The Bodhidharma Anthology – Earliest Records of Zen Buddhism by Broughton, Jeffrey L. There exists only two book-length English language translations of Bodhidharma’s teachings: The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma translated by Red Pine and Broughton’s The Bodhidharma Anthology.Both volumes are valuable for understanding Zen (C’han) as taught by Bodhidarma, the first Zen Patriarch in China. The reader who wants a comprehensive, detailed examination of the teaching will be satisfied with Broughton’s translation. Although the monks of Shaolin Monastery claimed, centuries after his death, that Bodhidharma was the founder of the martial art Kung-fu, there is no such evidence to be found in the early records. Rather, the records indicate that the Shaolin Abbot banished him from the monastery for his critical evaluation of the monks and he lived in a cave about a mile away where he practiced a type of meditation metaphorically referred to as “wall gazing.” While some of the resident monks may have approached him to learn this meditation, one may wonder if the monastery misappropriated or co-opted his name in order to elevate the status of their previously established martial arts tradition.
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