lamdha books -
Catalogue of books on Taoism and Zen Buddhism

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Chang, Garma C.C.
The Buddhist Teaching of Totality
Pensylvania State University, 1971.
Octavo hardcover; ochre boards with black spine titling, upper board cream label with Chinese characters; 270pp. Owner's name sticker. Minor wear only; near fine otherwise. Wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film with white paper backing. The Hwa Yen school of Mahayana Buddhism bloomed in China in the 7th and 8th centuries A.D. Today many scholars regard its doctrines of Emptiness, Totality, and Mind-Only as the crown of Buddhist thought and as a useful and unique philosophical system and explanation of man, world, and life as intuitively experienced in Zen practice. Garma Chang explains and exemplifies these doctrines with references to both oriental masters and Western philosophers. The Buddha's mystical experience of infinity and totality provides the framework for this objective revelation of the three pervasive and interlocking concepts upon which any study of Mahayana philosophy must depend.
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Goldberg, Natalie
The Great Spring Writing, Zen, and This Zigzag Life
Shambhala, Boulder, 2016.
Hardcover, octavo; quarter bound blue boards with dark blue spine and gilt spine titling, green endpapers; 207pp. Minor wear only. Near fine in like dustwrapper.
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Holloway, Kenneth W.
The Quest for Ecstatic Morality in Early China
Oxford University Press, London, 2013.
Octavo paperback; 161pp. Remainder. New. There is an intense love of freedom evident in the "Xing zi mingchu," a text last seen when it was buried in a Chinese tomb in 300 B.C.E. It tells us that both joy and sadness are the ecstatic zenith of what the text terms 'qing'. Combining emotions into qing allows them to serve as a stepping stone to the Dao, the transcendent source of morality for the world. There is a process one must follow to prepare qing: it must be beautified by learning from the classics written by ancient sages. What is absent from the process is any indication that the emotions themselves need to be suppressed or regulated, as is found in most other texts from this time. The Confucian principles of humanity and righteousness are not rejected, but they are seen as needing our qing and the Dao. Holloway argues that the Dao here is the same Dao of Laozi's "Daode jing". As a missing link between what came to be called Confucianism and Daoism, the "Xing zi mingchu" is changing the way we look at the history of religion in early China.
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Humphreys, Christmas
A Western Approach to Zen
Buddhist Society/George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London, 1971.
First UK edition: octavo; hardcover; 212pp., top edges dyed dark red. Mild wear; mild toning to text block edges. Price-clipped dustwrapper mildly rubbed and edgeworn; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film with white paper backing. Very good.
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Jacques, Louise V.
Lao Tzu and the Eight Immortals of China and T'ik, T'ak, T'oh - signed A Classic Historical Novel of China
George Channing Enterprises, Carmel CA, 1974.
Octavo; paperback; 132pp., with maps, a monochrome portrait frontispiece and eight colour plates. Minor wear; signed by the author in ink to the limitations page. Near fine. Laid in: a promotional bookmark. Number 26 of a limited edition print run.
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Kapleau, Roshi Philip (Foreword by Albert Low)
Zen: Dawn in the West
Rider & Company/Hutchinson Publishing Group, London, 1980.
First edition. Octavo; hardcover; red boards with silver gilt spine titling; 311pp. Minor wear; text block edges toned with small mark on side edges. Mild rubbing to dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Keping, Wang
Reading the Dao A Thematic Journey
Continuum International Publishing Group, London, 2011.
