Taming the Wild Horse: An Annotated Translation and Study of the Daoist Horse Taming Pictures by Louis KomjathyTaming the Wild Horse: An Annotated Translation and Study of the Daoist Horse Taming Pictures by Louis Komjathy

Taming the Wild Horse: An Annotated Translation and Study of the Daoist Horse Taming Pictures

byLouis Komjathy

Hardcover | March 21, 2017

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In thirteenth-century China, a Daoist monk named Gao Daokuan (1195-1277) composed a series of illustrated poems and accompanying verse commentary known as the Daoist Horse Taming Pictures. In this annotated translation and study, Louis Komjathy argues that this virtually unknown text offers unique insights into the transformative effects of Daoist contemplative practice. Taming the Wild Horse examines Gao's illustrated poems in terms of monasticism and contemplative practice, as well as the multivalent meaning of the "horse" in traditional Chinese culture and the consequences for both human and nonhuman animals.

The Horse Taming Pictures consist of twelve poems, ten of which are equine-centered. They develop the metaphor of a "wild" or "untamed" horse to represent ordinary consciousness, which must be reined in and harnessed through sustained self-cultivation, especially meditation. The compositions describe stages on the Daoist contemplative path. Komjathy provides opportunities for reflection on contemplative practice in general and Daoist meditation in particular, which may lead to a transpersonal way of perceiving and being.

Louis Komjathy is an associate professor of Chinese religions and comparative religious studies at the University of San Diego. He is the author of Cultivating Perfection: Mysticism and Self-transformation in Early Quanzhen Daoism (2007), The Way of Complete Perfection: A Quanzhen Daoist Anthology (2013), The Daoist Tradition: An Intr...
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Title:Taming the Wild Horse: An Annotated Translation and Study of the Daoist Horse Taming PicturesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:264 pagesPublished:March 21, 2017Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231181264

ISBN - 13:9780231181266

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsList of Illustrations and TablesList of AbbreviationsPart I: Introduction1. In Search of the Wild Horse2. Of Stallions, Steppes, and StablesPart II: TranslationsHorse Taming PoemsCommentary on the Horse Taming PoemsPart III: ExegesisBeing with HorsesAppendix 1. Hagiography of Gao Daokuan (1195-1277)Appendix 2. Song of Pure AwakeningAppendix 3. Horse-Related Technical Terminology in the Horse Taming PicturesNotesCharacter GlossaryBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

Rarely is the field of animal studies so fortunate as to have a leading area specialist give such substantial critical attention to animals. Komjathy's richly annotated translation makes this centuries-old set of prints and poems accessible for anyone interested in the intersection of animals and religion. The book's robust engagement with animal studies leads to stunning insights into the nature of Daoist contemplative practices and, ultimately, into the nature of religion.