Recommended Readings

Start Here

Our teachers Reverends Rinsen and Do'on recommend starting with Rev. James Myoun Ford Roshi's books:

  1. If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break: Field Notes from a Zen Life. 
  2. Introduction to Zen Koans: Learning the Language of Dragons

James Ford Roshi was our teachers' guiding teacher and gave Rinsen Sensei full Dharma Transmission as a recognized Zen teacher in the Koan Introspection and Soto Zen traditions on March 19, 2015 followed by Inka Shomei recognition on August 13, 2019.

Recommendations from our Novice Priests-in-Training 

  • On Zen Practice: Body, Breath, and Mind. Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi and Bernard Glassman.
  • Zen in the Art of Archery.  Eugen Herrigel
  • Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen​​​​​​​. Shunryu Suzuki.

Other Great Books for Beginners

  • In the Buddhas Words.  Bhikkhu Bodhi.
  • What the Buddha Taught.  Rahula, Walpola.
  • Taking the Path of Zen.  Aitken, Robert
  • Everyday Zen: Love & Work.  Beck, Charlotte Joko
  • Start Where You Are.  Chödrön, Pema
  • The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice, and Enlightenment.  Kapleau, Roshi Philip, ed.
  • Path of Enlightenment: Stages in a Spiritual Journey.  Loori, John Daido
  • The Still Point: A Beginner's Guide to Zen Meditation
  • Getting the Buddha Mind. Edited by Ernest Heau.  Master Sheng-yen
  • Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.  Suzuki, Shunryu
  • Buddha.  Armstrong, Karen.
  • How the Swans Came to the Lake: A Narrative History of Buddhism in America.  Fields, Rick
  • Essential Buddhism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs and Practices.  Maguire, Jack.
  • Historical Buddha.  H.W. Schumann.
  • First Buddhist Women.  Susan Murcott.
  • Mountain Record of Zen Talks. Mt. Tremper, N.Y.: Dharma Communications, 1988.  Loori, John Daido.
  • The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch: The text of the TunHuang Manuscript.  Yampolsky, Philip B., trans.