Books For Those Interested In Zen Buddhism

By David Reich Chadwick

The Books I Picked & Why

The Essential Dogen: Writings of the Great Zen Master

By Peter Levitt, Kazuaki Tanahashi

The Essential Dogen: Writings of the Great Zen Master

Why this book?

Dogen is one of the great original minds from all of Japanese history and human history. This book contains an ocean of Dogen’s profound writing. One can return time after time to delve into new layers of wisdom. 


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The Heart Sutra

By Red Pine

The Heart Sutra

Why this book?

Red Pine’s in-depth translation of and commentary on the heart of the Prajna Paramita Sutras, of the wisdom that has gone beyond, of the heart of Mahayana Buddhism, and brings this ancient text, chanted daily by Zen monks and lay followers, skillfully into our hearts.


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Just This Is It: Dongshan and the Practice of Suchness

By Taigen Dan Leighton

Just This Is It: Dongshan and the Practice of Suchness

Why this book?

Penetrating into the original Chinese texts, Leighton brings us close to the incomprehensible teaching of suchness, also called thusness, a positive approach to emptiness. Buddha is the Tathagata, the thus come. Suchness reminds us that the world, our lives, and emptiness are identical.


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Zen's Chinese Heritage: The Masters and Their Teachings

By Andy Ferguson

Zen's Chinese Heritage: The Masters and Their Teachings

Why this book?

A virtual encyclopedia of great Zen stories translated by Ferguson that takes the reader through twenty-five generations of Chinese Zen ancestors with commentary that paints a rich picture of the background. 


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Street Zen: The Life and Work of Issan Dorsey

By David Schneider

Street Zen: The Life and Work of Issan Dorsey

Why this book?

Tommy Issan Dorsey was a beloved Zen priest who founded the Hartford Street Zen Center in the Castro section of San Francisco, the heart of the Bay Area gay community. This book shows Zen practice that is for anyone interested, rooted in compassion. The lotus blooms in muddy water.


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