Reading /Videos

BoWZ Westchester Sutra Book
Additional Texts
Boundless Way Zen Sutra Book, 4th ed.

Reading Schedule for Saturday Meetings:
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
May 30 -- Experience, Not Philosophy
Jun 6 -- Original Buddhism
Jun 13 -- Beyond Consciousness
Jun 20 -- Buddha's Enlightenment
Jun 27 -- Epilogue: Zen Mind

Recommended Introductory Reading

1. Aitken, Robert. Taking the Path of Zen.
2. Batchelor, Martine. Way of Zen.
3. Maezumi and Glassman. On Zen Practice: Body, Breath, and Mind.
4. Beck, Charlotte Joko. Everyday Zen.
5. Suzuki, Shunryu, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.
6. Kosho Uchiyama, Opening the Hand of Thought.
7. Kapleau, Philip, ed. Three Pillars of Zen.
8. Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of Buddha's Teaching and Old Path, White Cloud.

Key Ancient Texts

1. The Diamond Sutra (trans. with commentary by Red Pine. See also: trans. with commentary by Thich Nhat Hanh as The Diamond That Cuts Through Illusion.)
2. Vimalakirti Sutra, trans. Burton Watson.
3. Lankavatara Sutra, trans. Red Pine.
4. Surangama Sutra, trans. Buddhist Text Translation Society.
5. The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma, trans. Red Pine.
6. The Platform Sutra of Huineng, trans. Red Pine.
7. The Zen Teaching of Huang-Po: On the Transmission of Mind, trans. John Blofeld.
8. The Record of Linji, trans. Jeffrey Broughton
9. The Recorded Sayings of Zen Master Joshu [Zhaozhou], trans. James Green.
10. Moon in a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen.

Precepts Study

1. Loori, John Daido. The Heart of Being: Moral and Ethical Teachings of Zen Buddhism.
2. Aitken, Robert. The Mind of Clover: Essays in Zen Buddhist Ethics.
3. Anderson, Reb. Being Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts.
4. Rizzetto, Diane Eshin. Waking Up to What You Do: A Zen Practice for Meeting Every Situation with Intelligence and Compassion.
5. Glassman, Bernie. Infinite Circle: Teachings in Zen.

Koan Collections

Gateless Gate -- a.k.a. Wumenguan (Chinese, Pinyin), Wu-men-kuan (Chinese, Wade-Giles), Mumonkan (Japanese)
Blue Cliff Record -- a.k.a. Biyan Lu (Chinese, Pinyin), Pi-yen Lu (Chinese, Wade-Giles), Hekiganroku (Japanese)
Book of Serenity -- a.k.a. Book of Equanimity, Congrong Lu (Chinese, Pinyin), Ts'ung-jung Lu (Chinese, Wade-Giles), Shoyoroku (Japanese)

A Quarterly Study Plan

Quarterly Study Schedule
These are selections worth re-visiting every quarter, and they are arranged here for the 13 weeks in a season. There is one book to acquire (Moon in a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen, ed. by Kazuaki Tanahashi). All the other texts are available through the links provided.

Q. What if I don’t finish the week’s reading in one week?
A. Put in a bookmark and come back to it 3 months later. The next time through the quarterly sequence, simply pick up where you left off. That’s generally better than delaying your start of the subsequent week’s reading while you finish. The exception to this would be Weeks 8-10, when it makes sense to read the Dogen pages in order, continuing each week from whatever point you've reached.

Q. What if I don’t understand what I’m reading?
A. You needn’t expect to understand, especially at first. Maybe you’ll never feel you understand, but that doesn’t mean the study has no value. Make what sense of it you can, even if it’s very little, and keep going. Trust that as you return to a given text, quarter after quarter, it will gradually begin to make more sense.

Week 1: Mar 22, Jun 21, Sep 21, Dec 21.
Diamond Sutra (tr. Red Pine). (8.342 words)
Platform Sutra (tr. Red Pine). (15,291 words)

Week 2: Mar 29, Jun 28, Sep 28, Dec 28.
Bodhidharma (440?-538?), Bodhidharma Sermons (“Outline of Practice,” “Bloodstream Sermon,” “Wake-Up Sermon,” “Breakthrough Sermon”). (13,271 words.)

