Books and Links
Good books for beginners and experienced practitioners alike
Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, by Shunryu Suzuki
This book is a classic that introduced many people to Buddhist practice. It contains short, edited talks by the late founder of San Francisco Zen Center that are easy to read while providing profound teachings.
The Miracle of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hanh
This is another classic book about Buddhism, written by a Vietnamese monk who was nominated by Martin Luther King, Jr. for the Nobel Peace Prize. Of his many books, this one has been the entryway for many people into Buddhist practice.
Taking the Path of Zen, by Robert Aitken
Aitkin-roshi began his Zen studies while in a Japanese concentration camp during World War II. His years of practice have yielded many excellent books. This is a good one to start with, as it gives an introduction to many Buddhist concepts and practices in straightforward language.
Buddhism Plain and Simple, by Steve Hagen
A dharma heir of Katagiri-roshi, and the editor of Katagiri's two books, Hagen provides a clear, down-to-earth, accessible discussion of awakening. In this book, he skillfully guides the reader through "the practice of being aware, right now, every day."
Everyday Zen, by Charlotte Joko Beck
This book by American Zen master Joko Beck is a profound source of day-to-day wisdom. She discusses a wide range of practical applications of living the dharma in daily life, using language and examples that are very accessible for Western students.
Books by Minnesota Zen Center's founder, Dainin Katagiri-roshi
Returning to Silence: Zen Practice in Daily Life
The first book of edited dharma talks by Katagiri-roshi, this wonderful collection spans his teachings at MZMC during the 1970s and 1980s. The talks cover four areas: Zen in daily life, entrance to the Buddha way, Buddhist faith and practice, and a commentary on Dogen's The Bodhisattva's Four Methods of Guidance.
You Have to Say Something: Manifesting Zen Insight
Katagiri-roshi's second book contains more wisdom from his teaching at MZMC. As the title implies, the emphasis is on manifesting our Buddhist practice in every moment, wholeheartedly expressing our Buddha Nature in everything we do.
Each Moment Is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time
Time is the central theme of the book, particularly Dogen Zenji's understanding of time. Usually we think of time as a commodity or resource, something we can save, spend, make, buy, or waste. But Katagiri Roshi presents time as a dynamic process that is integrated with life itself. It's not a metaphysical abstraction, it's something we can see and experience directly. Longtime sangha member Andrea Martin shaped the book from talks that Katagiri Roshi gave during the last two decades of his life.
Other Katagiri dharma heirs' practice centers:
- Clouds in Water Zen Center, St Paul, MN
- Compassionate Ocean Dharma Center, Minneapolis, MN
- Dharma Field Zen Center, Minneapolis, MN
- Great Tree Zen Women's Temple, Alexander, NC
- Hokyoji Zen Practice Community, Eitzen, MN
- Ryumonji Zen Monastery, Dorchester, IA
- Nebraska Zen Center, Omaha, NE
- Zen Center of Asheville, Asheville, NC
Other related Zen Centers: