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Buddhadharma : Spring 2018
118 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY 119 gender, or religion? In Long stRange JouRney: on MoDeRn zen, zen aRt, anD otheR pReDicaMents (Hawaii 2017), Gregory Levine tackles these and other compelling questions, exploring Zen’s multifarious incarnations in the West. Particularly interesting are Levine’s remarks on cartoons about Zen produced by Western illustrators. He argues that the jokes often hinge on the exploita tion of stereotypes and “the ethnocentrism of white Americans in their encounters with cultural difference.” Yet he also observes that in some cases, Zen cartoons reflect a cartoonist’s serious response to their own understanding of Zen teaching and practice, such that their work should be neither automatically dismissed as “cultural junk” nor consumed uncritically. By exploring these and other Western takes on Zen, Levine pushes us to examine our own roles in shaping Zen’s contemporary manifestations. a gatheRing oF bRiLLiant Moons: pRactice aDvice FRoM the RiMé MasteRs oF tibet (Wisdom 2017) provides short, powerful selections from some of the most innovative Tibetan writers of the nineteenth century. Edited by Holly Gayley and Joshua Schapiro, this collection of shaldam, or “oral instructions,” gives advice on topics ranging from how to engage properly in solitary retreat to how to practice while ill. As Michael Sheehy explains in his intro duction to his selections from the Jonangpa author Bamda Thupten Gelek Gyatso, the shaldam genre captures an intimacy of pres ence between teacher and student. By simulating the gurudisciple exchange, these writings channel these figures’ “heartfelt advice about how to shift one’s habituated way of being in the world.” How did Chinese Chan become Japanese Zen? In his latest book, FRoM chinese chan to Japanese zen: a ReMaRkabLe cen- tuRy oF tRansMission anD tRansFoRMation (Oxford 2018), Steven Heine pinpoints Zen’s origins to a single “extraordinarily inventive and inspiring” century (1225–1235) in which Chan Buddhism was transplanted and reformulated in Japan. Heine points to the Japa nese master Dogen’s experience of enlightenment while in China in 1225 as the foundational moment. While news of Dogen’s achieve ment was initially ignored in Japan, the idea that a Japanese teacher could become a living buddha gained currency, and the subsequent wave of Japanese Buddhists visiting China and returning as revered masters (and bringing with them Chinese teachers and artists) gave rise to a burgeoning new movement. Heine adds that the rigorous discipline that Zen exemplified mixed well with the warrior culture of the Kamakura era, and that the Zen figure Daito’s 1325 victory in a debate against other Buddhist schools secured at that time Zen’s place as the rulers’ school of choice.