Zen Flesh, Zen Bones by Paul Reps

Zen Flesh, Zen Bones

When Zen Flesh, Zen Bones was published in 1957 it became an instant sensation with an entire generation of readers who were just beginning to experiment with Zen. Over the years it has inspired leading American Zen teachers, students, and practitioners. Its popularity is as high today as ever.Zen Flesh, Zen Bones is a book that offers a collection of accessible, primary Zen sources so that readers can struggle over the meaning of Zen for themsel...

Details Zen Flesh, Zen Bones

TitleZen Flesh, Zen Bones
Release DateSep 15th, 1998
PublisherTuttle Publishing
GenrePhilosophy, Religion, Buddhism, Zen, Nonfiction, Spirituality

Reviews Zen Flesh, Zen Bones

  • Sanjay Gautam
    It's one of my all time favorites. I have read and re-read this book countless times. And I absolutely loved it every time I read! Zen Flesh and Zen Bones is a compilation of zen koans, and stories. A Koan is a paradoxical anecdote or riddle without a solution, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning; and provoke enlightenment. What is the sound of clap by one hand? From a rational or intellectual perspective, it...
  • Joseph
    Interpreting the meaning of Zen is difficult at the best of times, and from what I know of it, I’m not even sure that intellectualising it is the best way to go anyway. Therefore, I’m just going to list a couple of my favourite Zen kōans from the 101 Zen Stories, and then try to explain how they affect the way in which I attempt to live my life.The Moon Cannot be StolenRyokan, a Zen Master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at ...
  • Sabio
    Zen is allusive.Zen uses too many unnecessary contradictions.But their hopes are that such techniques awake the deluded mind.Nonetheless, I think people just get heady about the writings and forget how simple buddhist psychology is. Thus they get intellectual and cute and use that as another blanket of self-deception.This has lots of fun stories, but it is not the Buddhism I am most fond of.I must say I have been tempted by such trips though.
  • Jennifer
    "My review/What I learned from this book?"I think the most appropriate answer would be "nothing".I think it's on my shelf if you want it.
  • JT Neville
    One of my all time favorites. Every copy I own is well worn. I love how the stories don't state anything, but leave it up to you to interpret. The moon can not be stolen and A Parable are two of my favorites.http://books.google.com/books?id=m9CC...
  • Charles
    One of the most influential books in my life. A treasure if you read it at the right time.
  • Michelle
    really enjoyable koans that open your mind.My favorite is Temper; I have transcribed it below, sorry for any mistakes:A Zen student came to Bankei and complained: "Master, I havean ungovernable temper. How can I cure it?""You have something very strange," replied Bankei. "Let me seewhat you have.""Just now I cannot show it to you," replied the other."When can you show it to me?" asked Bankei."It arises unexpectedly," replied the student."Then," c...
  • ♥ Ibrahim ♥
    People in these stories are so human and you are amazed by their depth of character, their charm, their sense of humor, their gracious and big-heart attitude. Thankfully the book can be browsed online on:https://terebess.hu/zen/101ZenStones.pdfFirst story is so beautiful as it discusses those who come asking you a question only to use you as a sound board and in reality they don't want to hear anything else. I also love the story of that nun who ...
  • James Joyce
    I remember being quite inspired by this book, but details are sketchy. I'll have to give it a re-read, at some point.
  • Lyubina Yordanova
    „Плътта на Дзен. Костите на Дзен“ е уникална по своята същност книга. Тя е съкровище, едно такова тъничко и дребничко, че без проблем можеш да я побереш в джоба си. Съдържанието и обаче далеч не е толкова лесно за побиране в човешкия ум. То е отвъд в...
  • Nikmaack
    Oh my god, this crap gets tiring really quickly. That which is up is down. That which is down is up. The pinecone is not a raspberry, unless the raspberry is also a pinecone. Does my fart have the Buddha nature? And so on. It reads like Monty Python you're meant to take seriously. "No, no -- it's not gibberish. It's DEEP."I think part of the problem is that it's so old. These stories are from another culture, another time. So it becomes a little ...
  • Nikolai
    Master Okama shows his student a walking stick. -Master: What is this? -Student: A walking stick?Master Okama cuts off the student's hand. -Master: Go away and darken my towels no more.Commentary: There is no stick. There is no hand. Whoever sees this clearly will play golf with Buddha today in The 34th Heaven.
  • Atul Pandey
    Either it's the simplicity or my immaturity ....some of the stories resonated but others just flew by still i haven't internalized but i will give time for the seed to mature !!
  • Suba
    This book has in one way or another whispered itself into American culture with its Zen stories and pithy teachings. The very first story we get is a cup too full – how are we to receive when we are filled with opinions and beliefs. Another classical story from this collection is of the two monks walking down a path and one helps a lady. After a while the other monk asked the first why he touched the pretty lady, and the first monk replies, I l...
  • Joan DeArtemis
