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Dongshan's Five Ranks

Keys to Enlightenment

Published by Wisdom Publications
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

The first in-depth English commentary on the Five Ranks—a core text of the Zen tradition that teaches what can't be taught—which contains new translations of all of the key texts of the Five Ranks cycle.

We imagine ourselves and the universe to be distinct, but within us glimmers the suspicion that we are in fact intimately connected and inseparable from all that there is. The dawning and expansion of such awareness is called enlightenment. In his masterwork—a suite of dialectical works known collectively as the Five Ranks—Dongshan, a Zen master of Old China, approaches enlightenment from five angles, using paradox and poetry to lay out a multifaceted path whereby we might discover enlightenment within this very moment.

Ross Bolleter Roshi assembles and provides commentary on all of the core texts of the Five Ranks, including the precursors that inspired it and works inspired by it. Approaching the Five Ranks from a rich and sophisticated koan perspective, Bolleter Roshi augments his explanations of the works with liberal doses of humor and storytelling, bringing this esteemed classic to life. Each part of the Five Ranks focuses differently on the relationship between the timeless realm of our essential natures and the contingent realm of life and death. They encourage us to transcend naive individualism and to bring our best qualities of compassion and wisdom intimately into our daily lives. In this regard, Dongshan’s Five Ranks lays out the path that every student of the Way must traverse on the journey to becoming a teacher.

About The Author

Ross Bolleter Roshi is a Zen teacher in the Diamond Sangha tradition teaching in Australia and New Zealand. He trained with Robert Aitken and John Tarrant and received Dharma transmission from them in 1997. He is also a composer with numerous CD releases, especially in the field of ruined piano. His book of poems, Piano Hill, was published by Fremantle Press in 2009. Ross is also the author of Dongshan’s Five Ranks. He teaches in Australia and New Zealand and has successors there. Ross lives in Perth, Western Australia, has two grown-up children, Amanda and Julian, and is a grandfather twice over.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications (May 20, 2014)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781614291312

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Raves and Reviews

"Painstakingly thorough and reliable. Be warned, this vibrant, loving exploration of the country of the Way is likely to draw you into setting out on the great adventure for yourself."

– Susan Murphy, author of Upside-Down Zen

"Very well done."

– Robert Aitken, author of Taking the Path of Zen

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