Like Cats and Dogs: Contesting the Mu Koan in Zen Buddhism (Paperback)
  • Like Cats and Dogs: Contesting the Mu Koan in Zen Buddhism (Paperback)
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Like Cats and Dogs: Contesting the Mu Koan in Zen Buddhism (Paperback)

(author)
£26.99
Paperback 288 Pages / Published: 05/12/2013
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A koan is a narrative or dialogue used to provoke the "great doubt" and test a student's progress in Zen practice. The Mu Koan consists of a brief conversation in which a monk asks master Zhaozhou Congshen whether or not a dog has Buddha-nature. The reply is Mu: literally, ''No.'' This case is widely considered to be the single best known and most widely circulated and transmitted koan record of the Zen school of Buddhism. The Mu Koan is especially well known for the intense personal experiences it offers those seeking an existential transformation from anxiety to spiritual illumination. Steven Heine demonstrates that the Gateless Gate version, preferred by Dahui and so many other key-phrase advocates, does not by any means constitute the final word concerning the meaning and significance of the Mu Koan. Another impact version has been the Dual Version, which is the ''Yes-No'' rendition to the Mu Koan. Like Cats and Dogs offers critical insight and a new historical perspective on ''the koan of koans.''

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780199837304
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 388 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Heine's done it again - produced a fine piece of scholarship on a really important topic for Zen practice, provides many juicy historical tidbits and context, a fine sampling of original sources (this time including some material from the Korean tradition - often overlooked in Zen studies, it seems to me) some translated here for the first time, and advances a provocative revisionist theory of the history of Zen while also rolling some inspired Dogen study into the mix. * Wild Fox Zen, Patheos *
Despite the popularity of koan stories in Western Buddhist scholarship, the complexity of their formation and the different ramifications in subsequent developments of the tradition in China, Korea, and Japan have been frequently overlooked. In Like Cats and Dogs, Steven Heine fills this gap by engaging philosophical, soteriological, historical, geographical, and many more layers of the koan tradition with a sustained focus on the famous Mu Koan. His writing is clear and reading this is most enjoyable. Readers will be pleasantly surprised by the transformation that this book brings to their understanding of Zen Buddhism and koan practice. * Jin Y. Park, author of Buddhism and Postmodernity: Zen, Huayan, and the Possibility of Buddhist Postmodern Ethics *
Steven Heine's Like Cats and Dogs examines the history of the famous Mu koan...This classic puzzle becomes even more puzzling when the broader textual record is taken into consideration. * Buddhadharma *

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