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Zen Around the World

A 2,500 Year Long Journey from the Buddha to You

C. Alexander Simpkins Ph.D. and Annellen Simpkins Ph.D.



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242 pages

Pub: 1997, Tuttle Publishing

Zen Around the World presents Zen's journey, not simply as a history, but as a spiritual odyssey. Gathered together in one volume is the entire story of Zen, from ins inception to the present day. The story unfolds before you, as Zen's spirit travels across time and place, circling the globe. Each chapter in Part One focuses on a different area of the world that was touched by Zen: India, China, Korea, and Japan. Part Two brings the reader to the modern era, as Zen made its transition to the West. Part Three introduces the Zen experience with exercises drawn from the great traditions of the past and modern innovations of the exercises.

*Awakening to Oneness: Zen Origins

*To Be Enlightened: Chinese Ch'an

*To Do and To Be Enlightened Are One: Japanese Zen

*To Be and To Do Are Not Two: Korean Son

*Transitions To the West

*The Beats: On the Road to Enlightenment

*Mind Over Matter: Zen Arts

*To Be Is To Act: Zen Activism

*Being Whole: Zen and Psychotherapy

*To Do Is To Be: Practicing Zen Meditation

Booklist Review, Donna Seaman: To tell the story of Zen is to track a complex spiritual evolution that sprouted from the yoga of ancient India and blossomed into a dynamic and diverse tradition that now garlands the world. The authors combine sound scholarship with the knowingness of practitioners and an unerring sense of what will interest readers most in their lucid history of Zen. Their coverage of Buddhism in all its manifestations is fluent and informative, reaching a dramatic peak when they describe how the Buddha conveyed his teachings without words to his disciple, Mahakasyapa. This "direct transmission" gave birth to Zen, a path to enlightenment that has always used language sparingly, even paradoxically, finally setting it aside altogether in the practice of zazen, or seated meditation. Zen has taken many forms over the centuries in China, Korea, Japan, Europe, and the U.S., where Zen has been closely aligned to activism and the arts, and, in each setting, the authors humanize their illuminating chronicle with profiles of major figures.

Review from Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat: The Simpkins show how Zen practitioners have found spiritual freedom in emptiness and learned the rewards of meditation. They discuss the Zen arts of the tea ceremony, flower arrangement, archery, poetry, and various other crafts as avenues to inner development. They also pay tribute to some great Zen teachers and scholars including Dogen, Hakuin, D. T. Suzuki, Shunryu Suzuki, R. H. Blyth, and Alan Watts. Zen Around the World is a graceful historical survey filled with gems of insight about this versatile and durable path to enlightenment.