Theology & Religion

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To See God, To See the Buddha

An Exploration of Seeing Spirituality with Meister Eckhart, Nāgārjuna, and Huang Po

Ha Poong Kim is a native of Korea, and studied philosophy at Boston University. He taught both Western and Eastern Philosophy at Eastern Illinois University for over twenty years. Kim spent a sabbatical year in Japan, studying Chinese Zen texts, while also participating in sitting sessions. Since his retirement in 1991, he has been living in Oregon. His recent works include Reading Lao Tzu: A Companion to the Tao Te Ching, with a New English Translation and The Joy of Beauty (the latter in Korean).

All religions are by nature traditions based on words and ideas. In this respect, spirituality recognized in religion is spirituality mediated by words and concepts. However, there is also a spirituality that consciously rejects words or ideas: seeing spirituality, as opposed to thinking (or believing) spirituality. This book sets out to explore and elucidate this seeing spirituality.

After introducing a distinction between the thinking mind and the seeing mind, the author explores seeing spirituality first in Meister Eckhart’s teaching of “empty soul”, in the Mahayana teaching of sunyata (emptiness) as presented in the Diamond Sutra and Nagarjuna’s Verses on the Middle Way, and, finally, in the Zen master Huang Bo’s Transmission of Mind.

The focus throughout is on the presentation and explanation of seeing spirituality as immediate awareness of the present free of all concepts. Discussion centres around specific texts, focusing on the working of the seeing mind, rather than through abstract or metaphysical explanation. The author’s reading of these important texts is unique and a major contribution to religious and philosophical scholarship. In addition, the work contains a new translation of major sections of Huang Bo’s Dharma talks, the first in English since 1958.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-405-5
Hardback Price: £25.00 / $49.95
Release Date: April 2010
Page Extent / Format: 180 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No



Introduction: On Seeing/Awareness

Part I Seeing God
Meister Eckhart: Empty Soul

Part II Seeing the Buddha
The Diamond Sutra: The Sutra of Negation
Nagarjuna’s Verses on the Middle Way: Beyond Word

Part III Beyond Religion
Huang Bo’s The Transmission of Mind: Text (selections)
Zen: No-Mind

Conclusion: Seeing, Beyond Questioning

Huang Bo, a Taoist?
Wittgenstein: “Language-game” and Religion


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