“Zen Buddhism, very hard to understand, thank you.” April 14, 2007Posted by tricycleblog in Random Notes.
The title of this post is (allegedly) the complete text of a speech made by D.T. Suzuki at U.C.L.A. back in the day. The story of this and other Buddhist ha-ha’s here.
(I realize ol’ D.T. Suzuki is way way way out of fashion in contemporary Buddhist thinking, and is so for a lot of reasons, but once upon a time he was one of my — and a lot of other people’s — first glimpses into something new. And people are still being introduced to Zen Buddhism — D.T.’s own special blend of it, that is — through his work. Someone is learning about Buddhism in one of his books right now! . . . Probably. Like, did anyone else try and read those Bernard Faure books, in school or out? Speaking of very hard to understand. But they went well with a cigarette and a bottomless cup of coffee.
“These stories reveal the opposition between two visions of space, two different anthropologies: that of Chan Buddhism, and that of territorial cults symbolized by the snake, the mountain god, or other autochtonous spirits.”
– Bernard Faure, Chan Insights and Oversights, Princeton University Press, 1993.)
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