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Zen / Mahayana

The Mahayana tradition of Buddhism, of which Zen is an important expression (along with Chinese Chan and Korean Soen), arose sometime around the first century C.E. in South India and spread throughout Asia.  It is characterized by the ideal of the bodhisattva: the compassionate being whose desire for enlightenment isn’t an individual quest but includes all other sentient beings as well.

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  1. The Unfettered Mind

    The Unfettered Mind

    Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman

    • by
    • Takuan Soho
    This classic samurai-era text fused Japanese swordsmanship with Zen and influenced the direction that the art has taken ever since. Written by the seventeenth-century Zen master Takuan Soho (1573–1645), The Unfettered Mind is a book of advice on swordsmanship and the cultivation of right mind and intention. It was written as a guide for the samurai Yagyu Munenori, who was a great swordsman and rival to the legendary Miyamoto Musashi.… Read More

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  2. Beating the Cloth Drum

    Beating the Cloth Drum

    Letters of Zen Master Hakuin

    • by
    • Hakuin
    Hakuin Ekaku (1685-1769) is one of the most influential figures in Zen Buddhism. He revitalized the Rinzai Zen tradition (which emphasizes the use of koans, or unanswerable questions, in meditation practice), and all masters of that school today trace their lineage back through him. He is responsible for the most famous of all koans: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" He is also famous for his striking and… Read More

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  3. Your True Home

    Your True Home

    The Everyday Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh

    • by
    • Thich Nhat Hanh
    • edited by
    • Melvin McLeod
    Bringing the energy of true presence into our lives really does change things for the better—and all it takes is a little training. This treasury of 365 gems of daily wisdom from one of the most beloved Buddhist teachers of our age is a help and support for anyone who wants to train to meet every moment of life with 100 percent attention. Thich Nhat Hanh shows how practicing mindfulness… Read More

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  4. True Love

    True Love

    A Practice for Awakening the Heart

    • by
    • Thich Nhat Hanh
    Love might not be what we think it is. We all seek the happiness that comes from loving and being loved, yet we often find ourselves dissatisfied in our relationships and unable to grasp the cause. Thich Nhat Hanh here shows the way to overcome our recurrent obstacles to love—by learning to be mindful, open, and present with ourselves and others. As he explains, “training is needed in order to… Read More

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  5. Beyond Happiness

    Beyond Happiness

    The Zen Way to True Contentment

    • by
    • Ezra Bayda
    Many books have been published in recent years on happiness. Ezra Bayda, a remarkably down-to-earth Zen teacher, believes that the happiness "boom" has been largely a bust for readers. Why? Because it's precisely the pursuit of happiness that keeps us trapped in cycles of dissatisfaction and suffering. In Beyond Happiness, Bayda draws on Zen teachings to question our conventional notions about what happiness is and where we can… Read More

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  6. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

    Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

    • by
    • Shunryu Suzuki
    "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." So begins this most beloved of all American Zen books. Seldom has such a small handful of words provided a teaching as rich as has this famous opening line. In a single stroke, the simple sentence cuts through the pervasive tendency students have of getting so close to Zen as to completely… Read More

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    $15.95
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  7. You Are Here

    You Are Here

    Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment

    • by
    • Thich Nhat Hanh
    • edited by
    • Melvin McLeod
    In this book Thich Nhat Hanh, the renowned Zen monk, author, and meditation master, distills the essence of Buddhist thought and practice, emphasizing the power of mindfulness to transform our lives. “Mindfulness is not an evasion or an escape,” he explains. “It means being here, present, and totally alive. It is true freedom—and without this freedom, there is no happiness.” Based on a retreat that Thich… Read More

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  8. Buddhism through American Women's Eyes

    Buddhism through American Women's Eyes

    • by
    • Karma Lekshe Tsomo
    The Buddha's path to human transformation declares women and men equally capable of spiritual realization, yet throughout history most exemplars of this tradition have been men. Now, as Buddhism is transmitted to the West, women are playing a major role in its adaptation and development. The conversation presented here takes place among experienced practitioners from many Buddhist traditions who share their thoughts on the Buddhist outlook, its practical application… Read More

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  9. The Undying Lamp of Zen

    The Undying Lamp of Zen

    The Testament of Zen Master Torei

    • by
    • Zen Master Torei Enji
    • edited by
    • Thomas Cleary
    This is a complete explanation of Zen practice written by one of the most eminent masters of pre-modern Japan. The author, Torei Enji (1721–1792), was best known as one of two “genius assistants” to Hakuin Ekaku, who was himself a towering figure in Zen Buddhism who revitalized the Rinzai school. Torei was responsible for much of the advanced work of Hakuin’s later disciples and also helped systemize Hakuin’s teachings.… Read More

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  10. The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin

    The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin

    • by
    • Hakuin
    A fiery and intensely dynamic Zen teacher and artist, Hakuin (1685–1768) is credited with almost single-handedly revitalizing Japanese Zen after three hundred years of decline. As a teacher, he placed special emphasis on koan practice, inventing many new koans himself, including the famous “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” As an artist, Hakuin used calligraphy and painting to create “visual Dharma”—teachings that powerfully express the nature of enlightenment.… Read More

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