cover image Sayings: The Wisdom of Zen

Sayings: The Wisdom of Zen

Rudolf Steiner, Timothy Hugh Barrett, Mumuela Dun Mascetti. Hyperion Books, $9.7 (56pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-6253-5

Mascetti has brought together three small, handsomely illustrated books designed to introduce readers to a trio of important elements of the Zen tradition: koans, sayings and haiku. Bound elegantly in a box and published as a gift set (Hyperion is calling the entire collection the Zen Box), these little books offer a delightful taste of Zen tradition. The Zen tradition is filled with brilliant little sayings that are part of the oral tradition preserving the famous encounters between teacher and student. Mascetti has selected a handful of the most famous gems from some of the great masters like Yakusan (751-834) and P'ang Yun (740-808). From the Rinzai tradition, Mascetti provides an intriguing set of koans that tantalize the reader with hints of the enlightenment process. Treasures from Joshu (778-897), Tozan (910-990) and Seiko Soen (986-1039) hint at the transformational depths of the koan exchange. Mascetti yokes the haiku to a selection of illustrations that capture the traditional meditative quality. Selections from Basho, Etsuin, Osho and Issa provide a fair opening to the beauty of this poetic form. (Dec.)