Zen Flesh, Zen Bones

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Zen Flesh, Zen Bones is a 1957 publication by Paul Reps combining four separate texts on nondual practice:


101 Zen Stories

101 Zen Stories is a 1919 compilation of Zen koans[1] including 19th and early 20th century anecdotes compiled by Nyogen Senzaki,[2] and a translation of Shasekishū,[1][3] written in the 13th century by Japanese Zen master Mujū (無住) (literally, "non-dweller").[3] The book was reprinted by Paul Reps as part of Zen Flesh, Zen Bones.[3][4] Well-known koans in the collection include A Cup of Tea (1), The Sound of One Hand (21), No Water, No Moon (29), and Everything is Best (31).

Gateless Gate

The Gateless Gate (Mandarin: 無門關 Wúménguān; Japanese: 無門関 Mumonkan), more accurately translated as The Gateless Barrier, is a collection of 48 Chan (Zen) koans compiled in the early 13th century by the Chinese Zen master Wumen Huikai (無門慧開; Japanese: Mumon Ekai; 1183–1260). Wumen's preface indicates that the volume was published in 1228. Each koan is accompanied by a commentary and verse by Wumen.

Ten Bulls

Ten Bulls or Ten Ox Herding Pictures (十牛; Japanese: jūgyū, Chinese: shíniú) is a series of short poems and accompanying pictures used in the Zen tradition to illustrate the stages of a practitioner's progression towards the purification of the mind and enlightenment,[web 1] as well as his or her subsequent return into the world while acting out of wisdom.

An equivalent series of stages is depicted in the Nine Stages of Tranquility,[web 2] used in the Mahamudra tradition, in which the mind is represented by an elephant and a monkey.[web 3][web 4] This formulation originates with Asaṅga (4th CE), delineating the nine mental abidings in his Abhidharmasamuccaya and the Śrāvakabhūmi chapter of his Yogācārabhūmi-śāstra. It is also found in the Mahāyānasūtrālaṅkāra of Maitreyanātha, which shows considerable similarity in arrangement and content to the Bodhisattva-bhūmi-śāstra.[note 1] The Dharma Fellowship', a Kagyu (Mahamudra) organisation, notes that the practice starts with studying and pondering the dharma, where-after the practice of meditation commences.[web 5]

Vigyan Bhairav Tantra

The Vigyan Bhairav Tantra is a chapter from the Rudrayamala Tantra. It was introduced to the west by Paul Reps, a student of Lakshman Joo. Reps brought the text to wider attention by including an English translation in his popular book Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. Cast as a discourse between the god Shiva and his consort Devi or Shakti, it briefly presents 112 meditation methods or centering techniques (dharanas).[5]

See also



Printed references
  1. 1.0 1.1 "Koan Studies". thezensite. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
  2. Ross, Nancy Wilson. The World of Zen: An East-West Anthology. Vintage. p. xxii. ISBN 9780394703015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Reps, Paul; Senzaki, Nyogen. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-zen Writings. Tuttle Publishing. p. 17. ISBN 9780804831864.
  4. Ross, Nancy Wilson. The World of Zen: An East-West Anthology. Vintage. p. 74. ISBN 9780394703015.
  5. Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings (ISBN 0-8048-0644-6)