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Making Zen Your Own: giving life to twelve key golden age ancestors

by Janet Jiryu Abels

Description
In this book, Janet Jiryu Abels traces the life stories of twelve Chinese Zen masters who, together, shaped what was to become known as Zen’s Golden Age. She presents their biographies, describes their teachings and shows how their lives and teachings can inspire those who practice Zen today. The book is a presentation of ancient Zen insight vividly relevant for the twenty-first century, addressing both the needs of longtime Zen practitioners and those new to the way of Zen. Its singular distinction is in bringing Zen history, ancestral teachings and present-day application of those teachings into one work.

Although the book is based on scholarly sources and historical records, Abels stresses the humanity of these Zen ancestors, showing that they were not formed from a generic mold but were individuals with quirks, senses of humor, heartfelt enlightenment experiences, varied ways of living and unique ways of expressing Zen. She tells their stories in a lively, accessible manner, shedding light on their paradoxical teachings with clarity and simplicity. She also shows that they all faced the same challenges that Zen practitioners face today.

Interwoven among the stories and teachings are Abels’ own insights into the dharma of Zen, as well as practical applications and encouragements that readers can bring to their individual practice of the Way. These insights are based on her more than ten years as a Zen teacher. She is the founder and co-resident teacher of Still Mind Zendo in New York City.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janet Jiryu Abels is the founder and now co-resident teacher, with Gregory Hosho Abels, of Still Mind Zendo in New York City, and the guiding teacher of Plum Blossom Zendo in Pittsburgh. She received dharma transmission as a Zen teacher in the Soto White Plum lineage of Taizan Maezumi Roshi in 2000. She is a certified Bio-Spiritual Focusing teacher, and is a member of the White Plum Asanga as well as the Lay Zen Teachers Association.

REVIEWS
Janet Abels has given us a strong presentation in spirited prose of the lives of the founding teachers of Zen Buddhism during China's Tang Dynasty. She clearly presents the personalities of these teachers, their place in history, and the individual's contribution to Zen practice.
—Father Robert Kennedy, Roshi

Abels writes about the Zen Ancestors with clarity and a depth of knowledge that comes from long practice and study. Her rich and succinct descriptions of the lives of the Zen ancestors will help many find their own way into the Zen path.
—Andy Ferguson, author of Zen's Chinese Heritage

Janet Abels walks hand-in-hand with the ancient Chinese Zen Ancestors. She brings alive their struggles and triumphs on the road to awakening. Through Abels' excellent narratives and her own deep understanding, she has revealed the profound teachings of these great masters for present-day students of the Way.
—Gerry Shishin Wick, author of The Book of Equanimity

Making Zen Your Own: giving life to twelve key golden age ancestors

ISBN / Product Code: 9780861717026

Format: Paperback

Length: 224 pages

Size: 225 x 150mm

Availability: In stock

Price: $A 31.95


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