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The Three Pillars of Zen
Roshi Philip Kapleau

Through explorations of the three pillars of Zen—teaching, practice, and enlightenment—Roshi Philip Kapleau presents a comprehensive overview of the history and discipline of Zen Buddhism. An established classic, this 35th anniversary edition features new illustrations and photographs, as well as a new afterword by Sensei Bodhin Kjolhede, who has succeeded Philip Kapleau as spiritual director of the Rochester Zen Center, one of the oldest and most influential Zen centers in the United States.

Being Zen: Bringing Meditation to Life
Ezra Bayda and Charlotte Joko Beck

This book provides very practical advice for cultivating the qualities of mind and heart that contribute to awakening as an ongoing process in daily life, and to uncovering the loving-kindness that is at the heart of our being.

The Zen of Creativity: Cultivating Your Artistic Life
John Daido Loori

Beautifully illustrated and punctuated with poems and reflections from Loori's own spiritual journey, The Zen of Creativity presents a multilayered, bottomless source of insight into our creativity. Appealing equally to spiritual seekers, artists, and veteran Buddhist practitioners, this book is perfect for those wishing to discover new means of self-awareness and expression--and to restore equanimity and freedom amid the vicissitudes of our lives.

Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice
Thich Nhat Hanh

Beginning with a discussion of life in a Zen Buddhist monastery, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh provides a thorough overview of Zen practice, offering readers a clear explanation of the central elements of Zen practice and philosophy, and illustrating the character of Zen as practiced in Vietnam.

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The Poetry of Zen
Sam Hamill and J.P. Seaton, editors and translators

More than an anthology, this is a little Zen primer with brief bios of all of the poets and insightful introductions that illuminate the collection in the context of Buddhist history and practice. As Hamill explains, poetry has long been part of Zen practice, and it seems not only to express deep philosophical and spiritual questions, but also to provoke them. Poignantly summarizing the "why" of creating this collection, Hamill states, "A good poem says more than the sum of its words, leading the reader into the practice of understanding the great unsaid that is contained, framed in a poem's rhythms, words, and silences." These poems indeed lead one to meditate on the quality of the mind, the nature of life. This may be a little book, but it is a major collection.

One Bird, One Stone: 108 American Zen Stories
Sean Murphy

One Bird, One Stone is a distinctly American take on the ancient tradition and practice of Zen. Drawn from the archives of the major Zen centers of America and interviews with some of the most seminal figures of American Zen, it surveys the first 108 years of Zen's transmigration to America.

The Echoless Valley: The Teachings of Taizan Maezumi Roshi
Taizan Maezumi Roshi

Based on dharma talks given by Maezumi Roshi in 1987, Teaching of the Great Mountain presents his teachings in the imitable style of "live words." The first collection of talks given by Maezumi Roshi, Teaching of the Great Mountain includes: The Echoless Valley (based on three talks given on the Sutra of the Seven Wise Sisters), The Koan Mu, Kanzeon Bodhisattva (also known as Kwan Yin), and the Zen Art of Just "Sitting."

Taking the Path of Zen
Robert Aitken

The foundation of Zen is the practice of zazen, or mediation, and Aitken Roshi insists that everything flows from the center. He discusses correct breathing, posture, routine, teacher-student relations, and koan study, as well as common problems and milestones encountered in the process. Throughout the book the author returns to zazen, offering further advice and more advanced techniques.

Original Dwelling Place
Robert Aitken

Just as Taking the Path of Zen is the definitive handbook for Zen practice, the essays gathered in Original Dwelling Place are essential for the light they shed on Aitken Roshi's own journey and the effect he has had on American Zen Buddhism. Gathered here are essays about the Zen texts Aitken has studied with avidity and close attention throughout the years, texts that were early and lasting influences.

Wanting Enlightenment is a Big Mistake: Teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn
Seung Sahn and Hyon Gak Sunim

A major figure in the transmission of Zen to the West, Zen Master Seung Sahn was known for his powerful teaching style, which was direct, surprising, and often humorous. He taught that Zen is not about achieving a goal, but about acting spontaneously from “don’t-know mind.” It is from this “before-thinking” nature, he taught, that true compassion and the desire to serve others naturally arises. This collection of teaching stories, talks, and spontaneous dialogues with students offers readers a fresh and immediate encounter with one of the great Zen masters of the twentieth century.

Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness: Zen Talks on the Sandokai
Shunryu Suzuki

Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness is the first follow-up volume to Suzuki Roshi's important work. Like Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, it is a collection of lectures that reveal the insight, humor, and intimacy with Zen that made Suzuki Roshi so influential as a teacher.

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