Thomas F. Cleary
For all its emphasis on the direct experience on insight without reliance on the products of the intellect, the Zen tradition has created a huge body of writings. Of this cast literature, the writings associated with the so-called Five Houses of Zen are widely considered to be preeminent. These Five Houses--which arose in China during the ninth and tenth centuries, often referred to as the Golden Age of Zen--were not schools or sects but styles of Zen teaching represented by some of the most outstanding masters in Zen history. The writing of these great Zen teachers are presented here, many translated for the first time.