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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. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. The Infinite Mirror

    The Infinite Mirror

    Commentaries on Two Chan Classics

    • by
    • Chan Master Sheng Yen
    Here is the inimitable Master Sheng Yen at his best, illuminating the ancient texts of the Chinese Zen tradition to show how wonderfully practical they really are, even for us today. The texts, written by two of the founders of the Ts’ao-tung sect of Chan Buddhism, are poems entitled Inquiry into Matching Halves and Song of the Precious Mirror Samadhi. Both emphasize the Chan view that wisdom is… Read More

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  5. The Poetry of Enlightenment

    The Poetry of Enlightenment

    Poems by Ancient Chan Masters

    • by
    • Chan Master Sheng Yen
    For the masters of the Chan tradition, poetry was a form of creative expression, but even more than that, it was a primary vehicle for teaching. Here a modern master presents ten teaching poems from the ancient masters, with illuminating commentary. “These poems flow directly from the minds of the enlightened Chan masters,” Master Sheng Yen says. “We get a glimpse into their experience at the time of, and after,… Read More

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  6. Hakuin on Kensho

    Hakuin on Kensho

    The Four Ways of Knowing

    • by
    • Albert Low,
    • Hakuin
    Kensho is the Zen experience of waking up to one’s own true nature—of understanding oneself to be not different from the Buddha-nature that pervades all existence. The Japanese Zen Master Hakuin (1689–1769) considered the experience to be essential. In his autobiography he says: “Anyone who would call himself a member of the Zen family must first achieve kensho-realization of the Buddha’s way. If a person who has not achieved kensho… Read More

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    $16.95
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  7. True Love

    True Love

    A Practice for Awakening the Heart

    • by
    • Thich Nhat Hanh
    In this little treasure, Thich Nhat Hanh, the renowned Zen monk, offers timeless insight into the nature of real love. With simplicity, warmth, and directness, he explores the four key aspects of love as described in the Buddhist tradition: lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and freedom—explaining how to experience them in our day-to-day lives. He also emphasizes that in order to love in a real way, we must first learn how to… Read More

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  8. Wanting Enlightenment Is a Big Mistake

    Wanting Enlightenment Is a Big Mistake

    Teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn

    • by
    • Zen Master Seung Sahn
    • edited by
    • Hyon Gak
    A major figure in the transmission of Zen to the West, Zen Master Seung Sahn was known for his powerful teaching style, which was direct, surprising, and often humorous. He taught that Zen is not about achieving a goal, but about acting spontaneously from “don’t-know mind.” It is from this “before-thinking” nature, he taught, that true compassion and the desire to serve others naturally arises. This collection of teaching stories,… Read More

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    $19.95
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  9. Waking Up to What You Do

    Waking Up to What You Do

    A Zen Practice for Meeting Every Situation with Intelligence and Compassion

    • by
    • Diane Eshin Rizzetto
    Life is rising up to meet us at every moment. The question is: Are we there to meet it or not? Diane Rizzetto presents a simple but supremely effective practice for meeting every moment of our lives with mindfulness, using the Zen precepts as tools to develop a keen awareness of the motivations behind every aspect of our behavior—to "wake up to what we do"—from moment to moment. As… Read More

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  10. One Robe, One Bowl

    One Robe, One Bowl

    The Zen Poetry of Ryokan

    • by
    • John Stevens
    The hermit-monk Ryokan, long beloved in Japan both for his poetry and for his character, belongs in the tradition of the great Zen eccentrics of China and Japan. His reclusive life and celebration of nature and the natural life also bring to mind his younger American contemporary, Thoreau. Ryokan's poetry is that of the mature Zen master, its deceptive simplicity revealing an art that surpasses artifice. Although Ryokan was born… Read More

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