Octavo; paperback; 182pp. Remainder. New. This is an introductory guide to the Dao de Jing, exploring key themes and passages in this key work of Daoist thought. The Dao De Jing represents one of the most important works of Chinese philosophy, in which the author, Lao Zi (c. 580-500 BC), lays the foundations of Taoism. Composed of 81 short sections, the text itself is written in a poetic style that is ambiguous and challenging for the modern reader. Yet while its meaning may be obscure, the text displays the originality of Lao Zi's wisdom and remains a hugely influential work to this day. In "Reading the Dao: A Thematic Inquiry", Wang Keping offers a clear and accessible guide to this hugely important text. Wang's thematic approach opens up key elements of the Dao De Jing in a way that highlights and clarifies the central arguments for the modern reader. Presenting comprehensive textual analysis of key passages and a useful survey of recent Taoist scholarship, the book provides the reader with an insight into the origins of Taoist philosophy.
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LaFleur, William R.
The Karma of Words: Buddhism and the Literary Arts in Medieval Japan
University of California Press, Berkeley, 1986.
Octavo paperback. 204pp. Minor wear only; very good to near fine. The Karma of Words is a study of Buddhist ideas in Japanese literature from the early Heian period down to the seventeenth century. It attempts to describe 'the arc of Japan's medieval experience', but consists of largely independent chapters on particular themes, works and genres. In his introduction LaFleur suggests that 'medieval Japan' be defined as 'that epoch during which the basic intellectual problems, the most authoritative texts and resources, and the central symbols were all Buddhist'. Japanese Buddhist writings were didactic, 'argumentative and insistent' at the beginning and end of the period, when they were facing rival ideological systems, and more subtle in between. They exhibit an ambivalence about the Buddhist symbolic tradition and 'a strong conflation of the religious and literary dimensions of human experience'. The first work considered is the early Heian Nihon ryoi-ki, which presents bluntly didactic explanations of anomalies ('miracles') using the Buddhist system of karma and the cycle of rokudo. This illustrates the threat of despair and four approaches to escaping the cycles: through the infiltration of bodhisattvas such as Kannon and Jizo, by transcending them, as in the 'Western Paradise' of Pure Land Buddhism, by postulating their interpenetration, as in Tendai, or through a ludic or game-playing approach, as in Zen.Turning to mujo or impermanence, LaFleur analyses the tropes/topoi of the hermit's hut and the traveller's inn, in works by Chomei and others. In some ways these were opposed, but both can be contrasted with settled people in stable houses, the first with impermanent housing, the second with moving people. Japanese literature shaped by Confucian values or even pre-Buddhist values may celebrate the overwhelmingly attractive sense of security provided by one's own domicile, but an orthodox Buddhist position would be that both inn and hermitage are more closely in harmony with the real structure of the universe. Looking at 'depth' in poetry and the aesthetic of yugen, LaFleur focuses on Tendai Buddhism, and the Lotus Sutra in particular, and its use in a treatise on poetry by Fujiwara Shunzei. This is radically non-dualist and non-Platonist: parables are not just pointers to an underlying reality, but attempt a breakdown of the divide between observer and observed, between phenomena and interpretation. LaFleur concludes with an analysis of a short passage from Basho's Narrow Road to the Far North, in which Basho writes down thoughts on the etymology of the Chinese character for 'chestnut'. This links to the 8th century seer Gyogi and the 12th century poet Saigyo, providing a trajectory which LaFleur uses to highlight the gradual rather than radical introduction of 'modernity' in Japanese thought. There are references in The Karma of Words to Kuhn, Foucault, and so forth but it makes no attempt to impose any theoretical, rather than historical, framework. It proceeds rather by the close reading of texts in their intellectual contexts. In this it goes into quite some density of detail, but it is never dull and is presented in such a way that it can be enjoyed by those without much knowledge either of Buddhist ideology or Japanese literature. - from Danny Yee's review
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Layman P'ang (trans. Ruth Fuller Sasaki; Yoshitaka Iriya; Dana R. Fraser)
The Recorded Sayings of Layman P'ang: A Ninth-Century Zen Classic
Weatherhill, New York, 1971.
