Going Through the Mystery's One Hundred Questions
By Dosho Port
ISBN 978-1-896559-88-9 / 252 pages, 6.14" x 9.21" / paperback
In Going Through the Mystery’s One Hundred Questions we sit together with a passionate Zen pilgrim, Yuantong, and his cold-blooded teacher, the Soto Zen master Wansong, also the teacher of Genghis Khan. They hail to us from sometime in the thirteenth Century. We get to eavesdrop as a sincere student asks burning, heartfelt question after question. And as a genuine teacher responds with turning word after turning word.
We are able to participate in their teacher-student relationship due to the presence of Wansong’s attendant, Linquan, who later also became a famous Zen master and teacher of Kublai Khan. Linquan clarifies the meaning of each interaction in verse. Dosho Port has translated the original text and added brief commentaries to each Q&A to help the contemporary reader access the deep truths presented by these three exemplary practitioners.
The book is intended to offer inspiration and guidance for any earnest spiritual seeker. The thirteenth century was an enormously rich time for Zen with many profoundly awakened and skillful teachers, including Wansong and Linquan. However, this book is primarily about urgent, spiritual questions. What is this one great life-and-death that we share? How can the intimate truth be realized and embodied with great compassion for the benefit of all living beings?
Dosho Port Roshi is a senior Zen teacher who began practice in 1977 with the Zen pioneer, Dainin Katagiri Roshi. After thirteen years of rigorous training, Dosho received dharma transmission from Katagiri Roshi. After Katagiri Roshi's death in 1990, Dosho went on to study with twenty Zen teachers in Europe, Japan, and the US, receiving inka shomei from James Myoun Ford Roshi in the Harada-Yasutani hybrid lineage. He now co-teaches with Tetsugan Zummach Sensei with the Vine of Obstacles: Online Support for Zen Training, an internet-based Zen community. Dosho is the author of Keep Me In Your Heart a While: The Haunting Zen of Dainin Katagiri and The Record of Empty Hall: One Hundred Classic Koans. Dosho's blog can be found at Wild Fox Zen: Living the Dream on Patheos. After decades of roaming the planet, he recently returned to his hometown and lives near Lake Superior.
Dosho Port Roshi further reveals the true One School of Zen: a practice beyond sects, drinking freely from myriad streams of Dharma rain. Each of the One Hundred Questions illuminates the ancient Caodong (Soto) Zen masters’ brilliant use of encounter language and koans, all pointing directly to awakening. Dosho Roshi’s book will surely open up a broader, more vibrant path for many Zen students. Meido Moore Roshi, Abbot of Korinji: The Rinzai Zen Community, author of The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice and Hidden Zen: Practices of Sudden Awakening and Embodied Realization
Going Through the Mystery is a wonderful account of a sincere student of the intimate way, his questions, and the responses of a mature master of the path. Zen is a way of awakening. This book presents burning questions about what that means. And, most importantly, how to find it for ourselves. The traditional text is enriched with comments from a contemporary master of the way, Dosho Port. If you’re seeking insight into Zen at its bones and marrow, this is an important book for you. James Ishmael Ford, author of Introduction to Zen Koans and If You’re Lucky, Your Heart Will Break
Dosho Port Roshi has manifested another book of subtle and challenging koans, this time in the form of questions and answers between one student and one teacher. Teacher Wansong, known to modern Zen practitioners through his Book of Serenity koan commentary, is an important ancestor in the Caodong (Soto) lineage - from which not many teachings have yet been translated into English. This book, Going Through the Mystery's One Hundred Questions, could be seen as a kind of sequel to the Book of Serenity, revealing Wansong's eloquent style even more fully. Yuantong asked: “The great ocean serves as ink. Mt. Sumeru serves as a brush. Tell me, what single thing are you writing?” Wansong replied: “Going through the mystery’s one hundred questions.” Gratitude to Dosho for bringing forth this single-bodied Zen treasure! Kokyo Henkel Osho, Shunryu Suzuki lineage Zen teacher