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Footprints in the Snow

Kenneth Wapner

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Footprints in the Snow: The Autobiography of Chan Buddhist Monk

Chan Master Sheng Yen’s deeply personal and vivid autobiography, which reveal news facts about

his life and especially his younger years growing up in Mainland China (Doubleday, 2009; a

Peekamoose Book).

Wapner’s roles:

• Proposal development and writing • Agent • Managing the development of the manuscript

• Travel and research to Taiwan • Editor

The author is a master of Chan Buddhism, the Chinese antecedent of Zen Buddhism that is not

nearly as well known as Zen and other Buddhist schools that have migrated to the West. The Chan

master's story is less Buddhist dharma and more history of his homeland. Born in 1930, he had a

ringside seat for China's Communist revolution. In 1949, he left his Buddhist schooling to join Chiang

Kai-shek's Nationalist army, spending more than 10 years in military intelligence. That experience

was but one of many teachers along his spiritual path, along with a few bizarre Chan masters. Sheng

Yen has also traveled, spending some time teaching in America. His efforts, however, have been

concentrated in Taiwan, where he has developed the fourth-largest Buddhist organization in that

area. This book is timely, given that China is opening to the West this year on account of the

Olympics in Beijing. China is also becoming more open to religious practices, especially its own

distinctive Buddhism. This son of China is a distinguished teacher with a revealing, simply told story.

-Publishers Weekly


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