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Page history last edited by Peg Syverson 13 years, 11 months ago

Zen practice does not depend on reading and study. It is a direct realization of life as it is. Reading and study cannot substitute for regular daily sitting practice and work with a teacher, any more than reading cookbooks can substitute for actually preparing food and eating it. However, study can be a helpful complement to practice. It expands our horizons, encourages our practice, and inspires us when we are discouraged or challenged on the path. In Zen practice we do not use study for intellectual or conceptual understanding. We encourage you not to entangle yourself in the snares of words and ideas. As you read and study, allow the teachings to sink into your body and become realized in your practice. Our practice is the practice of waking up and growing up. 


So many people have asked us for recommendations for study, that we have been working on an informal Zen “curriculum” of recommended resources. You can see a map of this living curriculum here. Some of these are listed below. Most of these texts are very accessible, however, some are more challenging. If you have questions about whether a particular book is appropriate for you at this point in your practice, please ask your teacher. If you would like to recommend a book for this curriculum, please contact Flint or Peg or leave a comment below. The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies also has a recommended reading list here.


Please be aware that through Amazon Associates, your purchase of any book through one of the links below also helps support the Appamada sangha.


Waking Up: Zen Study Growing Up: Psychological Study
Before you begin, see if this path is for you Early psychological development and attachment

Joko Beck, Everyday Zen: Love and Work

Dan Siegel and Mary Hartzel, Parenting From the Inside Out

Joko Beck, Nothing Special

David J. Wallin, Attachment in Psychotherapy

Steve Hagen, Buddhism Plain and Simple

(Dan Siegel, John Welwood, Jack Engler, IFS, etc.)

Stephen Batchelor, Buddhism Without Beliefs


Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught

Begin at the Beginning: The Buddha  

Bikkhu Nanamoli, The Life of the Buddha According to the Pali Canon


Bikkhu Bodhi, In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon

Origins of Zen in China   

Andy Ferguson, Zen's Chinese Heritage: The Masters & Their Teachings


Peter Hershock, Chan Buddhism


Mu Soeng, Trust in Mind: The Rebellion of Chinese Zen


Taigen Dan Leighton, Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi

Japanese Zen: (Suzuki, Hakuin, Dogen, etc.)  
Korean Zen:   
Women in Buddhism:   
Contemporary Practice: (Fischer, Suzuki, Katagiri, Rizzetto, Loy, Adyashanti, Sheng Yen, Joanna Macy, etc., Michael Brazier)  
Advanced Study: (Philosophical Meditations, Liberating Intimacy, Mutual Causality, Shobogenzo, Nagarjuna, How the World Can Be the Way It Is, Sutras, etc.)  
Other Buddhist teachings: (Vipassana teachers, Tibetan teachers, Jean Klein, Pema Chodron, Jack Kornfield, etc.)  




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