Panshan

Panshan copy(Zen Speaks)

I have been thinking about including some of these cartoons for a while. I am not embarrassed to admit that I first read many well-known zen stories in one of the books in this series by Tsai Chih Chung (I loaned that volume, Wisdom of the Zen Masters, to one of my students, and haven’t seen it for a while) – it was one of the first zen books I bought after I moved to San Francisco, and I found the stories really came to life through the drawings. Still I find the cartoon versions hit the mark better than any written narrative, thanks to the faces and expressions. In these editions (the library at Zen Center had some earlier translations), there is a sidebar containing the original Chinese text, which I have omitted from these scans, and it took me a while to notice that the panels had been flipped to cater to the western sense of progression (okesas are worn on the right shoulder when they are shown).
I have read Panshan’s story elsewhere, but this version gets right to it.

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