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January 21 , 2008

The Iron Flute

100 Zen Koans


Koans are the intellectually unsolvable problem-riddles at the core of the Rinzai tradition of Zen Buddhism, perhaps the most well-known one being "what is the sound of one hand clapping." Though widely recognized, most koan remain narrowly understood. In this new edition of The Iron Flute, one hundred of the most challenging and enlightening koan from the Chinese Chan (Zen) patriarchs of the Tang and Sung dynasties are presented, along with commentary from the great Zen masters Genro, Fugai, and Nyogen, and an in-depth biography of author Nyogen Senzaki (1876-1958), a pioneer in bringing Zen Buddhism to the West. The Iron Flute stands alone as the definitive work on koan-an essential pathway to the tenets and practice of Zen Buddhism. AUTHOR BIOS: Nyogen Senzaki was raised in Tendai Buddhist monastery and ordained as a Zen monk after attending Tokyo Imperial University, where he was a student of the great Zen master Soen Shoku. He moved to the U.S. in 1905 and lived in Los Angeles until his death in 1958. Ruth Strout McCandless was a student of Senzaki and his collaborator in translating a series of Buddhist texts over many years. She and Senzaki also co-authored Buddhism and Zen.
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