“Suzuki’s works on Zen Buddhism are among the best contributions to the knowledge of living Buddhism.”
Knowledge of Zen Buddhism in the West is largely due to the work of D.T. Suzuki. Dr Suzuki reached his Zen enlightenment at the age of 27 and for the next 65 years he wrote widely about Buddhism and taught at universities in Europe and the US. He became the leading authority on Buddhism of the twentieth century and Essays in Zen Buddhism was the first book to fully introduce Zen in the West.
In Essays in Zen Buddhism Dr Suzuki outlines the origins of Zen as a unique Chinese interpretation of the Doctrine of Enlightenment and the aim of the specifically Zen tradition was to attain Satori (‘Sudden Enlightenment’). He describes how Satori can be achieved and the methods that can bring it about, but always stressed that Zen had to be a way of life that could cope with the demands and frustrations of daily life.
The clarity of Dr Suzuki’s writing helps the reader to an understanding of Zen, in giving the reader the ability to understand Zen rather than dictating what Zen is. In this collection of his most important essays Dr Suzuki explores the history of Buddhism, the daily life of a Zen monk and the path to enlightenment.
Zen is not a religion, it is a way of perceiving, acting and being and these essays are the classic introduction to it, providing a foundation for living a fulfilled life. Essays on Zen Buddhism is not only an ideal introduction to the study of Zen but also a guide to discovering inner tranquility for anyone seeking a deeper meaning to their life.
“He speaks of what he has experienced… the essential quality of Zen.”
“Dr Suzuki writes with authority… he is a Buddhist… He is honoured in every temple in Japan for his knowledge of spiritual things.”