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Zen Buddhism -- Practice

The following sources are recommended by a professor whose research specialty is Zen Buddhism.


Six Superlative Sources

· Aitken, Robert. 1982. Taking the Path of Zen. North Point Press. Aitken is a pre-eminent American-born Zen Buddhist scholar, teacher, and author. While this book can be very deep and subsequently hard to fathom, it is an excellent nuts and bolts introduction to the Zen way.

· Dharma Drum Mountain. This meditation center in New York is led by Master Sheng-yen. There is an excellent collection of dharma talks available at this site.

· Kapleau, Phillip. 1965. The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice, and Enlightenment. Weatherill. Kapleau Roshi is another pre-eminent Buddhist scholar and teacher. This volume contains, among many other things, dharma dialogues between Kapleau's teacher (Yasutani) and his students. Also lots of good "nuts and bolts" information on Zen meditation.

· Suzuki, Shunryu. 1988. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Weatherhill. A very straightforward introduction to the basic philosophy of Zen. May not give as much "nuts and bolts" of Zen-style meditation as Sekida's book, but is a very clear and concise description of the Zen way. For many American-born Zen Buddhists, this was the book that got them started on their spiritual journey.

· Zen Buddhism WWW Virtual Library: The Internet Guide to Zen (Ch'an, Son, Thien) Online Resources. Dr. T. Matthew Ciolek has compiled an excellent list of Zen links, including information on the major Zen teachers that are still going today.

· Zen Mountain Monastery -- Mountains and Rivers Order. Led by Abbot John Daido Loori, Zen Mountain is a monastic order of Zen monks in upstate New York. Here you'll find several online dharma lectures, links to meditation products for sale, as well as the monastery's own substantial collection of dharma publications (tapes, videos, books, etc.). Check out the Mountain Record, the monastery's own online journal.

Other Excellent Sources

· Batchelor, Stephen. 1997. Buddhism without Beliefs. Bloomsbury. A non-sectarian look at Buddhism. Very good nuts and bolts Buddhist philosophy. Challenges the Buddhist ideas of karma and reincarnation.

· Beck, Charlotte Joko. 1987. Everyday Zen: Love and Work. Harper San Francisco. Both of Beck's books illustrate her no nonsense style of transmitting the dharma.

· Beck, Charlotte Joko. 1994. Nothing Special: Living Zen. Harper San Francisco.

· Beliefnet -- Buddhism. Devoted to all things Buddhist. You'll find articles by various Buddhist teachers, like Lama Surya Das, online forums, quotes from the Dalai Lama, and columns from author Dinty Moore (author of The Accidental Buddhist, Main Street Books/Doubleday, 1997).

· Deshimaru, Taisen. 1985. Questions to a Zen Master. Dutton. Especially interesting are Deshimaru's dialogues with Christian theologians.

· Hagen, Steve. 1997. Buddhism Plain and Simple. Broadway Books. A very no-nonsense, no-holds-barred treatise on Buddhist philosophy. This book will crush any New Age romantic notions you have about Zen Buddhism.

· Kwan Um School of Zen. The Korean form of Zen Buddhism. Led by Providence, RI, teacher Master Seung Sahn. Many excellent dharma lectures available.

· Sekida, Katsuko. 1975. Zen Training: Methods and Philosophy. Weatherhill. An excellent primer if you don't have access to a Zen teacher.

· Sheng-yen. 1999. Subtle Wisdom: Understanding Suffering, Cultivating Compassion through Ch'an Buddhism. Doubleday. Stunning in its clarity, this book should be read by all Buddhists, whether neophytes or experienced practitioners.

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"The Infography about the Practice of Zen Buddhism"
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