    You do not need to be a Buddhist for this book to work its magic on you. All you need is an open mind, and the desire to find a more peaceful way to be in the world. Here is how I use this book:Every morning, before I even get dressed, I light a stick of Japanese incense and read a single koan. I sit and meditate on that koan for some period of time (often only 5 minutes), and then I go about my day. But, I try to remember that koan, and I think ...
  • Goran Powell
    A collection of classic short pieces on Zen – often no more than a paragraph or two – which offer a good insight into the enigmatic nature of Zen writing. The book begins with 101 brief Zen stories, followed by the ‘Gateless Gate’ a further collection of thoughts, anecdotes, parables and Koans (Zen puzzles) designed to attune the student’s mind to enlightenment. The classic ‘10 Bulls’ is also featured – an illustrated account of a...
  • Aaron
    Just as the subtitle says, this book is divided into four parts, each expressing Zen Buddhist writing in a different format. I have read a fair amount of writing on or about Zen, and this is probably the only book I would strongly recommend to everyone interested. The only other book on this caliber would be The Zen Monastic Experience, but that was not about Zen literature but Zen monks' lifestyle and practice. One of my former coworkers gave th...
  • Mark Darrah
    Sometimes less is more.This collection of stories, koans, and teachings provides a glimpse of Zen to English readers without adornment. Elegant and confounding in its simplicity, this book shares the experiences of Zen, stages of awareness, and mind puzzles to prompt awareness beyond words. The editors have wisely refrained from attempting to draw universal conclusions providing their insights or personal directives. The book is a treasure. It's ...
  • J. R.
    I am not a student of Zen, but I enjoyed this collection. I recently took it on a bike tour with my partner, and we read from the 101 Zen Stories and The Gateless Gate together in the evenings. What we read left us both in a state of wonder and curiosity - and sometimes laughter and puzzlement. There aren't any interpretations in this book. No philosophical musings, no preaching or teaching. There are stories of book burnings, cat heads, irritabl...
  • Steve Malley
    Not that Zen fits in a book, but this is the best work I've ever found on the subject. The hardcover, boxed-set presentation seems a bit much for me, but maybe that's just because I still remember the battered old paperback edition I carted around everywhere until some long-ago girlfriend 'borrowed' it. There was something lovely and humble about that paperback, more fitting with the book's parables and lessons.
  • Niamh Dempsey
    This was a strange one. I found the Zen tales at times amazing - one sent shivers down my spine and utterly stopped my mind. The rest of the time I was puzzled, bemused and oddly infuriated!I loved the Kashmiri Shaivism text at the end - beautiful, concise, a lifetime's worth of wisdom teachings :)
  • Johanna
    Jotkut tarinat avautuivat paremmin, toiset huonommin. Joka tapauksessa ne herättivät paljon ajatuksia ja ruokkivat todennäköisesti enemmän alitajuntaa. Hieno kirja ja ehdottoman viihdyttävä. Kyllä silloin ennenkin tarinoita osattiin kirjoittaa.
  • Eric
    I have a small pocket version of this text. It is one of the few books that I read over and over again. I love the simple wisdom and the stories that make life so much more clear. I love the sayings that don't make any sense or those that do but only if I don't concentrate very hard.
  • Eddie Black
    I read half of this 10 years ago. I gave it away as a gift to a stranger who came into the bar I worked at who i found out had cancer and who I later found out had given her copy to a friend in need.
  • Rachelle
    This was a great collection of Zen writings, which may or may not enlighten you on the subject. It did contain classic Zen stories and koans, and I really enjoyed reading it.
  • Dennis Littrell
    Worth a dozen other books on ZenThis may be the most beloved of all Zen books in English. It is a little volume to treasure, to reread and to ponder, to take delight in and to laugh at and laugh with. It is a compilation of four smaller books: First there are 101 Zen stories. These are the best and most classic of the stories, many of them so familiar that they are now part of American culture as well as Zen culture. The stories constitute lesson...
  • Adam
    Originally published in the 50's, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones is a collection of four books, most of which are collections of koans - basically micro stories with the point of leading the reader to enlightenment (whatever that means).The first section, "101 Zen Stories," I enjoyed very much. I would read two or three of the stories, and then one would stick with me for whatever reason, and I'd stop reading for a while and think on it. Then, I'd stumble ...
  • Larry Littany Litt
    This was my first introduction to Zen koans when in my teens. The idea that there are unanswerable riddles except for the reader's own answer was a mind blowing concept. This was about the same time I discovered Beatnik poetry. Pretty much ruined my relationship to traditional Western religious learning. Some of the koans are used today for teaching 'out of the box' commercial thinking. If you want a good place to start studying Zen mind games th...
  • Bankim
    To me this little book is a treasure.All the 48+1 koans of Mumon's Gateless Gate are here,complete with Mumon's comments to each.The translation is very authentic as I understand.Additionally you have 101 zen stories,10 Bulls,and last but not least under the title 'Centering' you have 112 precious meditation techniques as described by Lord Shiva.Very Useful book indeed.