In the foreword to this substantive collection of Zen stories and teachings gathered by Irmgard Schloegl of the Buddhist Society in London, Christine Humphreys examines the distinctive perspectives of this path with no archive of sacred texts, no specific dogmas, and no interest in converting others. What Zen does have is teachers who guide students as they discern and practice a disciplined and attentive way of living. Zen Masters see three things necessary for this training: faith, doubt, and perseverance. They emphasize not-knowing and not becoming attached to ideas, people, or things.

This last view is expressed in a saying by The Third Patriarch:

"Do not be attached to either the one or the other. Do not search for them. If one clings to right and wrong even to the least extent, his heart gets lost in the tangle. Both exist only through the one, but do not cling to the one. If no attached thinking arises, then there is no error in things."

Here is another saying on the subject of clinging:

"When Master Daibai was about to die, he said to his monks: 'What comes is not to be avoided, what goes is not to be followed.' A little afterwards he heard a flying-squirrel screech and said: 'This is just this, and nothing else. You keep all this faithfully. Now I must depart.' "