Koans are a useful sign-post on the path to enlightenment. They reveal abstract Truth that cannot be expressed logically through presenting the reader with a paradox that can only be solved by shifting one's perspective.
The venerable Koans of the past, those that have been handed down through the generations are expressed in archaic language. If you cannot enter into that archaic language the koan is unlikely to bring you much benefit.
This book represents the Koans in modern language, accessible to all. It will not please the traditionalists, but it will make the wisdom contained therein accessible to a whole new generation of seeker.
Each koan encapsulates a profound truth for reflection. Zen counsels the lessening of the ego, not the strengthening of it as consumer culture would urge. Instead of making a name for ourselves in society, we should listen to the voice of pines and cedars when no wind stirs, in other words become no-thing, entering instead the field of pure being that is behind the phenomenal world.
The cover of the book is as ordered, but the book inside is a different book by the same author on what happens when you die. Not sure how to complain so putting here. If this ever gets corrected please let me know.
Not sure what happened to the other 2 reviewers but ......
I found this to be a fun and thoughtful read. It should make you think and at least two of the tales should make you laugh - I found the story of the Zen tea shop owner funny and insightful . I don't recall what this book cost , but can you put a price on enlightenment ? If so , keep looking , and looking. This book will wait for you.