Intrinsic Awakened Nature: Manifest the Wisdom of the Pure Mind

Miao Tsan. Bright Sky, $14.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-93647470-7
Arguing that "[t]he Mind is the source of all appearances, functions and existence," Venerable Master Tsan (Just Use This Mind, The Origin Is Pure) emphasizes an introspective approach to enlightenment. For Tsan, founder and abbot of Vairocana Zen Monastery in southern California, the first step toward freedom (before meditation and other practices) lies in understanding the "principles regarding the nature of the mind." Key to this approach are changing thoughts, letting go of attachments, and cultivating positive intentions. The book's strength is the wealth of Chinese Zen stories and sayings; however, Tsan's writing is often repetitive and vague ("The only way for us to master life is to find and rest at the source of life, purify our delusion, and become one with the Creator"). Discouraging statements about "ordinary people" and criticism of Buddhist practitioners in general give a negative tone. Western students of Zen may find some of Tsan's material unfamiliar, such as his view that similarities exist between the principle of God in Western religions and the Mind in Zen, and much of his writing is too abstract to convey an engaging non-sectarian spirituality. Many superb books about basic Buddhist ideas, meditation, and Zen more clearly express the classic wisdom of these traditions. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/29/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
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Paperback - 978-1-936474-71-4
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