Subform: The Academy > Buddhist Philosophy
Thread title: Scholarly definitions of Zen/Haiku/Koan wanted!, Rilke and Zen
Page: 2
Date: July 12th 2006

Forum Member:

I know this is more of a Zen topic but could someone help me with this?

I’m writing a paper on Rilke, and I want to compare some of his work to Haiku and Koans. Existing research on this topic exists but is surprisingly vague. What I’m looking for is scholarly work, or “primary texts” ie religious writings or articles that I can cite. Since obviously I am unqualified to give a definition of the function of a Haiku.

I know that it concerns language so its difficult to define! That’s kind of the point of my paper. But if anyone could point me to where I might be able to find some of this that would be super useful. Just reliable texts that I can quote that say things like “A Haiku is a 17 sylable poem that attempts to get at the essence of a thing” EVEN IF THEY’RE INNACURATE OR LIMITED, I just need a base from which to start.

Any kind of formal writing on the philosophy that underlies Zen, Zen practice, or any kind of Buddhist view of language, dualism, the fucntion of poetry and meditation. The ideal thing would be a religious text (like the Zen equivilant of the Bible, though I haven’t actually heard of anything like this). I’m interested in Zen particularly in this case because of the focus on the limitations of language.

Naturally it’s better for me to start my paper by adressing a limited view of Zen, than to start from my own view, even if this was better (which I know it isn’t necessarily), because I need something with that aura of academic authority (ie, print).

Any advice would be appreciated!


Forum Member:

actually, there Is a book, edited by Dwight Goddard, forewarded by R. Aitken, entitled The Buddhist Bible. Its a bitchen book, that covers a lot of material, sum in depth, sum not. Perhaps this will be of some help.;) Peace.

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

It is a terrible book, with theistic rewrites of Buddhist sutras, edited by a guy who nothing about Buddhism.


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