entangling vines (paperback)

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ENTANGLING VINES (PAPERBACK)

Thomas Yuhō Kirchner

The most contemporary of the the classic koan collections—representing centuries of practical refinement by Zen masters working with their students.

Entangling Vines is a translation of the Shumon Kattoshu, the only major koan text to have been compiled in Japan rather than China. Most of the central koans of the contemporary Rinzai koan curriculum are contained in this work. Indeed, Kajitani Sonin (1914–1995)—former chief abbot of Shokoku-ji and author of an annotated, modern-Japanese translation of the Kattoshu—commented that “herein are compiled the basic Dharma materials of the koan system.”

A distinctive feature of Entangling Vines is that, unlike the Gateless Gate and Blue Cliff Record, it presents the koans “bare,” with no introductions, commentaries, or verses. The straightforward structure of its presentation lends the koans added force and immediacy, emphasizing the Great Matter, the essential point to be interrogated, while providing ample material for the rigors of examining and refining Zen experience.

Containing 272 cases and extensive annotation, the collection is not only indispensable for serious koan training but also forms an excellent introduction to Buddhist philosophy.

book information
  • Paperback
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • $19.95
  • ISBN 9781614296157
  • ebook
  • $11.99
  • ISBN 9781614290964
about the author
Entangling Vines (Paperback)

Thomas Yuhō Kirchner was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1949. He went to Japan in 1969 to attend Waseda University in Tokyo for a year, after which he remained in Japan to study Buddhism. He spent three years training under Yamada Mumon as a lay monk at Shofuku-ji before receiving ordination in 1974. Following ordination he practiced under Minato Sodo Roshi at Kencho-ji in Kamakura and Kennin-ji in Kyoto. Following graduate studies in Buddhism at Otani University he worked at the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture in Nagoya and subsequently at the Hanazono University International Research Institute for Zen Buddhism. He presently lives at Tenryu-ji in Arashiyama, Kyoto. Among his publications are the Record of Linji, Dialogues in a Dream, and Entangling Vines.

Other books by Thomas Yuhō Kirchner:
Entangling Vines
Sitting with Koans
Dialogues in a Dream

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