Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Sound of Water

Cruising the web in search of Buddhist literature, as I often Linkdo, I recently stumbled across a rare gem: The Sound of Water, The Sound of Wind: And Other Early Works by a Mountain Monk. The author, revered Korean Zen Master Bopjong, writes with gentle simplicity and profound insight. His words read like water-color landscape paintings--beautifully, with earthy grandeur and deep spiritual gravity.

The Sound of Water, translated by Brian Barry, includes essays that Master Bopjong wrote between 1976 and 1986. Each chapter focuses on a different theme, some Buddhist, others more universal, but all redolent with the fragrance of wisdom. My favorite was "An Unforgettable Dharma Friend," in which Master Bopjong relates the loss of his dear friend Suyon. The story is poignant and heartfelt, reminding us how fragile and ephemeral life truly is. A close second is "Branches Snapping in the Snow," a meditation on how gentleness is often stronger than sturdiness.

Elegant and exquisite, this collection warms the heart. I really enjoyed reading it, and am certain to reread it over the years; it's the kind of book that you can return to again and again, discovering something new every time you read it. I wish you the same luck with the book.

Thanks to Mukesh Jain at Jain Publishing Company for sending me a copy to read.

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