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.
- The Heart of Great Perfect Wisdom Sutra
- The Song of Zazen
- Dogen Zenji’s Gakudo Yojinshu and Tenzo Kyokun and Bendowa
- Rinzai Zenji’s Record of Lin-chi
- 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.)
- Unfathomable Depths by Harada Sekkei. Wisdom Publications