Customer Review from Amazon.com
Brilliant translation of a neglected Zen master, January 24, 2004
Prior to this translation, not much was known in the English-speaking world about "Korean" Zen. J.C. Cleary’s introduction is useful and informative in revealing Zen as practiced in Old Korea--the first penetration of Zen from China across national boundaries (followed by its subsequent movement into Vietnam and then Japan)--and his introduction serves as a counterbalance to our unwitting orientalism of Zen by re-newing the words of T’aego, an authentic, historical voice for a vibrant and living practice. Cleary’s translation is rich in its insinuations and ultimately startling in its clarity. Here is a passage from "How to Study Zen": "The days and months go by like lightning: we should value the time. We pass from life to death in the time it takes to breathe in and breathe out: it’s hard to guarantee even a morning and an evening. Whether walking, standing, sitting, or lying down, do not waste even a minute of time. Become ever braver and bolder....Mind is the natural Buddha: why bother seeking elsewhere? Put down your myriad concerns and wake up." Here it is: instant Zen: you wake up.