The Tattooed Buddha team had the opportunity to chat with David Hinton.

David Hinton is not only a poet and researcher of Buddhism and the Chinese language, he also translates Chinese poetry, earned a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as fellowships from N.E.A. and N.E.H, the Landon Translation Award, the PEN American Translation Award, and a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

He recently wrote and published China Root: Taosim, Ch’an and Original Zen (Shambhala Publications) which explains that Ch’an was a Buddhist-influenced extension of Taoism, China’s native system of spiritual philosophy that was grounded in an earthy and empirically-based vision. He describes Ch’an as a kind of anti-Buddhism, a radical and wild practice aspiring to a deeply ecological liberation: the integration of individual consciousness with landscape and with a Cosmos seen as harmonious and alive.

Anyone curious about Zen or Ch’an Buddhism, or even interested in the origins of the Buddhism we practice today would love this book. We sit down and chat with David, and learn about how he came to be interested in Chinese culture and poetry and where he hopes to go from here.