Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

Sitting with Koans - Praise

Essential Writings on Zen Koan Introspection

“Among the various types of Buddhist practice, few have captivated the popular imagination as throughly as the Zen koan. In Sitting With Koans: Essential Writings on Zen Koan Introspection, editor John Daido Loori has produced a handy compendium of some of the most important writings on the topic by scholars and Zen masters. It’s divided into three sections: the roots of the koan tradition in China, the evolution of koan practice in Japan, and modern koan commentaries by an all-star cast of twentieth-century Zen teachers. The book brings together a wealth of illuminating material.”—Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly

“Koans are the greatest of the ancient technologies for transforming the mind. This collection of classic writings on koans will get you started and open up the treasure in your own heart.”—John Tarrant, author of Bring Me the Rhinoceros (And Other Zen Koans to Bring You Joy)

“Required reading for those interested in how koans are used in Zen practice. For the practitioner, the real strength of this volume is the presentation of selected koans, with commentaries by authorized Japanese, Chinese, and American Rinzai Zen masters who demonstrate the living tradition of working with koans.”—Shambhala Sun

“Whether you are interested in the history of Zen, intrigued by the seeming paradoxes and puzzling stories in koan literature, or already engaged in koan practice with a qualified teacher, Sitting With Koans is a valuable resource. By combining scholarly essays with historical and modern Dharma talks by great koan masters, this collection shines light from many angles, helping to illuminate a rich and fundamental practice that is so often misunderstood.”—Melissa Myozen Blacker, Zen teacher and codirector of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher Development programs at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society

Sitting With Koans is the essential collection of koan writings that Zen practitioners have been yearning for. In this book, Roshi Daido Loori picks up the many threads of the seemingly mysterious practice of the Zen koan and exposes their primary purpose: direct and vivid confirmation of this very life! Readers will embark on an exciting journey with the ancient koan masters up to contemporary Zen teachers, whose compassionate pointing to the opening of the eye of wisdom will surely resonate in your life.”—Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao, abbot of Zen Center Los Angeles

“A remarkable collection brilliantly put together by a premier modern interpreter of koans.”—Steven Heine, author of The Zen Canon: Understanding Classic Texts

“A valuable tool for appreciating the living tradition of koan study.”—Gerry Shishin Wick, author of The Book of Equanimity