thanks for your quick responses. i have to take a look at these and then try to find which of them is translated into spanish. sorry i did forget to mention this before.
is there something loopers-delight is not good for?
2009/11/25 Jeff Shirkey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
How much does he know about Zen already?
When I was 15, the book I kept going back to again and again was "The Zen Experience" by Thomas Hoover. It's more a history book -- charting Zen from its beginnings with the original sutras, Kumarijiva's concept of Void, and Bodhidharma's journey out of India to China. It explains the philosophical theories while describing the lives and beliefs of each of Zen's Patriarchs as the religion morphed from Indian Mahayana Buddhism, into the North and South schools of Chinese Ch'an, and finally the Rinzai and Soto Zen sects of Japan.
If it's history your friend is interested in, you're going to want to buy something much more recent than Hoover, for one thing. More importantly, you'll want to buy a book with some scholarly merit. Look at books by John McRae ("Seeing Through Zen") or Bernard Faure, for instance--both Chan/Zen scholars at the top of their field.