The Compass of Zen is a simple, exhaustive and often hilarious presentation of the essence of Zen by a modern Zen Master of considerable rewn. In his many years of teaching throughout the world, the Korean-born Zen Master Seung Sahn has become kwn for his ability to cut to the heart of Buddhist teaching in a way that is strikingly clear, yet free of esoteric and academic language. In this book, based largely on his talks, he presents the basic teachings of Buddhism and Zen in a way that is wonderfully accessible for beginners yet so rich with stories, insights, and personal experiences that long-time meditation students will also find it a source of inspiration and a resource for study.
Zen Master Seung Sahn (1927 2004) was the first teacher to bring Korean Zen Buddhism to America, having already established temples in Japan and Hong Kong. In 1972 he came to the United States and started what became the Providence Zen Center, the first center in what is now the Kwan Um School of Zen, which now includes more than eighty centers and groups worldwide. His students called him Dae Soen Sa Nim, Great Honored Zen Teacher, and he was the 78th Zen master in his line of dharma transmission in the Chogye order of Korean Buddhism. His books include The Compass of Zen, Dropping Ashes on the Buddha, Only Don't Know, and The Whole World Is a Single Flower: 365 Kong-ans for Everyday Life.