No one has contributed more to the amazing interest in Zen Buddhism in the Western world than the author of this volume. Dr. Suzuki has dedicated his life to the subject of Zen, and to interpreting its philosophy and concepts for the Western reader. Of his more than a dozen works currently available in English, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism is most suitable as the basic text for the general reader interested in understanding Zen.
After situating Zen both in Buddhism and in Oriental culture, Suzuki then answers the fundamental question "What is Zen?" in an incisive, lucid chapter that also refutes several misconceptions common in the West. Continually drawing on his extraordinary knowledge of both Eastern and Western cultures, philosophies, and religions, he illustrates each concept of Zen with concrete examples abounding in wit and wisdom. Zen is not only a philosophy-a way to selfunderstanding-it is also "primarily and ultimately a discipline," and Dr. Suzuki gives due attention to the practical aspects of this discipline. More than any other volume on the subject, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism is an indispensable guide to an understanding of this rich, provocative subject.