using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Fall 2009
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fall 2 0 09 82 T Book Briefs The eighteenth-century Japanese Zen master Hakuin is famous for his teaching and writing, including his well-known “sound of one hand clapping” koan, and for his revitalization of the Rinzai school. As Katsuhiro Yoshizawa explains in The Religious Art of Zen Master Hakuin (Counterpoint, 2009), Hakuin is also well-known for his religious paintings. A large number of his works have long been dismissed as comic, almost frivolous. Yoshizawa, however, invites us to view these paintings, reproduced throughout the book, as subtle Zen teachings and powerful social com- mentary. Yoshizawa is a respected scholar who has published widely on Hakuin’s many literary compositions, and he is better suited than most to understand the master’s intention behind the whimsical images of prostitutes and pissing sol- diers. The book is expertly edited and translated by Norman Waddell. Jeffrey Hopkins has written extensively for advanced practitioners and scholars on emptiness and deity yoga in Tibetan Buddhism. Having pre- viously contended that deity yoga is the essence of tantra, in Tantric Techniques (Snow Lion, 2009) he now asserts that it is the chief tantric method for realizing emptiness. Hopkins takes the reader through what he calls a paradigm shift from sutra practice to tantra, arguing that tantric practice solves certain difficulties that meditation on emp- tiness in the Mahayana tradition gives rise to. This is subtle material, and Hopkins relies on familiar Indian and Tibetan exegesis to guide and substan- tiate his claims. He works in a very traditional format—lengthy translated passages followed by commentary—which some readers might find dif- ficult. An unexpected pleasure, tucked in among commentaries on Tsongkhapa and Longchenpa, is a chapter responding to Carl Jung’s warning of the dangers of deity yoga. Hopkins shows that Jung’s dire predictions of ego inflation and other psychological traps were anticipated and resolved by the Tibetan masters’ attention to emptiness and compassion. Shoji Yamada’s Shots in the Dark: Japan, Zen, and the West (Chicago, 2009) is a very enjoyable meditation on the curious thing called “Zen”— not the Japanese religious tradition but rather the Western cliché of Zen that is embraced in adver- tising, self-help books, and much more. Yamada builds his discussion around Eugen Herrigel’s Zen in the Art of Archery, as well as the curious West- ern fascination with so-called Zen rock gardens. He knows that many people still hold Herrigel’s book dear, and that it brought many people to the dharma. Yet, as he points out, its content owes more to Freudian psychoanal- ysis and poor translation than to an accurate understanding of either Japanese archery or Zen Buddhism. Yamada, who is both a scholar of Buddhism and a student of archery, offers refreshing insight into West- ern stereotypes of Japan and Japanese culture, and how these are received in Japan. For example, he explains how the famous Ryoanji rock garden was largely ignored by the Japanese until it was celebrated in the West as an embodiment of Zen. In his new book, Answers From the Heart (Parallax Press, 2009), Thich Nhat Hanh gives simple Buddhist advice in response to some everyday questions. The slim volume is divided into seven chapters on topics such as family and relationships, religious practice, engaged Bud- dhism, and illness and death. It also includes a section on children’s questions about Buddhism. The book’s questions, for the most part, are broadly posed, and the answers tend toward gen- eral affirmations of the value of compassionate listening and respect. Yet Thich Nhat Hanh does not neglect issues that often challenge other teachers, such as abortion and homosexuality (“if you are a lesbian, be a lesbian”), and his steadfast insistence that peace and mindfulness are a practical part of the response to any situation is both reassur- ing and convincing. Shattering the Great Doubt (Shambhala, 2009) by Chan Master Sheng Yen, who passed away in February, is an elegant exposition on huatou, or “seeing one’s own face.” In huatou practice—unlike koan practice, to which it is closely related—one does not try to resolve the huatou, but instead uses it to directly experience T more to Freudian psychoanal- ysis and poor translation than to an accurate understanding of either Japanese archery or Zen Buddhism. Yamada, who is both a scholar of Buddhism and a student of archery, offers refreshing insight into West- ern stereotypes of Japan and alEXaNDEr GarDNEr is the associate director of the shelley & Donald rubin Foundation in New York. he has a Ph.D. in buddhist studies from the University of Michigan. eral affirmations of the value of compassionate listening and respect. Yet Thich Nhat Hanh does not neglect issues that often challenge other teachers, such as abortion and homosexuality (“if you are a lesbian, be a lesbian”), and his steadfast insistence by alexander Gardner