Recommended Reading

By Rev. Daigaku Rummé

The object of Zen practice is to realize the Way of Buddha; i.e. liberation from our self-centered viewpoints. This can never be accomplished simply by reading books or through intellectual understanding. After all, Zen is “the transmission outside the teachings; one which isn’t based on words.” For that reason, I often say it’s best not to read too much. But that doesn’t mean it’s wrong to read.

I suggest reading books and sutras that encourage us to practice diligently. In particular, the original texts by Zen masters such as Dogen Zenji, Rinzai Zenji, and others. I also recommend reading and memorizing certain sutras, and yes, I also recommend the books of my teacher, Harada Sekkei.

Please see the list below, which I will update periodically.


  1. The Heart of Great Perfect Wisdom Sutra
  2. Fukan-zazengi
  3. The Song of Zazen


  1. Dogen Zenji’s Gakudo Yojinshu and Tenzo Kyokun and Bendowa
  2. Rinzai Zenji’s Record of Lin-chi
  3. The Essence of Zen by Harada Sekkei. Wisdom Publications. (Please join us for our Study Group at which time we are reading and discussing this book.)
  4. Unfathomable Depths by Harada Sekkei. Wisdom Publications