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The Book of Mu
Essential Writings on Zen's Most Important Koan
This instant classic is a watershed volume sure to rapidly take its place for generations alongside The Three Pillars of Zen as one the first books someone brand new to Zen will turn to as a starting place. The word "Mu" is one ancient Zen teacher's response to the earnest question of whether even a dog has "buddha nature"and discovering for ourselves the meaning of the master's response is the urgent work of each of us who yearns to be open and at peace. "Practicing Mu" is synonymous with practicing Zen, and "sitting with Mu" is an apt description all Zen meditation. And it is said that all thousands and thousands of koans in the Zen tradition are really just further elaborations of Zen's most important koan, Mu.
This volume brings to together teachers, ancient and modern, from across centuries and the full spectrum of the Zen world to illuminate and clarify the essential matter, the question of how to be most truly ourselves at the deepest level. As the many teachers in this book talk about Mu, we learn how work with the breath in Zen meditation, how to open ourselves to difficulty and joy equally, and how to find freedom amid sinks full of dishes and cars full of children.
Though the third published in Wisdom's "Essential Writings of Zen" series of anthologies (following The Art of Just Sitting, and Sitting with Koans), The Book of Mu is the entryway to the other two, the one with the broadest appeal and the one that everyone should read first.