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Dropping Ashes on the Buddha BY ZEN MASTER SEUNG SAHN Compiled and edited by Stephen Mitchell. Grove Press, New York, 1976. ISBN 0-8021-3052-6 "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 question, first posed to Zen Master Seung Sahn's American students almost thirty years ago, sparked an exchange that still reverberates timelessly and that has made Dropping Ashes on the Buddha a classic guide for Zen students pursuing the true way. Like much of Zen literature, which encourages flashes of instinctive understanding of enlightenment by showing ancient Zen Masters in interaction with their students, Dropping Ashes on the Buddha is a record of a Zen Master's way with his students. What makes this book unique, however, is that Master Seung Sahn is very much alive, that his students are young Americans, and that the dialognes set down here took p...