Recent books by MZMC's teaching staff


December 2016 Book Release of Inside Vasubandhu's Yogacara
by Ben Connelly

Click here for more information on the book and 2017 book tour!


Table 13: A Story of Teen Survival and Transformation
by Miles Harrison and Ted O'Toole
published by Willow Island Press in May 2015

This book, which grew out of a mentorship that began when Miles was 14, tells in a raw and vivid way the story of Miles' struggles with drugs, violence, and thoughts of suicide. It also relates the healing effects of a remarkable youth center, and of Ted's supportive presence, informed by his practice of Zen Buddhism. This reading will be of interest to zen practitioners, teens, and anyone who has spent time with a teen in difficulty.

Click here for more information.


Nothing Holy About It: The Zen of Being Just Who You Are
by Guiding Teacher Tim Burkett
published by Shambhala Publications in April 2015

Make sure to check out Tim's new blog on Huffington Post! Just click on the link below.
Read Tim's blog.

Tim's new book was published last spring. He toured the Bay Area in September 2016.
Click here for more information on the tour and the book.
Click here to listen to his recent talk on the book at San Francisco Zen Center.
Click here to order the book.


Inside the Grass Hut: Living Shitou's Classic Zen Poem
by Ben Connelly, Senior Teacher
published by Wisdom Publications in July 2014

Listen to Ben talk about Inside the Grass Hut

Click on the link below to listen to host Jack Rice (950 AM) talking with Ben about his book.
Listen to Ben talk about the book.

Description of the book:

Enter the mind and practice of Zen: apply the insights of one of Zen's classic poems to your life — here and now.
Shitou Xiqian's Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage is a remarkably accessible work of profound depth; in thirty-two lines Shitou expresses the breadth of the entire Buddhist tradition with simple, vivid imagery. Ben Connelly's Inside the Grass Hut unpacks the timeless poem and applies it to contemporary life. His book delivers a wealth of information on the context and content of this eighth-century work, as well as directly evokes the poem's themes of simple living, calm, and a deep sense of connection to all things. This is destined to become a trusted, dog-eared companion.

Comments on the book:

"Clearly and beautifully links the life of this renunciate mountain monk to our own complex, multitasking, engaged and over-involved lives. He brings this poem to our lives, just as they are."
—Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness

"Written from the inside out, this wonderful book explores Zen Master Shitou's marvelous and revelatory poem Song of the Grass Roof Hemitage. The language and sense of immediacy makes Shitou's work transparent to all."
—Joan Halifax, founding abbot, Upaya Zen Center

"Easy and pleasant to read, with plenty of wit, and many examples from daily life. There's humor, deft turning of phrase, even some paradox and poetry."
—Norman Fischer, author of Training in Compassion

"Written not just for Zen practitioners, this lovely book offers insights and encouragement to all who seek to live in the simplicity of the present moment."
—Janet Abels, author of Making Zen Your Own

"A clear, charitable presentation of Zen tradition and practice. Striking is the personal and serene tone of the writing, of the instructive exposition, which infuses the book with a living pulse and— what I will dare to call here—the very essence of Zen."
—Mike O'Connor, translator of Where the World Does Not Follow

Ben began Zen practice at MZMC in 2001, was ordained in 2009, and received dharma transmission in 2015. He is also a professional musician and leads meditation/backpacking retreats in Montana. He lives in Minneapolis, MN.


Our mission is to help people experience a deep and quiet joy – a joy that arises whenever we are fully engaged in the work or play of this moment.