Zen's Chinese Heritage traces twenty-five generations of inlightened Buddhist teachers, supplementing their core teachings with history, biography, and poetry. The result is an intimate and profound human portrait of the enlightened Zen ancients, and an unprecedented look into the depths of the rich cultural heritage.
In this new edition with even more valuable material, Ferguson surveys generations of Zen masters, moving chronologically through successive generations of ancestral teachers, supplementing their core teachings with history, biography, and starkly beautiful poetry. In addition to giving the reader the engaging sense of the "family history" of Zen, this uniquely valuable book paints a clear picture of the tradition's evolution as a religious, literary, and historical force.
"Zen's Chinese Heritage is clearly a monumental achievement. It will be central to the reference library of Zen students for our generation, and probably for some time thereafter."
– Robert Aitken Roshi, author of Taking the Path of Zen
"An indispensable reference for any student of Buddhism. Ferguson has given us an impeccable and very readable translation."
– John Daido Loori, late abbot, Zen Mountain Monastery
"This important book makes clear the deep past of Zen. Clear and rich, Zen's Chinese Heritage enriches our understanding of Buddhism."
– Joan Halifax, Roshi
"A great cover-to-cover read...Each reader will no doubt be moved and delighted by different accounts in this compendium...Will surely join Sazaki and Miura's Zen Dust and John Wu's The Golden Age of Zen as an indispensable reference work for Zen students, a window onto the struggles and humor and deadly-serious play of our forbears."
– Zen Bow: A Publication of the Rochester Zen Center
"This excellent and exhaustive book reminds us of the vast, now neglected, patrimony of Buddhist spiritual knowledge that comes not from Japan but China. Ferguson's work is at once a history and an anthology of this fascinating tradition and includes many koans, anecdotes and stories, as well as a wonderfully clear wallchart. This splendid repository should give instruction and pleasure to the general reader as well as the professed Buddhist. Highly recommended."
– Library Journal
"An intimate and human portrait of the enlightened Zen ancients and a look into the depths of their rich cultural heritage. The stories here offer opportunities to free ourselves from our habitual states and aid in the process of liberation. ...Despite the writings of many who have introduced Zen to Western readers, the surface of its history and teachings has barely been scratched. This volume goes a long way towards filling that gap."