Teachings on the practice of things-as-they-are, through commentaries on a legendary Chinese Zen figure.
The ninth-century Tang dynasty Chinese master Dongshan is an important ancestor of the Zen tradition that has spread widely throughout the world in the twentieth century. He features prominently in koan texts and teaching stories, but he's not been written about or translated much in English yet. Dan Leighton comes to the rescue with this excellent book that takes the texts and teachings attributed to Dongshan, as well as the teaching stories and koan cases about him, and provides commentary for understanding the teaching of the House of Caodong he's associated with, particularly as it relates to "suchness"--tathata, the absolute and true nature inherent in all appearance--focusing on the practical relevance of the teachings Dongshan represents to the practice and life of us folks today.
“"What a delight! Readers conditioned to believe that Zen koans are mind-bending nonsense puzzles will read here with pleasure lucid and relevant commentaries."--Norman Fischer, author of Training in Compassion "Leighton is masterful in weaving together specific approaches evoked through stories about and sayings by Dongshan to create a powerful and inspiring religious vision that is useful for students and researchers as well as practitioners of Zen."--Steven Heine, author of Did Dogen Go to China? What He Wrote and When He Wrote It”