'God', 'Zazen', 'Void', 'Koan': we may think we understand these words. But what exactly do they mean in the world of Zen Buddhism? Westerners can have difficulty grasping the language in the way the original Zen writers intended. This lyrical inquiry examines the complexity of these terms, expanding your mind and opening it to the possibilities of Zen. The first section provides brief explanations; the second part goes into greater depth, with some words repeated and others new. Why can we recognise the words 'dharma' and 'karma' and not Mahayana, the Greater Vehicle? In what way is the Buddha like a jumping frog? Unlike entries in a dictionary, this lively conversation will animate your thoughts and stir your sleeping consciousness.
Richard Burnett Carter received his PhD in philosophy from Columbia University. He later moved to Kyoto to study at the International Research Institute for Zen Buddhism, attached to Hanazono University. He is the author of numerous academic journal articles and books.