Origins and Meaning
By Heinrich Dumoulin
(Shambhala, Paperback, 9781590305294, 192pp.)
Publication Date: December 11, 2007
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Enlightenment, the cosmic experience of universal unity, is a notoriously elusive concept in Zen. Here, the renowned scholar Heinrich Dumoulin traces the development of Zen and the concept of enlightenment from its origins in India through its development in China to its fruition in Japan. Delineating the Buddhist origins, as well as the Taoist and yogic influences, he traces the historical path Zen has followed, with special emphasis given to the development of koan practice and the writings of the great Japanese Zen master Dogen (1200–1253). He then brings the experience to life by presenting, in his own words, the enlightenment experiences of a number of contemporary practitioners of Zen.
Heinrich Dumoulin (1905–1995) was one of the world's leading scholars of Zen and the author of several books on Zen and Buddhism, including A History of Zen Buddhism, Buddhism in the Modern World, and Christianity Meets Buddhism. He was for many years Professor of Philosophy and History of Religions at Sophia University in Japan.
“A lucid and illuminating presentation of the essential nature of Zen by an outstanding scholar. This book is an invaluable bridge between East and West.”—Masao Abe, author of Zen and Western Thought
"This book not only makes for instructive and valuable reading, it is also clearly and beautifully written."—Gershom Scholem, author of Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism