Hi Book Clubbers,
It is time to begin our next enlightening selection ... actually two books that we will read together as one. The first is:
The Record of Transmitting the Light: Zen Master Keizan's Denkoroku, translated by Francis Cook
http://www.wisdompubs.org/pages/display ... n=&image=1
... and the second, highly recommended by Taigu, is a reflection on Cook's translation called:
Living Buddha Zen by Lex Hixon
The 'Denkoroku' tells the tale of 52 “Transmissions of the Light” —from Shakyamuni Buddha continuously from master to successor, from India to China to Japan We will be reading slowly, one generation at a time, from each Friday. We might spend a week, maybe two, each time ... depending. Just to keep the discussion flowing, we hope each person participating in the book club will try to make at least one posting per each weekly reading..
We will begin with the Head Honcho, Shakyamuni, next week. For this week, I thought to ask everyone to read Les Hixon's very beautiful Introduction to his book, Living Buddha Zen, found on pages 19 to 31.
AS OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL READING, there is Prof. Cook's scholarly introduction to his book, found on pages 1 to 26 there.
I might put forward these questions:
- Is lineage in Buddhism, like a family's 'roots', important?
- Does it matter that, according to most historians, much of the earlier lineage is actually unknown or symbolic? The earliest sections of the lineage were created by later writers attempting to paint a direct connection to Shakyamuni Buddha. In fact, "Chan/Zen" as its own flavor and lineages of Buddhism probably first developed after Buddhism came to China. Still, can we say that the connection to the Buddha is still true despite that?
For me, the direct connection to the Buddha and his Teachings is found in each moment of Zazen. One's sitting Zazen right now can be seen as all the Buddhas and Ancestors sitting right now.