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The Complete Book of Zen

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  • The Complete Book of Zen


    Finished this (at LONG last!) this past weekend but am only just now free from the busy-ness of a long week to make my review!

    I initially began reading this alongside Sifu's autobiography this summer, but, due to life, work, travel, and my last year of university study (one month to go!), I have had to read it here and there when I could. From the very outset, there was clearly something more than supernatural about this book... Every time I read a mere description of the process of zen, or the teachings of the Platform Sutra (which I read in its entirety in order to be more familiar with the chapter concerning sutras), or even the intellectual breakdown of each step of the Ox Pictures, I could quite vividly and powerfully feeeeeeel my mind opening up and sometimes being cast into the infinite void as it opened up before my psyche... SO much rich intellectual information, coupled with intensely in-depth historical research and wisdom, the tracking of zen across the world, and many famous stories and powerful passages from those who are legendary practitioners, modern masters, authorities on zen history, and much more!

    I quite honestly cannot stress enough how incredible this book has been on my mind! It feels less like a download of content, than an update of my mental functioning (kind of like upgrading my engine vs. putting in higher octane fuel). I am at a loss for words in both describing how amazing the content of the book has been and in explaining how much depth and breadth are packed into every. last. sentence, word, letter....

    I would be unable to forgive myself if I don't make some mention of the very last chapter.... There is something so profoundly beyond my potential for comprehension and experience hidden away like a diamond made of lightning (or something super, unbelievably incredible and indescribable) in that chapter. Sifu describes a very simple approach to practicing zen in simple and gentle ways throughout the day in one of the sections, and makes the suggestion of doing so with this very paragraph I am reading, and then sentence, and then word. I found myself sucked into a bottomless spiral of whirring focus, like diving into a bottomless well, or cosmic void, or... something... By focusing down to that level, and REALLY zeroing in on the word, all its meanings, connotations, related functions and aspects, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. I could not escape even one single word. EVERYTHING, I am now experientially convinced, is BOTTOMLESS, infinite, and terrifyingly (in a beautiful sense) powerful and pregnant with substance and beauty and potential, and meaning, and LIFE!! I don't even want anyone to read this and appreciate what meager details I can attempt to poorly render; READ THIS BOOK!! I can only imagine if someone of my frankly ridiculously low level has gotten so much joy and value and experiences and fun out of this profound treasure, what others far more skilled and experienced and practiced will get from it and have gotten from it!!


    I want to thank Sifu for absolutely EVERYTHING, as always! This book, and all of his others are treasure, which I plan to heap up and reap the rewards of for the rest of my life! I plan on rereading this after some time and revisiting all of its wonder and enjoyment when I have reached higher levels of understanding and experiential exposure to what is still so stunning and marvelous and seemingly very far away, though understandable and apparently attainable, somewhere down the road. Thank you to anyone who reads this as well and I wish everyone continued success in your training and alllllllll the enjoyment and zen you can possible find or squeeze out of every single moment in life!!!!

    Thank you to all,


  • #2
    Life changing experience

    Thank you for these beautiful words, Kristian S.,
    I totally agree, Sifu's words are full of wisdom and they have a true power, just as any other true words
    Enjoy the reading and enjoy the practice of these genuine Shaolin Arts!
    .•´¯`•.¸¸.•´¯`°irene°´¯`•.¸¸. ´¯`•.

    “I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.”


    • #3
      Great review Kristian........The Complete Book of Zen is a classic on many levels...Gusty


      • #4
        Thank you for sharing your review Kristian.

        It is a fantastic book indeed and one of my favorite books from Sigung!
        And it is a book to go back and discover even more once you re-read it again.
        Definitely something to keep in the library

        Best regards
        Enjoy some Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan & Qi Gong!

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