August 22, 2014

Spotlight on Stuart Lachs

Stuart LachsWithout doubt the most perceptive critical voice on modern western Zen/Chan, Stuart Lachs has again given us another in-depth look at an important characteristic of contemporary Zen Buddhism: hagiography. His voice comes out of decades of immersion in Zen Buddhism, giving him an inside view that few, if any, other scholars can claim. Like a magician revealing the "magic" of his acts, Mr. Lachs brings us closer than most dare to the primitive psychological forces that are shaping the nature of Zen Buddhism in the West, forces that have endured for thousands of years because of thier ability to pervade our subconscious without fear of detection. Only an awakened mind can see into the nature of "the beast" and have the courage to examine it, address it, and shout it out; for the very nature of Zen requires that we delve into every nook and cranny, expose whatever we find, and use whatever we learn to help others see what they might otherwise miss.

When the Saints Go Marching In: Modern Day Zen Hagiography is one of the most important works to come out of the keystrokes of Mr. Lachs fingers in years and is likely to garnish as much praise as condemnation for its contriversial nature. But love it or hate it, it is sure to get its readers thinking about things differently. And maybe it will help shape Buddhism globally in a direction that brings us all closer to living fully awakened lives.

 

Other works by Stuart Lachs on this website:

Introduction to my articles

The Aitken-Shimano Letters

Coming Down from the Zen Clouds

Means of Authorization

Dressing the Donkey

Richard Baker: The Myth of the Zen Roshi

 

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Articles by Chuan Zhi

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