Stories are ancient and wondrous tools with the mysterious power to transform lives. And the stories and parables of the Lotus Sutra-one of the world's great religious scriptures and most influential texts-are among the most fascinating and dramatic.
In this fun, engaging, and plain-English book, Gene Reeves-the translator of Wisdom's critically acclaimed and bestselling edition of the Lotus Sutra-presents the most memorable and remarkable of the Lotus Sutra's many stories and parables, along with a distillation of his decades of reflection on them in an accessible, inspiring, and naturally illuminating way.
The Stories of the Lotus Sutra is the perfect companion to Reeve's breathtaking translation of this scriptural masterpiece as well as a thoroughly enjoyable stand-alone volume for those who want to bring the inspiring teachings of the bodhisattva path into their daily lives.
Gene Reeves is a Buddhist scholar and teacher, process philosopher, and theologian who has lived in Tokyo for over 23 years studying, teaching, and practicing the Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra. He is a founder of the International Buddhist Congregation with headquarters in Tokyo, a part of the much larger Rissho Kosei-kai lay Buddhist organization. He is the translator from Chinese into English of The Lotus Sutra: A Contemporary Translation of a Buddhist Classic. His most recently published book is The Stories of the Lotus Sutra. A Buddhist Kaleidoscope: Essays on the Lotus Sutra, which he edited, was published in 2002. He retired in 2012 as distinguished professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing and continues to do field research on contemporary Chinese Buddhism in China and serve as an International Advisor at Rissho Kosei-kai in Japan. He has taught at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, the University of Peking in China, and at the University of Chicago and Meadville Lombard Theological School, Wilberforce University, and Tufts University in the United States. Born and raised in a small factory town in New Hampshire, Reeves graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in psychology, from Boston University with a degree in theology, and from Emory University with a PhD in philosophy. In addition to his passion for Buddhism, Reeves has been active for over 50 years in civil rights causes, working for a time with Martin Luther King, Jr. and for Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. Reeves is married to Yayoi Reeves and has homes in Tokyo and Chicago. He has two adult daughters who live and work in the United States.
Renmin University of China's Outstanding Book of the Year in philosophy and religion, 2012.
– Renmin University of China
"Gene Reeves opens up the bloom of the Dharma Flower and frees it from its own history. His Lotus embraces all forms of Buddhist community and all manner of Buddhist paths by laying bare the living humanity of the sutra. Here I met its characters as if for the first time: heroes and fools whose stories at last seemed to be taking place in our world. Reeves lets a living breath flow through the stories so that they open their arms to us. A liberation for the sutra and for ourselves!"
– Franz Metcalf, author of What Would Buddha Do?
"As the stories of The Lotus Sutra are skillful means to help us see the Dharma, so Gene Reeves' transmission of those stories is a skillful means for conveying the narrative heart and meaning of the sutra to contemporary readers. It is a clever form of exegesis that entertains as it instructs."
– The Rev. Ken Arnold, author of Circle of the Way
"In The Stories of the Lotus Sutra, Gene Reeves gives us a deceptively simple introduction to key stories and chapters from one of the most popular Mahâyâna sutras. Well written and effective."
– Mark Unno, author of Buddhism and Psychotherapy Across Cultures
"What a lovely book, especially for someone like me who loves story. Profoundly transformative."
– Lin Jensen, author of Bad Dog!
"Underneath all the attention given to the meditation techniques and teachings of Buddhism today lies a more fundamental level--the stories that tell us what it means to be a Buddhist, what Buddhism is. Reeves' The Stories of the Lotus Sutra opens up a wealth of stories about the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and does so in a way that allows us to hear them as living narratives supporting the rest of the tradition."