Words of inspiration

by Jennifer Barclay on 24 February, 2008

in Book Reviews, Books on traditional culture, Buddhism, Other books

No River to CrossNO RIVER TO CROSS: Trusting the Enlightenment that’s Always Right There
Zen Master Daehaeng
Wisdom Publications, Boston US$14.95

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The title refers to the idea that you don’t have to make a grand pilgrimage to find your Buddha nature, as it’s already inside you, and this approachable book offers plenty of inspiring thoughts. It starts with a lovely biographical account of Daehaeng Kun Sunim, who rejected formal teaching and wandered alone for years in the wilderness to find out what life was all about. The book proceeds to offer an introduction to Buddhist ideas — often profound and challenging, but arranged in short and stimulating pieces to meditate upon. Beautifully produced, it’s not a book to read in one sitting, but to digest slowly and keep going back to. The most comforting message is to be found in the ways the Seon (Zen) Master shows us the perfection of things just as they are. Daehaeng Kun Sunim is the most influential nun in the Jogye Order and Korean society at large, with an ability to reach out to a wide audience of both ordained and lay Buddhists. This latest publication is to be recommended for anyone interested in Buddhist ideas.

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