Books to Read

These are some books I've read and gotten something out of. Some are good for beginners, some are more subtle. All have opened Dharma gates for me in my Zen practice.

Aitken, Robert, The Gateless Barrier: Translated and with a Commentary, North Point Press, San Francisco, 1990.

This is the fundamental Rinzai koan collection of thirteenth-century ancestor Wu-men, in Aitken's serious and playful translation, along with his clear commentary. For serious Zen students.

__________ and Steindl-Rast, David, The Ground We Share: Everyday Practice, Buddhist and Christian, Triumph Books, Liguori, Missouri, 1994.

A collection of conversations between Aitken, an American Zen Master, and Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk originally from Austria, discuss the deepest religious themes and everyday concerns in a dialogue of similarities and differences. Those with a background in Christianity will find this of interest.

__________ Original Dwelling Place: Zen Buddhist Essays, Counterpoint, Washington, D.C., 1996.

Aitken Roshi's teachings on practice, ethics, the teacher's teachers, and the Dharma, collected for the beginner and long-time student alike.

__________ The Practice of Perfection: The Paramitas from a Zen Buddhist Perspective, Pantheon Books, New York and San Francisco, 1994. The ten paramitas, or perfections, are guides to living life -- not prohibitions but exhortations to keep walking the path, to return to the effort, despite inevitable human faltering, of perfecting the character.

__________ Taking the Path of Zen, North Point Press, New York, 1982.

A clear, straightforward and practical introduction to the practice and life of Zen Buddhism. Aitken is one of the most important American Zen teachers and is my teacher's teacher.

Cleary, Thomas, and Cleary, J.C. The Blue Cliff Record, Shambhala, Boston & London, 1992.

__________ Rational Zen: The Mind of Dogen Zenji, Shambhala, Boston & London, 1995.

Beck, Charlotte Joko, Everyday Zen: Love & Work, Harper, San Francisco, 1989.

Beck's writings are direct and couched in very plain terms. She eliminates much of the Eastern flavor of Zen to focus on concerns for the contemporary student. I once visited Beck's training center in San Diego and although she was ill and I didn't get to meet her, I was very impressed with the woman who led the sitting in her place.

__________ Nothing Special: Living Zen Harper, San Francisco, 1993.

Blofield, John, The Zen Teaching of Huang Po: On the Transmission of Mind, Shambhala, Boston, 1994.

Friedman, Lenore, Meetings With Remarkable Women: Buddhist Teachers in America, Shambhala, Boston & London, 1987.

Glassman, Bernard and Fields, Rick, Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master's Lessons in Living a Life That Matters, Bell Tower, New York, 1996.

Goddard, Dwight, ed. A Buddhist Bible Beacon Press, Boston, MA, 1994.

Habito, Ruben L. F. Healing Breath: Zen Spirituality for a Wounded Earth, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, NY, 1993.

__________ Total Liberation: Zen Spirituality and the Social Dimension, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, NY, 1986.

Hesse, Hermann, Siddhartha, Bantam, NY, 1971

James, William, The Varieties of Religious Experience, Penguin Books, New York.

Johnston, William, The Cloud of Unknowing and The Book of Privy Counseling, Image Books, Garden City, New York, 1973.

Kaye, Les, Zen at Work: A Zen Teacher's 30-Year Journey in Corporate America, Crown Trade Paperbacks, New York, 1996.

Kohn, Michael, trans. The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen,Shambhala, Boston, 1991.

Merton, Thomas, The Wisdom of the Desert: Sayings from the Desert Fathers of the Fourth Century, New Directions Books, New York, 1970.

Myo-Bong Shin Gateway to Patriarchal Son: Venerable Master Hye-Am's Dharma Talks, Western Son Academy, Inc, Irvine, CA, 1986.

Price, A. F. and Mou-Lam, Wong, The Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of Hui-Neng, Shambhala, Boston, 1990.

Reps, Paul, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, Anchor Doubleday, New York, 1989.

Salajan, Ioanna, Zen Comics, Charles E. Tuttle, Rutland, VT & Tokyo, 1974.

__________ Zen Comics II, Charles E. Tuttle, Rutland, VT & Tokyo, 1982.

Sasaki, Ruth Fuller, trans. A Man of Zen: The Recorded Sayings of Layman P'ang, Weatherhill, New York & Tokyo, 1989.

Scott, David and Doubleday, Tony, The Elements of Zen, Element Books Limited, Shaftesbury, Dorset, 1992.

A very well organized introduction to Zen. More scholarly and less direct than some teachings, it is nevertheless an excellent source of information for the beginner.

Suzuki, D. T. An Introduction to Zen Buddhism Grove Press, New York, 1964.

Trungpa, Chogyam, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Shambhala, Boston & London, 1987.

Waddell, Helen, trans. The Desert Fathers, Vintage, New York, 1998.

Waddell, Norman, trans. The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin: A translation of the Sokko-roku Kaien-fusetsu, Shambhala, Boston & London, 1994.

Ward, Benedicta, SLG, trans., The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1975.

Watts, Alan W. The Spirit of Zen: A way of life, work and art in the Far East, Grove Press, Inc, New York, 1958.

Yampolsky, Philip B. The Zen Master Hakuin: Selected Writings, Columbia University Press, New York and London, 1971.

Yasutani, Hakuun, Flowers Fall: A Commentary on Zen Master Dogen's Genjokoan, Shambhala, Boston & London, 1996. /