book of MU was included in Best Buddhist Writing, 2012, edited by Melvin MacLeod and published by Shambhala Publications.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Foreword: The Great Koan, Your Dogp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
On the Transliteration of Namesp. 17
The Koan Mu: Text, Commentary, and Versep. 19
Historical Perspective: The First Teachers of the Koan Way
Three Commentariesp. 23
Two Commentariesp. 29
Great Doubtp. 31
Founding Teachers in the West
Teisho on Joshu's Dogp. 35
Chao-chou's Dogp. 45
Working with Mup. 55
Joshu's Dogp. 59
Commentary on Joshu's Mup. 63
Commentary on Joshu's Mup. 67
Commentary on the Koan Mup. 71
Joshu's Mup. 83
Encouragement Talkp. 95
Joshu's Dogp. 99
First Gate: Joju's Dogp. 103
Mup. 109
Method of Practicep. 115
The Experience of Wup. 117
Modern Commentaries
Three Commentariesp. 121
Joshu's Mup. 131
On the Utter, Complete, Total Ordinariness of Mup. 139
No Is Not the Opposite of Anything: Using Zhaozhou's ˘Mu÷ in Zen Practicep. 143
Mu: Intimate and Simplep. 157
It's Not What You Thinkp. 161
Using Poison to Get Rid of Poisonp. 165
Unromancing Nop. 175
Practicing Mu, Arriving Homep. 185
Even a Dog…?p. 199
Always at Homep. 203
At Home in the Worldp. 207
Turn the Lightp. 215
The Power of Possibility in the Unknownp. 227
A Thousand Miles the Same Moodp. 231
Mysterious and Subtle, Simple and Straightforwardp. 241
Give Yourself Away to Mup. 247
The Baby and the Bath Waterp. 253
No. Nay. Never. Nyet. lie.p. 263
Experiences with Joshu's Mup. 273
Enjoying Mup. 277
Becoming Mup. 281
Joshu's Dogp. 289
Afterwordp. 307
About the Contributorsp. 311
Reprint Creditsp. 317
Indexp. 321
About the Editor
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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