Daily Zen Library


Instant Zen – Waking up in the Present

Translated by Thomas Cleary 1994 Thomas Cleary

View this book on Amazon »

Shortcuts to Zen

This book contains translations of general lectures on Zen by Foyan (1067-1120), who is universally recognized as one of the greatest masters of the Song dynasty Zen revival.  going back to the original and classical Zen masters, Foyan presents many simple exercises in attention and thought designed to lead to the awakening of Zen insight into the real nature of the self.

After the  passing of the classical masters, very few Zen teachers equaled Foyan to the degree to which he fostered independence and autonomy and freedom in his hearers from the very outseet.  He was completely free of any desire for fame or followers and made no attempt to recruit disciples.  All he wanted was for people to open their own eyes and stand on their own two feet, to see directly without delusion and act on truth without confusion. 

It is said that dozens of his hearers attained enlightenment; at least fifteen of them are known to have become Zen mastes and teachers in their own right. 

from the Introduction by Thomas Cleary 1994

Related Journal Entries

Sitting Meditation

Foyan (1067-1120) Sitting Meditation The light of mind is reflected in emptiness; Its substance is void of relative and absolute. Golden waves all around, Zen is... View Journal Entry »


 Foyan  (1067-1120) Association with good companions is a serious recommendation of the ancient sages.  Students today should follow the words of the Buddhas and Patriarchs; if... View Journal Entry »

Essential Teachings of Dogen

Dogen (1200-1253) Buddha ancestors have said since ancient times,  "Living for one hundred years does not compare with living for one day and arousing determination for the way." Even... View Journal Entry »

Same Reality, Different Dreams

Foyan (1067-1120) People may sleep on the same bed, under the same covers, yet their individual dreams are not the same. An ancient sage said, "We share the same one reality, yet do not... View Journal Entry »

Stop Opinions

Foyan (1067-1120) The Third Patriarch of Zen said, "Don't seek reality, just put a stop to opinions." He also said, "As soon as there are judgments of right and wrong, the mind is lost in... View Journal Entry »