By Línjì Yìxuán
The Linji lu (Record of Linji) has been a vital textual content of chinese language and eastern Zen Buddhism for almost one thousand years. A compilation of sermons, statements, and acts attributed to the nice chinese language Zen grasp Linji Yixuan (d. 866), it serves as either an authoritative assertion of Zen’s simple perspective and a vital resource of fabric for Zen koan perform. students examine the textual content for its value in realizing either Zen notion and East Asian Mahayana doctrine, whereas Zen practitioners cherish it for its strange simplicity, directness, and skill to inspire.
One of the earliest makes an attempt to translate this significant paintings into English was once via Sasaki Shigetsu (1882–1945), a pioneer Zen grasp within the U.S. and the founding father of the 1st Zen Institute of the United States. on the time of his loss of life, he entrusted the venture to his spouse, Ruth Fuller Sasaki, who in 1949 moved to Japan and there based a department of the 1st Zen Institute at Daitoku-ji. Mrs. Sasaki, made up our minds to provide a definitive translation, assembled a group of proficient younger students, either jap and Western, who within the following years retranslated the textual content in response to sleek learn on Tang-dynasty colloquial chinese language. As they labored at the translation, they compiled 1000s of special notes explaining each technical time period, vernacular expression, and literary reference. one of many workforce, Yanagida Seizan (later Japan’s preeminent Zen historian), produced a long creation that defined the emergence of chinese language Zen, provided a biography of Linji, and traced the textual improvement of the Linji lu. The unexpected demise of Mrs. Sasaki in 1967 introduced the approximately accomplished venture to a halt. An abbreviated model of the ebook was once released in 1975, yet neither this nor the other English translations that accordingly seemed comprise the kind of specific historic, linguistic, and doctrinal annotation that was once relevant to Mrs. Sasaki’s plan.
The fabrics assembled via Mrs. Sasaki and her group are ultimately to be had within the current version of the list of Linji. chinese language readings were replaced to Pinyin and the interpretation itself has been revised based on next learn via Iriya Yoshitaka and Yanagida Seizan, the students who suggested Mrs. Sasaki. The notes, approximately 600 in all, are virtually completely in keeping with fundamental resources and hence hold their worth regardless of the approximately 40 years considering their coaching. they supply a wealthy context for Linji’s teachings, offering a wealth of data on Tang colloquial expressions, Buddhist inspiration, and Zen background, a lot of that's unavailable wherever else in English.
This [b[revised edition[/b] of the Record of Linji is bound to be of significant worth to Buddhist students, Zen practitioners, and readers drawn to Asian Buddhism.