First edition. Octavo hardcover; quarter bound brown decorated boards with red cloth spine and gilt spine titling, illustrated brown endpapers; 109pp., b&w illustrations. Upper front board very slightly fanned; a few scattered spots on upper text block edge; bookseller's stamp twice on half-title page. Green and mauve card dustwrapper with lightly worn edges and scraping and chipping at corners, now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film with white paper backing. Very good.
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Levi, Jean (trans. & ed.) (Jody Gladding, trans.)
The Complete Tao Te Ching with the Four Canons of the Yellow Emperor
Inner Traditions International, Rochester VT, 2011.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 184pp. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New.
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Little, Stephen
Realm of the Immortals Daoism in the Arts of China
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland OH, 1988.
Quarto paperback; 67pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Remainder, new. Exhibition catalogue.
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Matsunaga, Alicia Orloff
The Buddhist Philosophy of Assimilation - A Monumenta Nipponica Monograph The Historical Development of the Honji-Suijaku Theory
Sophia University - Tokyo/Charles E. Tuttle Company, Tokyo Japan, 1969.
Royal octavo; hardcover, quarter-bound in cloth with decorative papered boards and gilt spine tiles on a black label; 310pp., with 26pp. of monochrome plates and other illustrations likewise. Mild wear; some mild corner-bumping. Price-clipped dustwrapper rubbed and edgeworn; sunned along the spine panel; now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Miura, Isshu & Ruth Fuller Sasaki (with reproductions of ten drawings by Hakuin Ekaku)
The Zen Koan: Its History and Use in Rinzai Zen
Harcourt, Brace & World, New York, 1965.
First edition. Royal octavo quarto hardcover; red cloth boards with gilt spine titling and upper board blind-stamped title in Japanese; 156pp., b&w illustrations. Extensive water stain on lower boards with some red dye permeating lower cover versos, front board slightly fanned, mild rubbing to edges; owner's name on front pastedown and a number stamp on flyleaf; browned text block and page edges. Ochre card dustwrapper with small missing segments on upper edge; some rubbing (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film with white paper backing). Good.
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Ogata, Sohaku
Zen for the West
Rider & Company, London, 1959.
First edition. Octavo hardcover; black decorated boards with white spine titling; 182pp. Offsetting to endpapers and a few scattered spots on prelims; spotting and toning to text block edges. Rubbed yellow illustrated dustwrapper with wear to edges and corners; tiny missing segment and tear to head of spine panel. Very good. Wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film with white paper backing.
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Sogen, Omori & Katsujo, Terayama & Stevens, John (trans.)
Zen and the Art of Calligraphy The Essence of Sho
Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1983.
Quarto paperback, 115pp., monochrome illustrations. Cover worn along edges and corners with some scraping; scraping along spine edges; rubbing. Very good. The relationship between Zen thought and the artistic expression of calligraphy is explored and analysed. Calligraphy is considered by Zen practioners to provide a 'picture of the mind'.
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Suzuki, Daisetz Teitaro (illus. Zenchu Sato)
The Training of the Zen Buddhist Monk
Wehman Bros Publishers, Hackensack, 1959.
First edition: hardcover, octavo; beige cloth boards with red spine label and gilt spine titling; 161pp., monochrome plates, top edges dyed mauve. Offsetting to endpapers; toning and spotting to text block edges; slightly rubbed, illustrated dustwrapper with chipping and scraping at spine panel extremities and corners. Very good. Wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film with white paper backing.
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Suzuki, D.T.
Sengai: The Zen of Ink and Paper
Shambhala, Boston, 1999.
Quarto paperback; 191pp., b&w illustrations. A few spots on text block edges; rubbed covers with mild edgewear, slightly frayed corners. Very good.
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Tetsuzan Shinagawa (Mikio Shinagawa, ed.; Foreword by H.H. the Dalai Lama)
Talk to a Stone Nothingness
Stewart Tabori & Chang/US Media Holdings Inc., New York NY, 1998.
Quarto; paperback, bound orihon style, with illustrated wrappers; unpaginated, with many monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; spotting to the covers and text block edges. Very good, in a lightly rubbed illustrated folding portfolio with silk and bone closures.
