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In the spring of 2006, Bill Porter traveled through the heart of China, from Beijing to Hong Kong, on a pilgrimage to sites associated with the first six patriarchs of Zen. In "Zen Baggage," Porter takes readers to places few Westerners have ever ventured, weaving together historical background, interviews, and translations of the earliest known records of Zen along with personal vignettes into a fascinating tale of discovery. Porter's account captures the transformations taking place at religious centers in China but also the legacy they have somehow managed to preserve. Porter brings wisdom and humor to every situation, whether visiting ancient caves containing the most complete collection of Buddhist texts ever uncovered, enduring a six-hour Buddhist ceremony, or meeting the abbess of China's first Zen nunnery. Porter's "Road to Heaven: Encounters with Hermits" has become recommended reading at Zen centers and universities throughout America and even in China (in its Chinese translation), and "Zen Baggage" is sure to follow suit.
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Porter (Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits) has carved out a niche as a translator of classic Zen poetry, sometimes under the name Red Pine. He has lived and traveled extensively in Asia, pursuing his understanding of Zen Buddhism. In his 2006 trip, he visited (and revisited in some cases) several rather remote historical sites that were key to the spread of Buddhism in China. He writes of a China that is not only embracing the future but also regenerating its heritage. Temples and monasteries are being repaired and expanded, and more people are returning to traditional religious practices. Porter takes the reader to places far off the tourist track and far from the economic and political frenzy of major cities, traveling on buses and sleeping rough in monasteries. He does it without pedantry or zeal and with some humor. This book reveals another China and will provide balance to public library travel collections.-Harold M. Otness, formerly with Southern Oregon Univ. Lib., Ashland Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"Porter takes the reader to places far off the tourist track and far from the economic and political frenzy of major cities, traveling on buses and sleeping rough in monasteries. He does it without pedantry or zeal and with some humor." --Library Journal Porter takes the reader to places far off the tourist track and far from the economic and political frenzy of major cities, traveling on buses and sleeping rough in monasteries. He does it without pedantry or zeal and with some humor. "Library Journal"" "Porter takes the reader to places far off the tourist track and far from the economic and political frenzy of major cities, traveling on buses and sleeping rough in monasteries. He does it without pedantry or zeal and with some humor." --"Library Journal"

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