Books to Read

These are some books I’ve read and that resonate with me. Some are good for beginners, some are more subtle. All have opened Dharma gates for me in my Zen practice.

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.

Taking the Path of Zen North Point Press, San Francisco (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.

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.

The Zen Teaching of Huang Po: On the Transmission of Mind Shambhala, Boston (1994)

Rational Zen: The Mind of Dogen Zenji Shambhala, Boston & London (1995)

The Blue Cliff Record Shambhala, Boston & London (1992)

Healing Breath: Zen Spirituality for a Wounded Earth Orbis Books, Maryknoll, NY (1993)

Siddhartha Bantam, NY (1971)

The story of seeking and realization. Rich in imagery and metaphor.

The Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of Hui-Neng Shambhala, Boston (1990)

The Desert Fathers Vintage, New York (1998)

The Sayings of the Desert Fathers Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, Michigan (1984)

The Book of Equanimity: Illuminating Classic Zen Koans Wisdom Publications (2005)

Flowers Fall: A Commentary on Zen Master Dogen's Genjokoan Shambhala, Boston & London (1996)