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Waley, Arthur (trans.)
Three Ways of Thought in Ancient China
George Allen & Unwin, London, 1974.
Reprint: hardcover octavo; gray boards with gilt spine titling; 275pp. Small price sticker stain on upper corner of front endpaper; spotting and a few marks on text block edges; slight rubbing to board edges. Ochre card dustwrapper with red titling. Very good to near fine. Wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film In the fourth century BC three conflicting points of view in Chinese philosophy received classic expression: the Taoist, the Confucianist, and the "Realist." This book underscores the interplay between these three philosophies, drawing on extracts from Chuang Tzu, Mencius, and Han Fei Tzu.
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Williams, Paul
Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations - 2nd edition Library of Religious Beliefs and Practices series
Routledge, Abingdon Oxon. UK, 2009.
Reprint: octavo; paperback; 438pp. Minor wear; covers lightly edgeworn. Very good to near fine. Originating in India, Mahayana Buddhism spread across Asia, becoming the prevalent form of Buddhism in Tibet and East Asia. Over the last twenty-five years Western interest in Mahayana has increased considerably, reflected both in the quantity of scholarly material produced and in the attraction of Westerners towards Tibetan Buddhism and Zen.
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Xiaoting, Guo (trans. John Robert Shaw)
Adventures of the Mad Monk Ji Gong The Drunken Wisdom of China's Famous Chan Buddhist Monk
Tuttle, North Clarendon, 2014.
Octavo; paperback; 542pp. Remainder, new. The brilliant and hilarious adventures of a mad Zen Buddhist monk who rose from humble beginnings to become one of China's greatest folk heroes. Ji Gong studied at the great Ling Yin monastery, an immense temple that still ranges up the steep hills above Hangzhou, near Shanghai. The Chan Buddhist masters of the temple tried to instruct Ji Gong in the spartan practices of their sect, but the young monk, following in the footsteps of other great ne'er-do-wells, distinguished himself mainly by getting expelled. He left the monastery, became a wanderer with hardly a proper piece of clothing to wear, and achieved great renown in seedy wine shops and drinking establishments. This could have been where Ji Gong's story ended. But his unorthodox style of Buddhism soon made him a hero for popular storytellers of the Song dynasty era. Audiences delighted in tales where the mad old monk ignored or even mocked authority, defied common sense, never neglected the wine, yet still managed to save the day. Ji Gong always had the rogue's knack for exposing the corrupt and criminal while still pursuing the twin delights of enlightenment and intoxication!
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Zhuangzi (illus. C.C. Tsai & trans. Brian Bruya)
The Way of Nature
Princeton University Press, New York, 2019.
Quarto gate-fold paperback; 237pp., b&w illustrations. Remainder. New. A delightfully illustrated selection of the great Daoist writings of Zhuangzi by bestselling cartoonist C. C. Tsai. C. C. Tsai is one of Asia's most popular cartoonists, and his editions of the Chinese classics have sold more than 40 million copies in over twenty languages. This volume presents Tsai's delightful graphic adaptation of the profound and humorous Daoist writings of Zhuangzi, some of the most popular and influential in the history of Asian philosophy and culture. The Way of Nature brings together all of Tsai's beguiling cartoon illustrations of the Zhuangzi, which takes its name from its author. The result is a uniquely accessible and entertaining adaptation of a pillar of classical Daoism, which has deeply influenced Chinese poetry, landscape painting, martial arts, and Chan (Zen) Buddhism. Irreverent and inspiring, The Way of Nature presents the memorable characters, fables, and thought experiments of Zhuangzi like no other edition, challenging readers to dig beneath conventional assumptions about self, society, and nature, and pointing to a more natural way of life. Through practical insights and far-reaching arguments, Zhuangzi shows why returning to the spontaneity of nature is the only sane response to a world of conflict.
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