The Power of Enlightenment

Chinese Zen Poems

The Power of Enlightenment

Translated by: Tony Blishen
This collection of Zen poems and essays guides readers towards the joy of life.

In the 1,600 years that have elapsed since the arrival of Indian Buddhism in China during the Han and Jin dynasties, Buddhist monks and scholars have integrated the essence of Zen Buddhist thought with the classical forms of Chinese literature to create over 30,000 simple, lively poems of deep moral significance. Their authors convey an understanding of Zen, of its practice, or of the knowledge gained through meditation, they promote its philosophical principles and display its interest. The poems are widely known, long lived and much loved.

Professor Wu Yansheng has selected 66 classic poems by 54 historical scholars or monks ranging from Tao Yuanming (365–427), Han Shan (7th and 8th centuries), Wang Wei (701–761), to Xu Yun (1840–1959). He provides insights and a detailed introduction to the author of each poem in the hope of guiding the reader towards the realms of Zen and its poetry.

These poems represent the highest achievement of Zen poetry. The single qualification for inclusion has been depth of feeling and understanding. Each poem indicates a realm where the duality of opposites has been transcended to achieve spiritual harmony. It shows the way to release and spiritual freedom. It shows a garden of peace of mind that brings restlessness to an end.

In opening this book, the reader will…
  • Visit the depths of the realms of Zen and poetry, of life and awakening and of the wisdom of the East.
  • Enter the spiritual world of the enlightened and together with the great Masters enjoy the tranquillity, purity, and ethereal nature of life.
  • Dispel anxiety, purify the soul and live poetically in the world.
  • Shanghai Press | 
  • 192 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781602201484 | 
  • April 2014

More Books from this Author

In Chinese Zen, author Prof. Yansheng shows how Zen, with its universal concern for the human condition, can help the individual achieve happiness and spiritual stability through a "eureka moment" of enlightenment that liberates the mind from its world of competing interests.By drawing on the vast literature of Chinese Zen Buddhism, Prof. Yansheng presents traditional Buddhist sayings, stories and dialogues that illustrate the way historical masters of Zen sought to induce their pupils to reduced...

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