Week 3: Apr 5, Jul 5, Oct 5, Jan 4.
Mazu (709-788), The Record of Mazu.
Huangbo (766-850), The Zen Teaching of Huangbo.

Week 4: Apr 12, Jul 12, Oct 12, Jan 11.
Zhaozhou (778-897), The Record of Zhaozhou, pp. 13-160

Week 5: Apr 19, Jul 19, Oct 19, Jan 18.
Linji (812-866), The Record of Linji, tr. Ruth Fuller Sasaki, “Discourses,” pp. 3-33.

Week 6: Apr 26, Jul 26, Oct 26, Jan 25.
Hongzhi (1091-1157), Cultivating the Empty Field, pp. 29-70.

Week 7: May 3, Aug 2, Nov 2, Feb 1.
Seiran (1845-1918), “Shushogi” (Summary of Dogen) (2,865 words). Start on Moon in a Dewdrop, pp. 29-210.

Week 8: May 10, Aug 9, Nov 9, Feb 8.
Continue Moon in a Dewdrop, pp. 29-210.

Week 9: May 17, Aug 16, Nov 16, Feb 15.
Continue Moon in a Dewdrop, pp. 29-210.

Week 10: May 24, Aug 23, Nov 23, Feb 22.
Finish Moon in a Dewdrop, pp. 29-210.

Week 11: May 31, Aug 31, Nov 30, Mar 1.
Bassui (1327-1387), Mud and Water, tr. Arthur Braverman, part 1 pp. 3-37.

Week 12: Jun 7, Sep 7, Dec 7, Mar 8.
Bankei (1622-1693), Bankei Zen, tr. Peter Haskel, Sermons, part 1, et al.

Week 13: Jun 14, Sep 14, Dec 14, Mar 15
Hakuin (1686-1769), The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin, p. 9-103.

(Each week begins on the Monday closest to the date shown. Exception: when Aug 27 (or, in a leap year, Feb 26) falls on a Monday, that's an "extra week" for exploring dharma texts on your own.)

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Josh Bartok's reading recommendations: CLICK HERE.

Four brief, informative videos:
  1. How to do Zazen (seated meditation) (from AOL) -- 6:33.
  2. How to do Zazen (from SotoZenNet) -- 7:01.
  3. The Fundamentals of Zen teaching -- 9:14.
  4. The Fruits of Zen -- 9:32.
    1. HOW TO DO ZAZEN (from AOL)

    "Zen" means meditation, and "Za" means seated.

    2. HOW TO DO ZAZEN (from Soto Zen Net)

    "The truth of our life is that we are alive here now. In Zen teachings, the truth of our life is called the original self. The practice which manifests original self is zazen."


    Helen Cortes, assistant teacher at Maria Kannon Zen Center in Dallas, narrates this unpacking of fundamentals for Zen practice.
    1. Posture: Be fully grounded, back straight. When you're sitting straight, you can breathe rightly and bring the mind to stillness. Postures include: full lotus, half lotus, quarter lotus, Burmese posture, bench, kneeling on cushions, chair. Hands: Left on top of right, thumbs lightly touching. Eyes: Half-open, half-closed. Breath: Count the exhales silently, up to 10.
    2. Stilling of the mind: The monkey mind never stops. See yourself as a mountain with thoughts as clouds.
    3. Kinhin (walking meditation).
    4. Sit every day.


    The lead teacher of Maria Kannon Zen Center, Roshi Ruben Habito, describes the three fruits of zen.

    1. Concentration and presence. With expanded capacity for concentration emerges a way of life that comes from the center, living in the here and now. We no longer hanker after a past, nor a future, but are at home in here and now. We are attentive and respond with alertness and spontaneity.
    2. Insight. The practice yields glimpses our true nature, that is, our non-separateness, our interconnection (interbeing) with the whole universe. We realize that we are one. We no longer feel anxious or insecure, but experience unconditional love from the whole universe.
    3. Compassion. Our capacity to give back to others out of peace and love grows. Our life of quiet joy and peace is a life of compassion contributing to the well-being of the world.

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