On this page, you will find three types of resources to help you learn about Zen and further your practice. Below, we share:
- a number of books we have found useful;
- chants that we use during practice;
- several links to websites we encourage you to explore to deepen your understanding.
Zen practice, philosophy, and tradition has been captured throughout the centuries in many, many books. Below are a few that we recommend.
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind - Shunryu Suzuki
Informal talks on the basics of Zen practice, by the founder of San Francisco Zen Center and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and teacher of many influential Western Zen teachers.
No Beginning, No End - Jakusho Kwong
Combining traditional Zen stories, anecdotes from his training with Suzuki Roshi, and his own inspiring teachings, Kwong Roshi points to the intimate heart of Zen, and its potential expression in everyday life.
Everyday Zen - Charlotte Joko Beck
A student of Taizan Maezumi, Joko Beck taught Zen students in different venues for many years. Her teaching focused on using Zen practice to deal with situations that arise in daily living.
Taking the Path of Zen - Robert Aitken
An American Zen teacher influenced by Japanese teachers from several Zen lineages, Aitken provides a deep introduction to zazen (seated meditation) as the fundamental Zen practice.
Invoking Reality - John Daido Loori
The subtitle, Moral and Ethical Teachings of Zen, explains the essence of this important work by the founder and long-time abbot of the Mountains and Rivers Order.
Breath Sweeps Mind - Jakusho Kwong
An illuminating resource for beginners and experienced practitioners alike. This audiobook contains a series of dharma talks--always serious and often playful--on the core principles of Zen, and how they relate to our everyday world.
Instructions to the Cook - B. Glassman
Bernie Glassman draws on the teachings of Dogen and his own experience as a Zen entrepreneur to relate "lessons in living a life that matters." The sections of the book indicate its breadth and depth: Recipes for Spirit; Recipes for Learning; Recipes for Livelihood; Recipes for Social Change; Recipes for Community.
Don't Be A Jerk
- Brad Warner
Brad Warner, a long-time Zen student and teacher (and punk-rock bassist), provides an irreverent and entirely serious paraphrase of Shobogenzo, the seminal work of Soto Zen by Eihei Dogen that many students struggle to understand in traditional translations.
Living by Vow - Shohaku Okumura
A superb translator and teacher provides a deep interpretation of eight essential Zen texts, seamlessly linking their contemporary relevance with their traditional origins. Essential for beginners and experienced practitioners alike.
Below you will find links to a number of other websites that we believe you may find valuable as you pursue your understanding and practice of Zen.
Sonoma Mountain Zen Center
The Zen center founded in 1973 by Jakusho Kwong Roshi, its guiding teacher and abbot. The Del Ray Zen Community is an affiliated sitting group of SMZC.
Kannon Zen Center Warsaw, Poland
Polish sangha affiliated with Sonoma Mountain Zen Center.
Natthagi Zen Center Reykjavik, Iceland
Icelandic sangha affiliated with Sonoma Mountain Zen Center.
The Zen sangha founded in 1962 by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, author of the classic Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, and the teacher of Jakusho Kwong-roshi.
Bloomington, Indiana sangha whose founder and guiding teacher is Shohaku Okumura, a leading translator and interpreter of Dogen Zenji.
Chicago sangha founded and led by Taigen Dan Leighton, a teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki and translator of several works of Dogen Zenji.
A global community founded by the Tibetan master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a close associate of Jakusho Kwong Roshi.
A practice and education center dedicated to developing links between traditional Buddhism and compassionate engagement in the world. Led by founder and guiding teacher Joan Halifax Roshi.
Minnesota Zen Meditation Center
Minneapolis Zen center founded in 1972 by Dainin Katagiri Roshi. Now led by guiding teacher Tim Burkett, a long-time student of Katagiri and Shunryu Suzuki Roshi.
California sangha founded in 1967 by Taizan Maezumi Roshi, one of the early and important Zen teachers in the United States.
Zen Peacemakers, founded and led by Bernie Glassman, supports Socially Engaged Buddhism throughout the world.