At once profound, spiritual, and witty, Master of the Three Ways is a remarkable work about human nature, the essence of life, and how to live simply and with awareness. In three hundred and fifty-seven verses, the author, Hung Ying-ming—a seventeenth-century Chinese sage—explores good and evil, honesty and deception, wisdom and foolishness, and heaven and hell. He draws from the wisdom of the “Three Creeds”—Taoism, Confucianism, and Zen Buddhism—to impress upon us that by combining simple elegance with the ordinary, we can make our lives artistic and poetic. This sense, along with a particular understanding of Zen that makes art from the simple in everyday life, has permeated Chinese and Japanese culture to this day.
The work is divided into two books. The first generally deals with the art of living in society and the second is concerned with man's solitude and contemplations of nature. These themes repeatedly spill over into each other, creating multiple levels of meaning.
About the Author
William Scott Wilson is the foremost translator into English of traditional Japanese texts on samurai culture. His bestselling books include The Book of Five Rings, The Unfettered Mind, and The Lone Samurai, a biography of the legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi.
Red Pine is the pseudonym of Bill Porter. Under the name Red Pine, Bill has published dozens of books of poetry and Buddhist and Taoist philosophy translated from the Chinese. Under Bill Porter, he has authored several books about Buddhism, Taoism, and China.
“I recommend this work to anyone interested in the way of the world’s greatest sages, whose teachings can help us all to see into and improve our own lives.”—from the Foreword by Red Pine, author of Zen Baggage and Road to Heaven