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Thread: Zen Books

  1. #1

    Zen Books

    What is your favourite Zen book?
    What is it about this book that you enjoy?
    Gassho.

  2. #2

    Re: Zen Books

    Hi Don!
    Haven't you an easier question??? :wink:
    I think personaly I would say:
    Opening the Hand of Thought: Foundations of Zen Buddhist Practice, by K?sh? Uchiyama.
    I read it at least twice a year for a few years now, I directly liked the simple yet very stricking way in wich the practice was exposed! It seem so different comparing to some "intellecto-spirituali-metaphysic" books I read before!
    http://books.google.be/books?id=fOU_...though&f=false
    What's yours buddy? :roll:

    gassho,
    Jinyu

  3. #3

    Re: Zen Books

    Hello,
    I think my fav is probably 'Zen Keys' by Thich Nhat Hahn. He has a really easy style, and explains to the lay person, not the 'interlectual' looking for a deep conundrum to fathom. He also taught me to enjoy doing the washing up (Am; doing the dishes).

    Gassho

    Joe

  4. #4

    Re: Zen Books

    Good Question!
    Whats yours?
    For me, Ill say
    Zen master raven, very good lessons (it has pictures too ).
    Opening the hand of thought is another for sure!

    Gassho
    Shohei

  5. #5

    Re: Zen Books

    Hello friends,

    I would say that right now I'm rather fascinated by Trust in Mind, written by Tseng Ts'an and translated by Stanley Lombardo. It is short; a good book to keep in one's pocket for when one needs to be reminded to not over-complicate things.

    Much metta,

    Perry

  6. #6

    Re: Zen Books

    Opening the Hand of Thought is definitely close to the top, never had zen so easy to swallow...

    But really, Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf by Ryokan. There is no philosophy there, just life.

    "Don't ask me of delusion and enlightenment"

    Indeed, I may just throw back my head and laugh. I sat fitfully today, moving this way and that. Ryokan and Uchiyama don't mind as much as I do, I think.

    Gassho
    Taylor

  7. #7

    Re: Zen Books

    Quote Originally Posted by Jinyu
    Hi Don!
    Haven't you an easier question??? :wink:
    I think personaly I would say:
    Opening the Hand of Thought: Foundations of Zen Buddhist Practice, by K?sh? Uchiyama.
    I read it at least twice a year for a few years now, I directly liked the simple yet very stricking way in wich the practice was exposed! It seem so different comparing to some "intellecto-spirituali-metaphysic" books I read before!
    http://books.google.be/books?id=fOU_...though&f=false
    What's yours buddy? :roll:

    gassho,
    Jinyu
    But did you notice how quickly so many answered? I've been posting the wrong stuff before.

    I think Hsin Hsin Ming by Seng-ts'an, Third Zen Patriarch is quickly becoming my favourite. The title is translated several ways: Faith in Mind, Verses of the Perfect Mind, etc. I suppose I have some type of affinity for its language and thought.

    It begins:
    "The Great Way is not difficult,
    for those who have no preferences.
    Let go of longing and aversion,
    and it reveals itself."

    Gassho,
    Don

  8. #8

    Re: Zen Books

    I like the classic, "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind," by S. Suzuki, and I can nearly recite "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Funny this popped up today... I was going to ask aboout books. There's one that doesn't appear in the reccommended reading area, and I was wondering why. I'm talking about Goddard's "A Buddhist Bible," which is famous as the book that introduced Kerouac and Snyder (and by proxy Ginsberg and the rest of the Beats) to Zen and Buddhism. It's one I find myself going for like an old friend. My copy is dog-eared and mangled now, but I wouldn't trade it. I was sort of surprised not to see it listed. (Jundo??) I realize that many of the Sutras exist in better translative form out there now, and it's not purely Zen (or even purely Mahayana,) but this was the book that introduced a generation to the Zafu. Has it been ommitted intentionally, or as an oversight, or... well, I dunno. I like it, mostly because I'm comfortable with it, and I suppose that's all that should matter. Maybe it's like Christians who, even though they know there are "better" and more linguistically accurate translations of the Bible out there still cling to the King James version.

