Vegetable Roots Discourse: Wisdom from Ming China on Life and Living

Vegetable Roots Discourse: Wisdom from Ming China on Life and Living


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Written 400 years ago by a scholar in the Ming Dynasty, one hundred years after Columbus and around the time Shakespeare completed Henry VI, accomplished scholar and philosopher Hong Zicheng retired from public life and settled down to write an informal compilation of his thoughts on the essence of life, human nature, and heaven and earth. Though he wrote other books as well, only this one has survived—thanks largely to its continuous popularity, first in China and later in Japan and Korea. Entitled Caigentan (Vegetable Roots Discourse), this book has been studied and cherished for four hundred years.

Terse, humorous, witty, and. above all, timely, this book offers a provocative and personal mix of Daoist, Buddhist, and Confucian understanding. It contains 360 observations that lead us through paths as complex, absurd, and grotesque as life itself. While it has been translated into many languages, this comprehensive version will immediately become the standard edition for generations of English readers to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593761202
Publisher: Catapult
Publication date: 04/03/2007
Edition description: Bilingual
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Hong Zicheng was a Chinese philosopher who lived during the end of the Ming Dynasty.

Robert Aitken is the author of more than a dozen books about Buddhism, including A Zen Wave, Encouraging Words, and Taking the Path of Zen. A dedicated Buddhist for most of his life, he is a former abbot and roshi of the Honolulu Diamond Sangha in Hawaii, which he co-founded with his late wife Anne Hopkins Aitken in 1959. He now lives in retirement at the Palolo Zen Center in Honolulu.

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