Record of Transmitting the Light - Praise

Zen Master Keizan’s Denkoroku

“Keizan Zenji’s collection of enlightenment stories with his sure-footed commentaries is basic text for Soto Zen students, and an important reference for all other students of Asian religion. I am gratified that Dr. Cook’s astute translation has been brought back into print in such a fine edition.”—Robert Aitken, author/translator of the Gateless Barrier

“‘The Record of Transmitting the Light’ stands out as a favorite because of its sheer beauty and its profound influence on my day-to-day life. I bow in gratitude to translator Francis Cook, who made these stories accessible to me so I could reach across space and time and shake hands with these ancient Zen teachers.”—Ellen Jikai Birx, co-founder of the New River Zen Community, and author of Healing Zen, in Buddhadharma

“These stories of the moments when earnest practitioners experienced directly nondual reality are an inspiration for all of us to discover our own light. I am most grateful that Wisdom Publications is keeping Dr. Cook’s excellent translation of Keizan Zenji’s teaching in print in this new and improved edition. Both Keizan’s text itself and Dr. Cook’s superb introduction are invaluable in studying our Zen lineage.”—Zenkei Blanche Hartman, Abbess, San Francisco Zen Center

“A Chinese Zen master named ‘Tiger Cen’ once said, ‘Pervading all the worlds in the ten directions is your own brilliant light; all worlds in the ten directions are within your own light; and throughout all worlds in the ten directions there is not a being that is not you!’ Keizan’s Record of Transmitting the Light, masterfully translated by Francis Dojun Cook, traces the path of masters who have expounded this teaching; the teaching that adorns the crown of Buddhism.”—Andy Ferguson, auithor of Zen’s Chinese Heritage

The Record of Transmitting the Light is a work which many would rank alongside Dogen’s Shobogenzo as a major classic of Japanese Soto Zen. This translation has played an important role in illuminating the Way for thousands of first-generation western students. Cook’s skill and insight as a translator come from his well earned scholarly authority in the field of Buddhism, as well as by experiential authority obtained through many years of study as a Zen practitioner-and specifically, as a student of koans. May The Record of Transmitting the Light continue to illuminate the Way for the next generation of Zen practitioners.”—From the foreword by John Daido Loori, editor of The Art of Just Sitting

“The Denkoroku is the record of great master Keizan’s Zenji formal talks. It is a Zen text unsurpassed in expressing the great enlightenment of Shakyamuni Buddha and its transmission by fifty-two ancestors in India, China, and Japan. Along with the eminent Dogen’s Zenji’s Shobogenzo, the Denkoroku is the most revered patriarchal record of instructions in learning the Way. Here, on the American continent, a Zen lamp has been lit that someday may become the vast light of millions of lamps, maybe even an inexhaustible lamp. The English-language translation of this sacred work is an epoch-making event in Buddhist history. This English translation of the Denkoroku will be a reliable guide for English-speaking people for easily grasping the essence of the Buddhadharma. My hope is that this book will help people to thoroughly experience their own true nature and bring peace and tranquility to this land and to the entire world.”—Ven. Umeda Shinryo, Chief Abbot, Sojiji

“In the first case of Denkoroku, Keizan Jokin composed a verse on Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment; ‘A splendid branch issues from the old plum tree; In time, obstructing thorns flourish everywhere.’ Each of the fifty-two ancestors appearing in this text was a plum blossom that bloomed on the thorny branches of the old tree. After Keizan Zenji, the numerous flowers bloomed in Japan for about thirty generations; and then in the West, beginning a few generations ago. I hope many blossoms will bloom on the same old tree all over the world. I am sure that this translation of Keizan’s Denkoroku will play an important role.”—Rev. Shohaku Okumura, Director, Soto Zen Buddhism International Center