Introduction to Zen Koans - Praise

Learning the Language of Dragons

An indispensable guide to koans, teaching the reader about the importance of lineage, the practice of “just sitting,” and koan practice as paths to awakening.



264 pages, 5x7 inches


ISBN 9781614292951

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eBook Bundle (PDF, epub, mobi)


ISBN 9781614293156

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“Introduction to Zen Koans is an intimate invitation into a beloved Zen teacher’s loving family and his boundless love of practice. The book is an expression of intimacy itself. What a delight!”—Koshin Paley Ellison, editor of Awake at the Bedside and Guiding Teacher of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care

“A natural story-teller, Ford speaks from the intimacy so necessary in Zen practice. He weaves into these accounts his own poetic sensibility, and generously quotes the comments and insights of many of his peers. His simple, clear instructionsfor how to sit lead organically to the explanation-defying essence of Zen, which is embodied in the language of koans—and the reader is encouraged to awaken to and actualize this ordinary yet extraordinary Mind.”—Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat, Abbot of Zen Center of Syracuse, editor of Eloquent Silence

“This excellent introduction is flavored with the wisdom and love of a seasoned Zen practitioner who has spent a lifetime investigating and activating the depth and breadth of who we truly are. Capturing the voices of the Ancestors to contemporary Zen teachers, Roshi James Ford invites us into the intimacy of our very own lives through the way of the Zen Buddhist koan. He deftly captures both the broad landscape of Zen training and the subtle confounding intricacies one is likely to encounter.”—Wendy Egyoku Nakao, Abbot of ZCLA, co-editor of On Zen Practice