Essential Chan Buddhism by Chan Master Guo Jun

Essential Chan Buddhism by Chan Master Guo Jun

Amazon: Buy Now
Barnes & Noble: Buy Now
Apple iBooks: Buy Now
indiebound: Buy Now

The Character and Spirit of Chinese Zen

Guo Jun (Author), Kenneth Wapner (Editor),
Robert Thurman (Foreword)

Trade Cloth
US $16.95 /CAN $18.50
US $9.99 /CAN $10.99

Essential Chan Buddhism is the rare unearthing of an ancient and remarkable Chinese spiritual tradition. Master Guo Jun speaks through hard-won wisdom on Chan's spiritual themes familiar to Western readers, such as mindfulness and relaxation in meditation, as well as profound, simply expressed teachings and insightful explorations of religious commitment. Essential Chan Buddhism filters formal spiritual practices through the lens of mundane and everyday life activities. The work captures the lyrical beauty and incantatory style of Guo Jun’s spoken English from the talks he gave at a fourteen-day retreat near Jakarta in 2010 and in subsequent conversations with his editor Kenneth Wapner. This value-priced hardcover edition is both a distinctive addition to Buddhist collections and a thoughtful gift for anyone looking for spiritual guidance.

Chan master Guo Jun is one of a new breed of international teachers taking the world’s great wisdom traditions into the twenty-first century. He is currently abbot of Mahabodhi Monastery in Singapore and teaches internationally. Chan master Sheng Yen’s youngest dharma heir, he served as abbot of his Pine Bush, New York, retreat center from 2005 to 2008. A native of Singapore, Guo Jun received his full monastic ordination in Taiwan. He is a lineage holder and successor in Chan as well as the Xianshou and Cien schools of Chinese Buddhism. Essential Chan Buddhism is his first book.


“ As if he were looking at different facets of a jewel, Guo Jun describes in graceful language the many aspects of Chinese Zen, such as “the taste of liberation is the taste of Chan” and “in Chan, you fall in love with your breath.” He touches lightly on topics such as mindfulness, relaxation, wisdom, courage, and impermanence, often with vivid analogies and acute analysis.” --Publisher’s Weekly

“In this highly readable book, Master Guo Jun brings Chan’s profound and powerful teachings to the page in a form is that is accessible, poetic, spontaneous, and full of warmth, humor, and deep insight. . . . I very much admire and enjoy this book, and I am honored to introduce it. It is a window into the heart and soul of China, as its great people will once again rise above their materialist obsessions and regain the splendor of their inheritance of spiritual greatness handed on to them by their world treasure dharma masters. This book of the teachings of Master Guo Jun is to be treasured, not only by Buddhists, but also by serious humanists and spiritual seekers of all kinds.” —Robert A. F. “Tenzin” Thurman Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Buddhist Studies, Columbia University Author of Infinite Life and other works

“Among the finest [spiritual guides] I’ve ever read, saturated, as it is, with the profound humanity of Chan Master Guo Jun’s personal spiritual adventure; with the true nature of Chan; with beauty, and wisdom, and humor, and sweetness.” ‐George Crane Author of Bones of the Master: A Journey to Secret Mongolia

“I'd recommend this book to beginners, long-time practitioners and especially those looking for direct lessons from the Chan tradition of Buddhism.” —The Buddhist Blog – 1/24/13

The book offers much for those new to Buddhism, and insight to long-time Buddhists looking to return to the "Beginners Mind" of Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki.…Overall, I'd recommend this book to beginners, long-time practitioners and especially those looking for direct lessons from the Chan tradition of Buddhism.” —Buddhist-Being Truly Human

“We look forward to Chan Master Guo Jun's next book for in this one he has made the spirit and character of Chinese Zen palpable and glorious.” —Spirituality &


CHAN MASTER GUO JUN was ordained as a novice monk at Mahabodhi Monastery, Singapore under Venerable Master Song Nian and received his full monastic ordination at Guangde Monastery, Taiwan under Venerable Master Jingxin, Venerable Master Liaozhong, and Venerable Master Guangyuan.

Dharma heir of Venerable Master Shengyen from Dharma Drum Mountain, Taiwan and Venerable Master Qinyin from Fuhui Monastery, Taiwan; Venerable Guo Jun is the lineage holder and successor of the Chan, Xianshou, and Cien schools of Chinese Buddhism. He has also studied and practiced in Thai, Burmese, Chinese Pure Land, Tibetan, Korean Son, and Japanese Shingon traditions.

Guo Jun was the deputy director of Dharma propagation at Singapore Buddhist Federation and abbot of Dharma Drum Retreat Center, New York. He is a member of Australian Psychological Society; spiritual and guiding teacher of Chan Meditation Centre Australia, Chan Community Canada, Dharmajala Indonesia; and abbot of MahabodhiMonastery, Singapore.

Guo Jun has a diploma in biotechnology from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore; a degree in Buddhist philosophy from Fuyan Buddhist Institute, Taiwan; a bachelor of arts in psychology and sociology from Monash University, Australia and a master of Buddhist studies at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Guo Jun is actively propagating the teachings and practices of Chinese Buddhism. He has taught in different parts of the world such as Australia, Canada, Europe, Indonesia, North America, and Singapore.

Have a look at this truly inspiring film featuring Chan Master Guo Jun as he speaks to the soul of Essential Chan Buddhism: