The teachings of the groundbreaking Buddhist Zen Master: “Should remain for years to come the standard source book for the Western student of Zen” (Douglas Harding, The Middle Way).
The eccentric Bankei (1622–1693) has long been an underground hero in the world of Zen. At a time when Zen was becoming overly formalized in Japan, he stressed its relevance to everyday life, insisting on the importance of naturalness and spontaneity. This volume presents his teachings—as refreshing and iconoclastic today as they were three hundred years ago—in a fluent translation by Peter Haskel, accompanied by a vivid account of Bankei’s life and times, illustrations, and extensive notes for the scholar.
“Mr. Haskel has furnished us with an accurate and polished translation that fully captures the lively colloquial style of the original. The late Professor Hakeda has rendered invaluable assistance in resolving many linguistic problems and in furnishing important insights into the text itself.” —Philip Yampolsky
“A splendid record of a dramatically different Zen master.” —Huston Smith
“Bankei Zen has given us the essence of Bankei’s unique teaching . . . one which seems particularly appropriate to our time.” —Nancy Wilson Ross