By Robert E. Buswell Jr.
Robert Buswell, a Buddhist scholar who spent five years as a Zen monk in
Korea, draws on personal experience in this insightful account of
day-to-day Zen monastic practice. In discussing the activities of the
postulants, the meditation monks, the teachers and administrators, and
the support monks of the monastery of Songgwang-sa, Buswell reveals a
religious tradition that differs radically from the stereotype prevalent
in the West. The author's treatment lucidly relates contemporary Zen
practice to the historical development of the tradition and to Korean
history more generally, and his portrayal of the life of modern Zen
monks in Korea provides an innovative and provocative look at Zen from
Robert E. Buswell holds the Irving and Jean Stone Endowed Chair in Humanities at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he is also Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and founding director of the university’s Center for Buddhist Studies and Center for Korean Studies.
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