A reader-friendly guide to Zen Buddhist ethics for modern times
In the West, Zen Buddhism has a reputation for paradoxes that defy logic. In particular, the Buddhist concept of nonduality — the realization that everything in the universe forms a single, integrated whole — is especially difficult to grasp. In The Other Side of Nothing, Zen teacher Brad Warner untangles the mystery and explains nonduality in plain English. To Warner, this is not just a philosophical problem: nonduality forms the bedrock of Zen ethics, and once we comprehend it, many of the perplexing aspects of Zen suddenly make sense.
Drawing on decades of Zen practice, he traces the interlocking relationship between Zen metaphysics and ethics, showing how a true understanding of reality — and the ultimate unity of all things — instills in us a sense of responsibility for the welfare of all beings. When we realize that our feeling of separateness from others is illusory, we have no desire to harm any creature. Warner ultimately presents an expansive overview of the Zen ethos that will give beginners and experts alike a deeper understanding of one of the world’s enduring spiritual traditions.