The Essence of Zen

by Sangharakshita

“A special transmission outside the scriptures;
No dependence on words and letters;
Direct pointing to the mind;
Seeing into one’s own nature and realizing Buddhahood.”

Each of these lines represents a fundamental principle of the Zen or Ch’an School of Buddhism. But what do they mean? And can they be practiced in the West?

Sangharakshita, a leading figure in the modern Buddhist world, draws on his knowledge and long practice of Buddhism to reflect on each line in turn, communicating its essence and indicating how we can apply its meaning to Western conditions.

An outstanding teacher and founder of the Western Buddhist Order, a worldwide spiritual community of men and women, Sangharakshita is well known for his clear exposition of the Buddhist tradition in its many and apparently diverse forms, cutting through any dependence on words and letters, directly pointing to its heart.

If you wish to look the Zen tradition in the heart, then the pitfalls to avoid and the attitudes to cultivate are clearly revealed here.

Paperback, 64 pages
List Price: $8.95

Buy it now!



Believe nothing merely because you have been told it… Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings — that doctrine believe and cling to and take it as your guide.
The Buddha

Bookmark and Share


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.