  9. #9

    Re: Zen Books

    don -- a difficult question, cause the next thing you know you're stuck with defining "zen"

    but within what is usually called official zen, i'd say joko becks books, and definitely steve hagen's books(i love the title to one: "buddhism is not what you think"), including his book on "physics"(he is a physicist), "how the world can be the way it is"

    and honorary mention in the zen/not zen category: The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment, by thaddeus golas -- he was truly a lazy man, in the spiritual category anyway, and how he wrote such a book without the benefit of a formal practice is beyond me

    of course, if the buddha's basic teaching was "awareness", and we take that as a definition of what we are practicing, than the field is considerably wider, and things really start getting interesting,

    gassho, roky

  10. #10

    Re: Zen Books

    Zen mind, begginer´s mind by Zuzuki....most definitely beautiful and sobering, and so helpful when i am stuck
    Also Joko Beck´s books, very easy to read and relate to, and definitely very honest about the difficulties to be encountered by practice......thanks for this post....it is nice to hear what are other people´s faves, now i can check them out

  11. #11

    Re: Zen Books

    Any of the books by Cheri Huber like "The Key: And the Name of the Key is Willingness" and "That Which You are Seeking is Causing You to Seek" are simple and beautifully written. Her books literally helped transform my life.

  12. #12

    Re: Zen Books

    Quote Originally Posted by KvonNJ
    There's one that doesn't appear in the reccommended reading area, and I was wondering why. I'm talking about Goddard's "A Buddhist Bible," which is famous as the book that introduced Kerouac and Snyder (and by proxy Ginsberg and the rest of the Beats) to Zen and Buddhism. It's one I find myself going for like an old friend. My copy is dog-eared and mangled now, but I wouldn't trade it. I was sort of surprised not to see it listed. (Jundo??) I realize that many of the Sutras exist in better translative form out there now, and it's not purely Zen (or even purely Mahayana,) but this was the book that introduced a generation to the Zafu.
    Hi,

    Well, Dwight Goddard's "Buddhist Bible" is a beautiful book, and perhaps the first large-scale attempt to translate a variety of Sutra into English. However, I believe that most of those translations were done in the 1920's, can be pretty rough or just plain off meaning at times (Mr. Goddard was an engineer who had lived for years in China, but with rather limited in his knowledge of the source languages), and were by a translator who was making a conscious effort to use the style of the Old Testament Bible in his presentation. So, it should be approached with some understanding of that, and there are much more artful translations of most of the Sutras it contains that were done later. However, it is still a very lovely book.

    It is available free online from several sources.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=kYSOne ... &q&f=false

    In Zen ... we don't have "favorites" ... no likes or dislikes ... all dropped away ... each a favorite ...

    Thus, a couple of my personal favorites that I really really like from our Treeleaf suggested book list ...

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=889

    ... include another book by Uchiyama Roshi that I highly recommend: "From The Zen Kitchen To Enlightenment: Refining Your Life" (a translation and commentary on the "Instructions for the Cook" by Master Dogen) ...

    Everyday Zen: Love & Work by Charlotte Joko Beck (which was the book in our Treeleaf book club a couple of years ago) ...

    so many more ...

    A wonderful book I read, and that Taigu often recommends too, about someone who was lost in drugs and violence and prostitution and so much ... and became a great modern teacher ...

    Street Zen, The Life and Work of Issan Dorsey, by David Schneider

    so many more ...

    Oh, and of course, this modern classic ...

    A Heart To Heart Chat On Buddhism With Old Master Gudo by Gudo Wafu Nishijima Roshi (Jundo Cohen, Translator)

    Gassho, J

  13. #13

    Re: Zen Books

    Street Zen is a great book, I agree.

    I also enjoyed Soko Morinaga's Novice to Master.

    Gassho,
    Sven

  14. #14

    Re: Zen Books

    Oh, and of course, this modern classic ...

    A Heart To Heart Chat On Buddhism With Old Master Gudo by Gudo Wafu Nishijima Roshi (Jundo Cohen, Translator)



    I dunno, man. that Cohen guy has some ideas that are pretty flaky around the edges...

  15. #15

    Re: Zen Books

    The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma, by Red Pine (translation)

    because it nails it for me.
    _()_
    Peter

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