Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

Recommended Reading List

This list was put together by Tenshin Fletcher Roshi as recommended reading for his students. The list consists of general reading and also the koan collections that some students work with as part of their practice.

You will find most of these titles for purchase on our online store. Please consider buying your practice-related books from Yokoji as a way of supporting the center as well as supporting your own path.

General Reading

  • Way of Zen

    Tenshin Fletcher Roshi and Keizan Scott Sensei

    This comprehensive guide to Zen Buddhism covers just about everything you need to know about this important tradition. Starting from the beginning in pre-Buddhist India, the book charts the progress of Buddhism through Asia and up to the present as it takes hold in the west.

    We stock new copies in our gift store which we will sell online when the new store goes up (mid 2013). The book is out of print, but for now, if you click on the title it will take you to Amazon where you can by a second hand copy. Alternately, contact the office and we can mail you a new copy for $12.95 + shippping.

  • Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice

    Maezumi Roshi

    A collection of dharma talks from Maezumi Roshi, founder of Yokoji Zen Mountain Center and pioneer of Zen in the west. The talks were collected posthumously and edited by a number of Maezumi Roshi's students and successors.

  • On Zen Practice: Body, Breath, and Mind

    Maezumi Roshi and Bernie Glassman

    A collection of essays focused around the basics of Zen and meditation. A great book for beginners that lays out many of the basic points of Zen Buddhism.

  • The Hazy Moon of Enlightenment

    Maezumi Roshi

    The second book in the On Zen Practice series looks at the concepts of delusion and enlightenment from a practice perspective, each chapter based on a fragment of writing by Master Dogen.

  • Moon in a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen

    Master Dogen, trans. Tanahashi

    A true Zen classic. This is one (the other being Enlightenment Unfolds) of two distillations of Master Dogen's Treasury of the True Dharma Eye. Perhaps not the best book to start out with if you are new to practice, but a true treasure of the Zen school.

  • Enlightenment Unfolds

    Master Dogen, trans. Tanahashi

    In this companion piece to Moon in a Dewdrop, Kazuaki Tanahashi's continues his concise translations of many of Master Dogen's greatest works.

  • The Path of the Human Being: Zen Teachings on the Bodhisattva Way

    Genpo Merzel Roshi

    A pioneer in developing modern western approached to Zen training, Genpo Roshi's masterful insight is expressed in down to earth and meaningful terms.

  • Taking the Path of Zen

    Aitken Roshi

    A common sense guide to the posture, practice and expression of Zen Buddhism. A great book for students who are starting out with practice.

  • Everyday Zen: Love and Work

    Charlotte Joko Beck

    A true modern Zen classic. Accessible and refreshingly forthright. Charlotte Joko Beck was one of the first true western Zen teachers and one of Maezumi Roshi's early successors.

  • Invoking Reality

    Daido Loori Roshi

    Daido Loori Roshi brings his many years of experience to shine fresh light on the core tenets of Zen practice. Loori Roshi is another of Maezumi Roshi's successors and was the founder of Zen Mountain Monastery in upstate New York.

  • The Mind of Clover: Essays in Zen Buddhist Ethics

    Aitken Roshi

    Aitken Roshi's guide to the ethical principles that are at the heart of Zen practice.

  • Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

    Chogyam Trungpa

    In his inimitable style, Chogyam Trungpa confronts many of the ways we subvert practice to serve the illusory self. A contemporary teacher of Maezumi Roshi, and pioneer of Tibetan Buddhism in the west.

  • The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation

    Chogyam Trungpa

    With great clarity, Chogyam Trungpa goes beyond preconceived ideas of spiritual freedom opening the gate to true human potential.

  • The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice, and Enlightenment

    Philip Kapleau Roshi

    An early Zen classic. It contains a riveting account of Kapleau Roshi's training in Japan.

  • When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

    Pema Chodron

    A reliable guide to practicing amidst the most difficult circumstances. Pema Chodron, successor of Chogyam Trungpa, offers heart-felt advice and her loving wisdom.

  • Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

    Suzuki Roshi

    Along with Maezumi Roshi and others, one of the instrumental teachers who brought Zen from the east to the west. This book is his seminal work.

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Koan Collections

These koan collections are used as part of Zen training at Yokoji.

  • The Gateless Gate

    Master Koun Yamada

    This translation and commentaries by Yamada Roshi is the edition that Tenshin Roshi recommends his students use for study.

  • The Blue Cliff Record

    Thomas Cleary and J. C. Cleary

    The full Blue Cliff record complete with commentaries and verses.

  • Secrets of the Blue Cliff Record: Zen Comments by Hakuin and Tenkei

    Thomas Cleary

    This slimmer version of the Blue Cliff Record has commentaries by Hakuin Zenji and Master Tenkei, two Zen teachers from the Rinzai and Soto lineages respectively.

  • The Book of Equanimity

    Shishin Wick Roshi

    This modern set of commentaries on the classic Soto Zen koan collection is from Shishin Roshi, one of Tenshin Roshi's dharma brothers and another of Maezumi Roshi's successors.

  • The Record of Transmitting the Light: Zen Master Keizan's Denkoroku

    Francis Dojun Cook

    There are a few versions of this text, but this one by Dojun Cook is the one that comes recommended by Tenshin Roshi.

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Yokoji online store

Check out our online store where we sell a number of these books alongside other items to support your practice.