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Dropping Ashes on the Buddha by Stephen Mitchell


Dropping Ashes on the Buddha has become a classic guide for Zen students. Like much of Zen literature, it is a record of a Zen Master’s way with his students. What makes this book unique, however, is that Master Seung Sahn is very much alive, that his students are young Americans, and that the dialogues set down here took place in the United States. Thus, for the first time, the kong-an [koan] method may be seen applied within a thoroughly modern context. Consisting of dialogues, stories, formal Zen interviews, Dharma speeches, and letters using the Zen Master’s actual words in spontaneous, living interaction with his students, Dropping Ashes on the Buddha is a fresh presentation of the Zen teaching that leads to an understanding of ultimate reality.