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The Zen monastic experience : Buddhist practice in contemporary Korea

Author: Robert E Buswell
Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, ©1992.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Robert Buswell, a Buddhist scholar who spent five years as a Zen monk in Korea, draws on personal experience in this insightful account of day-to-day Zen monastic practice. Buswell's depiction of Zen reveals a religious tradition that differs radically from the stereotype prevalent in the West. Westerners exposed to Zen through English-language materials have been offered a picture of an iconoclastic religion that  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Robert E Buswell
ISBN: 0691074070 9780691074078
OCLC Number: 24953466
Description: xiii, 264 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.
Contents: Introduction: Zen monasticism and the context of belief --
Buddhism in contemporary Korea --
Daily and annual schedules --
Songgwang-Sa and Master Kusan --
A monk's early career --
The support division of the monastery --
Relations with the laity --
The practice of Zen meditation in Korea --
Training in the meditation hall --
The officers of the meditation compound --
Toward a reappraisal of Zen religious experience --
Epilogue: Songgwang-sa after Kusan.
Responsibility: Robert E. Buswell, Jr.
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Abstract:

Drawing on his own personal experience, Buswell relates contemporary Zen practice to the historical development of the tradition and to Korean history more generally. His depiction of Zen reveals a  Read more...

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"[This book] is ... forged from [Buswell's] own experience and practice.... He enlivens his study with a detailed personal account of his daily life at Songgwang-sa, one of Korea's main monasteries, Read more...

 
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    schema:reviewBody ""Robert Buswell, a Buddhist scholar who spent five years as a Zen monk in Korea, draws on personal experience in this insightful account of day-to-day Zen monastic practice. Buswell's depiction of Zen reveals a religious tradition that differs radically from the stereotype prevalent in the West. Westerners exposed to Zen through English-language materials have been offered a picture of an iconoclastic religion that is bibliophobic, institutionally subversive, aesthetically sophisticated, devoted to manual labor, and intent solely on sudden enlightenment. Its most revered teachers are depicted as torching their sacred religious icons, bullying their students into enlightenment, rejecting the value of all the scriptures of Buddhism, and even denying the worth of Zen itself. In discussing the activities of the postulants, the meditation monks, the teachers and administrators, and the support monks of Song-gwang-sa, a major Korean Buddhist monastery, Buswell challenges much of this picture." "In the "counterparadigm" of Zen offered in the daily lives of the monks, Zen's putative iconoclasts are replaced by resolute members of a community dedicated to a methodical regimen of spiritual training. Zen's apparent bibliophobia pales to reveal contemplatives learned in classical Chinese and often having extensive experience in Buddhist seminaries. And the brash challenge allegedly made to systematizations of religion, even to Zen itself, fades before monks with strong faith in the arduous way of life they have undertaken. The author's treatment lucidly relates contemporary Zen practice to the historical development of the tradition and to Korean history more generally, and his intimate, sympathetic portrayal of the life of modern Zen monks in Korea provides an innovative and provocative look at Zen from the inside."--BOOK JACKET." ;
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