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Buddhadharma : Winter 2013
74 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY WINTER 2 0 1 3 Steven Heine’s Like Cats and Dogs (Oxford 2013) examines the history of the famous Mu koan. In a dialogue between an anony- mous monk and the master Zhaozhou Congshen (778–897), the former asks if a dog has bud- dhanature and is met with a colossal “No.” Or so one version of the story goes, for as Heine explains, this redaction—found in the Gateless Gate collection of 1229—is just one of many. In some accounts we find positive responses, in oth- ers an amalgam of affirmation and denial, and in still others ambiguity and irony. The Record of Serenity, for instance, predates the Gateless Gate and has our master first affirm that a dog has buddhanature, only to inform another monk that it does not. This classic puzzle becomes even more puzzling when the broader textual record is taken into consideration. The eighteenth-century Buddhist visionary Jigme Lingpa is one of the most gifted authors to have written from the Tibetan plateau. His innovations in the philosophy of the Great Perfection (Dzogchen) and his charisma as a teacher won him numerous admirers, including a young queen in Eastern Tibet whose loyalty to his tradition prompted not only the printing of his collected works but also a bloody rebellion. With the publication of the Padmakara Trans- lation Group’s Treasury of Precious Qualities, Book Two: Vajrayana and the Great Perfection (Shambhala 2013), we again catch sight of his brilliance at work, this time in articulating the Nyingma tantric path. Jigme Lingpa’s elegant verses describe the stages of Nyingma esoteric practice and its culmination in the Great Perfec- tion, while Kangyur Rinpoche’s twentieth-century commentary provides critical insight into the sys- tems behind the stanzas. Appended are vignettes from Khenpo Yöntan Gyamtso’s popular turn-of- the-century commentary. Soto Zen teacher Eido Frances Carney’s Kakurenbo: Or the Whereabouts of Zen Priest Ryokan (Temple Ground Press 2013) intertwines moments in the life and poetry of the influential Zen hermit priest Ryokan (1758–1831) with Car- ney’s own reflections on her Zen training in Japan and her experiences as founder and head teacher of Olympia Zen Center in Olympia, Washington. Ryo- kan’s fascination with nature, his playfulness (being, as he was, highly adept at hide-and-go-seek, or kakurenbo in Japanese), his calligraphy, and his verses have long inspired Zen practitioners, but rarely do we have the opportunity to read about the mechanics of such inspiration. Also poignant is Carney’s narration of Ryokan’s late-life encounter with a young nun named Teishin, with whom he exchanged love poems and who cared for him in his final days. The Buddhist Schools of the Small Vehicle by Buddhist studies scholar André Bareau (1921– 1993) has been the standard reference work on the history and doctrines of the sects of the so- called “small vehicle” of Buddhism since its pub- lication in French in 1955. Now, with the release of the late Sara Boin-Webb’s English translation (Hawaii 2013), Bareau’s classic is finally available to a broader audience. With precision and clar- ity, Bareau reveals the incredible diversity among the non-Mahayana schools of Buddhism in India, reminding us that Theravada Buddhism, while prominent today, was just one among twenty to thirty schools claiming to represent the origi- nal teachings of the Buddha. Particularly useful is Bareau’s appendix tabulating all of the major controversies and the particular parties involved. The prominent Sammatiyas, for example, insisted that the Buddha posited a self neither identical to, nor different from, the five aggregates, thus approaching the famous “no-self” doctrine in a surprisingly dif- ferent way. Larry Rosenberg has taught meditation for over forty years. Once a professor of social psy- chology at Harvard, Chicago, and Brandeis, he changed course after meeting the influential nonsectarian teacher Krishnamurti; he left aca- demia and began training in Zen meditation and vipassana. In 1985 he founded the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center in Massachusetts, where he has continued to develop his unique RORY LINDSAY is a Ph.D. candidate in Tibetan Studies at Harvard University. by Rory Lindsay BOOK BRIEFS