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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. Making a Change for Good

    Making a Change for Good

    A Guide to Compassionate Self-Discipline

    • by
    • Cheri Huber
    According to Zen teacher Cheri Huber, we are conditioned to think that if we were only a little better in some way, we would be happy: “Life isn't the way it should be and it's my fault!” But, Huber says, no amount of self-punishment will ever make us happy or bring us control over life’s problems. The help we are looking for is really found in self-acceptance and… Read More

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  2. The Silent Question

    The Silent Question

    Meditating in the Stillness of Not-Knowing

    • by
    • Toni Packer
    In The Silent Question, Packer provides fresh insights on using the experiences of life that are raw, messy, painful, and sometimes full of laughter, to open a way to compassion. She urges us to let go of our thoughts and to sit "in the stillness of not knowing" in order to reflect upon the essential question of who we are. Packer encourages us to discover that life, energy, and insight… Read More

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  3. The Work of This Moment

    The Work of This Moment

    • by
    • Toni Packer
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  4. The Poetry of Zen

    The Poetry of Zen

    • edited by
    • Sam Hamill,
    • J. P. Seaton
    A Zen poem is nothing other than an expression of the enlightened mind, a handful of simple words that disappear beneath the moment of insight to which it bears witness. Poetry has been an essential aid to Zen Buddhist practice from the dawn of Zen—and Zen has also had a profound influence on the secular poetry of the countries in which it has flourished. Here, two… Read More

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  5. Zen Bow, Zen Arrow

    Zen Bow, Zen Arrow

    The Life and Teachings of Awa Kenzo, the Archery Master from Zen in the Art of Archery

    • by
    • John Stevens
    Here are the inspirational life and teachings of Awa Kenzo (1880–1939), the Zen and kyudo (archery) master who gained worldwide renown after the publication of Eugen Herrigel's cult classic Zen in the Art of Archery in 1953. Kenzo lived and taught at a pivotal time in Japan's history, when martial arts were practiced primarily for self-cultivation, and his wise and penetrating instructions for practice (and life)—including aphorisms, poetry, instructional lists,… Read More

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  6. The Mirror of Zen

    The Mirror of Zen

    The Classic Guide to Buddhist Practice by Zen Master So Sahn

    • edited by
    • Zen Master So Sahn
    The sacred radiance of our original nature never darkens.It has shined forth since beginningless time.Do you wish to enter the gate that leads to this?Simply do not give rise to conceptual thinking. Zen Master So Sahn (1520–1604) is a towering figure in the history of Korean Zen. In this treasure-text, he presents in simple yet beautiful language the core principles and… Read More

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  7. 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 of Shunryu Suzuki's classic. In a single stroke, the simple sentence cuts through the pervasive tendency students have of getting so close to Zen as to… Read More

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  8. Attaining the Way

    Attaining the Way

    A Guide to the Practice of Chan Buddhism

    • by
    • Chan Master Sheng Yen
    This is an inspiring guide to the practice of Chan (Chinese Zen) in the words of four great masters of that tradition. It includes teachings from contemporary masters Xuyun and Sheng Yen, and from Jiexian and Boshan of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). Though the texts were written over a period of hundreds of years, they are all remarkably lucid and are perfect for beginners as well as more advanced practitioners… Read More

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  9. Dharma Drum

    Dharma Drum

    The Life and Heart of Chan Practice

    • by
    • Chan Master Sheng Yen
    Here is an ideal guide to the practice of Chan Buddhism by a great modern teacher. Part One presents Master Sheng Yen’s lively, anecdotal account of the history and main principles of the Chan tradition, along with his careful instructions for meditation. Part Two consists of 180 of his gemlike aphorisms and sayings that serve as inspirations to spiritual practice. The book will appeal to beginners as well as experienced… Read More

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  10. Faith in Mind

    Faith in Mind

    A Commentary on Seng Ts'an's Classic

    • by
    • Chan Master Sheng Yen
    The Supreme Way is not difficult If only you do not pick and choose. Neither love nor hate, And you will clearly understand. Be off by a hair, And you are as far from it as heaven and earth. These vivid lines begin one of the most beloved and commented upon of all Zen texts, the Hsin Hsin MingRead More

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