PZI Teacher Archives

Zen Luminaries: A Conversation with Buddhist Translator Thomas Kirchner & Jon Joseph


Thomas Kirchner has translated, annotated, and edited great works in our Chan lineage, including Entangling Vines: Zen Koans of the Shumon Kattoshu, The Record of Linji, and more. He is a longtime Zen practitioner, was born in the US, and has lived most of his life in Japan. He joins Jon Joseph for a wide-ranging conversation about his life in Zen.


Jon Joseph hosts writer, editor, Buddhist scholar, acclaimed translator, and Zen practitioner Tom Kirchner. John Tarrant joins in with questions and comments, as they look at the process of translation, the evolution of the Chinese language over a thousand years, Tom’s relationship to Chan teachings, koan practice, and his current project.

A lovely harmonized rendition of the Four Boundless Vows by Rose Joseph (Jon’s daughter) and her friend Delfine concludes the session.

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