My latest book to read on the bus, this 500 page tome contains thousands of dialogues between Zen Masters and their disciples. The period it coveres goes over almost a millenium, from Bodhidharmas voyage from the West to his 25th generation of students.
It was edited by a man named Andy Ferguson, and published by a company called Wisdom Publications. Included in the back of the book is a handy pull out chart of the lineage of the several hundred Buddhist teachers the book talks about.
What makes this book a favorite read on the bus is how brief and easy the episodes are to read. For example, imagine this dialogue:
Zen Master: "Do you know what this is?"
Zen Student: "It's a whisk, master"
Zen Master: "Don't shout at me!"
Zen Student: "I wasn't shouting!"
Then the Zen Master slapped the student.
What makes this so worthwhile is the fact that this so much resembles what I would normally be reading on the bus, which is books of comic strips
. For example, the following exchange would make a lot of sense coming out of the mouths of Garfield
This book also inspired my new Zen Buddhist Drinking Game.