The Zen Monastic Experience
Buddhist Practice in Contemporary Korea
Robert E. Buswell Jr.


Robert Buswell, a Buddhist scholar who spent five years as a Zen monk in Korea, draws on personal experience in this insightful account of day-to-day Zen monastic practice. In discussing the activities of the postulants, the meditation monks, the teachers and administrators, and the support monks of the monastery of Songgwang-sa, Buswell reveals a religious tradition that differs radically from the stereotype prevalent in the West. The author's treatment lucidly relates contemporary Zen practice to the historical development of the tradition and to Korean history more generally, and his portrayal of the life of modern Zen monks in Korea provides an innovative and provocative look at Zen from the inside.

Robert E. Buswell, Jr., is Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Director of the Center for Korean Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Among his other works is The Formation of Ch'an Ideology in China and Korea (Princeton).