Over the course of its short history in the West, the reputation and perception of Zen has been fragmentary and suspect. For some, it represents the Buddhist Path, free of all cultural and intellectual trappings that can block quest for spiritual growth. For others, it is a fashionable aesthetic experience, a martial arts weapon, an aid in the study of Feng Shui. Zen is all these things and none of them. Highlighting the key areas where it has left its mark--from the strictly religious aspect of meditation to its wider implications--beginners are given the basic facts to make sense of Zen, from an appreciation of life's transience and the necessity for the practice of meditation, to the spontaneity that is the hallmark of true Zen attainment: a sense of humor. All in all, a practical application to Zen in the world at large.
Introduction Indian origins The development and teachings of Zen Zen in practice Zen in daily life Zen and health Zen and the environment Zen and the arts Index