Monday, November 28, 2011

Sitting in Oblivion: The Heart of Daoist Meditation by Livia Kohn

Sitting in Oblivion, an expansion of Seven Steps to the Tao (1987), outlines the history and intricacies of zuowang, an essential form of Daoist meditation. It divides into two parts. Discussion begins by placing the practice in the larger context of the phenomenology of meditation and Chinese religious history. It then has eight chapters, discussing historical forerunners in pre-Han and Twofold Mystery texts, Tang masters and main works, the theory and practice of Tang Daoist meditation, and its relation to Buddhism and modern science. Translation presents eight core texts, some translated here for the first time, and all with ample annotation. Drawing on decades of Daoist scholarship and meditation experience, this book is the culmination of Kohn s extensive, path-breaking work. It makes difficult materials accessible and greatly enhances our understanding of the complex methods and conceptualizations involved in attaining Dao.



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