great doubt

image description

“In this brief but remarkably thorough book, Boshan puts into words what it means to truly doubt. Not just to be skeptical—but to push all the way to the very foundations. Anyone interested in Zen can learn a whole lot from this little book.” —from the foreword by Brad Warner, author of Hardcore Zen

GREAT DOUBT

Boshan Jeff Shore

“Great doubt and great faith are foundations of Zen practice. This great gift of a book provides essential checkpoints along the path.” —Grace Schireson, author of Zen Women

“Upbeat, insightful, and inspiring teachings—a rich resource for all Buddhist practitioners.” —Richard M. Jaffe, Duke University, author of Neither Monk nor Layman

“Boshan addresses the reader directly with vivid metaphors and stern (sometimes humorous) admonishments. He pulls no punches… These concise texts, not previously available in their entirety in English, offer classic wisdom for those exploring the Zen paths.” —Publishers Weekly

“A classic Chinese text with clear—and inspiring—commentaries.” —Thomas Yuho Kirchner, translator of Entangling Vines

Featured in Buddhadharma’s Book Briefs, Fall 2016.

book information
  • Paperback
  • 128 pages, 5.00 x 8.00 inches
  • $14.95
  • ISBN 9781614292302
  • ebook
  • 128 pages
  • $9.99
  • ISBN 9781614292456
about the author
Great Doubt

Boshan (1575-1630) was one of the leading Chinese masters of the Ming dynasty. Boshan, or Mount Bo, is the name of the mountain where he was active; like many masters, he became known as such. He is also known as Wuyi Yuanli and Dayi. Boshan hailed from Shucheng in present-day Anhui Province, west of Nanjing. He left home in his mid-teens, took up Buddhist study and practice, including five years of sustained meditative discipline, and received full ordination. Later he practiced under the Caodong (Japanese: Soto) master Wuming Huijing (1548-1618), a severe teacher who persistently rejected Boshan’s intial insights. One day, while sitting intently in meditation on a rock, Boshan had a sudden realization when he heard a statue nearby fall with a crash. The following year he was greatly awakened when watching a person climb a tree. He was in his late-twenties at the time. Boshan received the Bodhisattva precepts before teaching at several monasteries, finally settling at Mount Bo in present-day Jiangxi Province, south of Anhui. He was one of Wuming Huijing’s four Dharma heirs, and he himself left behind several Dharma heirs and lay disciples. He passed away in 1630. Image source.

Great Doubt

Jeff Shore (1953) was born in Philadelphia, USA. After 10 years studying and practicing in the United States, he went to Japan in 1981. He first spent a year living with Mumon Yamada, Head Abbot of Myoshinji monastery in Kyoto, and got his toes wet training at the monastery of Shofukuji in Kobe. In 1982 he began practice under Zenkei Shibayama‘s successor: Keido Fukushima, then Zen master and later Head Abbot of the major Rinzai complex of Tofukuji in Kyoto. He spent the next 25 years in rigorous Zen training there, completed the training, and became Fukushima Roshi’s lay successor. Jeff’s focus is directly pointing out the very core of Zen and the heart of living Buddhism. Jeff is also professor of Zen in the Modern World at Hanazono University in Kyoto, the sole Rinzai-affiliated university in the world, where he has taught since 1987. He is a husband and a father. He lives in Kyoto where he also has a small place – the Rokoan hermitage – open for those who want to deepen their practice.