bookmate game
Stephen Mitchell

Dropping Ashes on the Buddha

The classic guide for Zen students pursuing the true way.
“Somebody comes into the Zen center with a lighted cigarette, walks up to the Buddha-statue, blows smoke in its face and drops ashes on its lap. You are standing there. What can you do?” This is a problem that Zen Master Seung Sahn was fond of posing to his American students who attended his Zen centers.
Dropping Ashes on the Buddha is a delightful, irreverent, and often hilariously funny living record of the dialogue between Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn and his American students. Consisting of dialogues, stories, formal Zen interviews, Dharma speeches, and letters using the Zen Master’s actual words in spontaneous, living interaction, this book is a fresh presentation of the Zen teaching method of “instant dialogue” between Master and student which, through the use of astonishment and paradox, leads to an understanding of ultimate reality.
228 printed pages
Original publication
Publication year
Have you already read it? How did you like it?


  • Jurij Treskowhas quoted6 years ago
    Those who seek the easy way do not seek the true way.’”
  • Jurij Treskowhas quoted7 years ago
    three—great faith, great courage, and great questioning
  • Jurij Treskowhas quoted7 years ago
    Only throw away likes and dislikes,
    and everything will be perfectly clear.

On the bookshelves

Drag & drop your files (not more than 5 at once)