Additional Book Information
Series: NYRB Classics
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
The Sound of the One Hand281 Zen Koans with Answers
edited and translated from the Japanese by Yoel Hoffmann, introduction by Dror Burstein
For all that, The Sound of the One Hand opens the door to Zen like no other book. Including koans that go back to the master who first brought the koan teaching method from China to Japan in the eighteenth century, this book offers, in the words of the translator, editor, and Zen initiate Yoel Hoffmann, “the clearest, most detailed, and most correct picture of Zen” that can be found. What we have here is an extraordinary introduction to Zen thought as lived thought, a treasury of problems, paradoxes, and performance that will appeal to artists, writers, and philosophers as well as Buddhists and students of religion.
The very strain of koan meditation [found in The Sound of the One Hand] is not unlike the self-imposed strain of a creative mathematician, writer, or artist. Such a person deliberately sets himself difficult problems, and deliberately renews them once they have been solved in order to compose or harmonize or solve himself.
For scholars and students of Zen, inquiring readers, or anyone seeking relief from the rhetoric of division in the current political sphere, The Sound of the One Hand offers helpful didacticisms and poetic reflections that are truly timeless.
—Nozomi Saito, Asymptote
Koans aim for the complete destruction of the rational intellect.