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Good Reading

A Reading List for the Koan Tradition

Lopez Jr, Donald S. The Story of Buddhism: A Concise Guide to Its History & Teachings
Hershock, Peter D. Chan Buddhism
Dumoulin, Heinrich. Zen Buddhism: A History--India and China
Dumoulin, Heinrich. Zen Buddhism: A History--Japan
Addiss, Stephen, ed. Zen Sourcebook: Traditional Documents from China, Korea, and Japan
Ferguson, Andy. Zen's Chinese Heritage: The Masters and Their Teachings
Miura Isshū and Ruth Fuller Sasaki. Zen Dust: The History of the Kōan and Kōan Study in Rinzai Zen
_____. The Zen Koan [Zen Dust without the footnotes, which are the best part]
Schireson, Grace. Zen Women: Beyond Tea Ladies, Iron Maidens, and Macho Masters
Batchelor, Martine. The Way of Zen

Sutherland, Joan. Acequias and Gates (The Miscellaneous Koans)
Shibayama Zenkei. Zen Comments on the Mumonkan
Yamada Koūn. Gateless Gate
Aitken, Robert. The Gateless Barrier
Cleary, Thomas and J.C. Cleary, trans. The Blue Cliff Record
Cleary, Thomas, trans. Secrets of the Blue Cliff Record: Zen Comments by Hakuin and Tenkei
_____. Book of Serenity: One Hundred Zen Dialogs
Kirchner, Thomas Yūhō, ed. and Ruth Fuller Sasaki, trans. and comment. The Record of Linji
Hoffman, Yoel. Every End Exposed: The 100 Perfect Koans of Master Kidō with the Answers of Hakuin-Zen
Cook, Francis H., trans. The Record of Transmitting the Light: Zen Master Keizan's Denkoroku
Kirchner, Thomas Yūhō, trans. Entangling Vines: Zen Koans of the Shūmon Kattōshū
Leggett, Trevor. Samurai Zen: The Warrior Koans
Senzaki Nyogen. The Iron Flute: 100 Zen Koans
Hori, Victor Sōgen. Zen Sand: The Book of Capping Phrases for Kōan Practice

Red Pine, trans. and comment. The Diamond Sutra
_____. The Heart Sutra
_____. The Platform Sutra: The Zen Teaching of Hui-neng
_____. The Lankavatara Sutra: Translation and Commentary
Suzuki, D.T., trans. The Lankavatara Sutra: An Epitomized Version
Watson, Burton, trans. The Vimalakirti Sutra Classical Teachers
BODHIDHARMA Red Pine, trans. The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma
DAHUI Cleary, J.C., trans. Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui
DONGSHAN Powell, William F., trans. The Record of Tung-shan
HONGZHI Leighton, Taigen Dan. Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi
HUANGBO Blofeld, John, trans. The Zen Teaching of Huang Po
LAYMAN PANG Green, James. trans. The Sayings of Layman Pʻang
LINJI Kirchner, Thomas Yūhō, ed. and Ruth Fuller Sasaki, trans. and comment. The Record of Linji
YUANWU Cleary, Thomas and J.C. Cleary, trans. Zen Letters: Teachings of Yuanwu
YUNMEN App, Urs, trans. Master Yunmen
ZHAOZHOU Green, James, trans. The Recorded Sayings of Zen Master Joshu
BANKEI Waddell, Norman, trans. The Unborn: The Life and Teaching of Zen Master Bankei
HAKUIN Waddell, Norman, trans. The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin
IKKYU, HAKUIN, RYOKAN Stevens, John. Extraordinary Zen Masters: A Maverick, a Master of Masters, and a Wandering Poet
MUSO SOSEKI Muso Kokushi and Thomas Cleary, trans. Dream Conversations: On Buddhism and Zen and Merwin, W.S., trans. Sun at Midnight: Poems and Sermons by Muso Soseki
TOREI Cleary, Thomas, trans. The Undying Lamp of Zen: The Testament of Zen Master Torei AND Okuda Yoko, trans. The Discourse on the Inexhaustible Lamp of the Zen School

Caplow, Florence and Susan Moon, eds. Record of the Hidden Lamp [Contemporary women on koans]
Ford, James I. and Melissa Blacker, eds. The Book of Mu: Essential Writings on Zen's Most Important Koan
Chayat, Roko Sherry, ed. Eloquent Silence: Nyogen Senzakiʻs Gateless Gate and Other Previously Unpublished Teachings and Letters
_____. Subtle Sound: The Zen Teachings of Maurine Stuart
MacInnes, Elaine. The Flowing Bridge: Guidance on Beginning Zen Koans
Maezumi Taizan and Bernie Glassman. The Hazy Moon of Enlightenment
_____. On Zen Practice: Body, Breath, and Mind
Mitchell, Stephen, ed. Dropping Ashes on the Buddha: The Teaching of Zen Master Seung Sahn
Murphy, Susan. Upside-Down Zen: Finding the Marvelous in the Ordinary
Nan Huai-chin. To Realize Enlightenment: Practice of the Cultivation Path
_____. The Story of Chinese Zen
Reps, Paul and Nyogen Senzaki. Zen Flesh Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings
Seung Sahn. The Compass of Zen
Sheng Yen. Shattering the Great Doubt: The Chan Practice of Huatou
Shimano Eido, ed. Like a Dream, Like a Fantasy: The Zen Teachings and Translations of Nyogen Senzaki
Sterling, Isabel. Zen Pioneer: Ruth Fuller Sasaki
Sutherland, Joan. Acequias and Gates
_____. Articles published in Shambhala Sun & Buddhadharma available at
Tanahashi, Kazuaki and Roko Sherry Chayat, trans. & eds. Endless Vow: The Zen Path of Soen Nakagawa
Tarrant, John. Bring Me the Rhinoceros and Other Zen Koans to Bring You Joy
_____. The Light Inside the Dark
Yasutani Hakuun. Flowers Fall: A Commentary on the Genjokoan

Batchelor, Stephen. Buddhism Without Beliefs
Calasso, Roberto. Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India
Chang Chen-chi. The Practice of Zen
Faure, Bernard. The Red Thread: Buddhist Approaches to Sexuality
Ferguson, Andy. Tracking Bodhidharma: A Journey to the Heart of Chinese Culture
Franck, Frederick. The Buddha Eye: An Anthology of the Kyoto School and Its Contemporaries
Gross, Rita. Buddhism after Patriarchy
Heine, Steven. Shifting Shape, Shaping Text: Philosophy and Folklore in the Fox Kōan
_____. Opening A Mountain: Kōans of the Zen Masters
Heine, Steven and Dale S. Wright. The Kōan: Texts and Context in Zen Buddhism
Hershock, Peter D. Chan Buddhism
Hershock, Peter D. Liberating Intimacy: Enlightenment and Social Virtuosity in Chʻan Buddhism
Loori, John Daido, ed. Sitting with Koans: Essential Writings on the Zen Practice of Koan Study
Mishra, Pankaj. An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World
Suzuki, D. T. Essays in Zen Buddhism (First Series)
_____. Essays in Zen Buddhism (Second Series, vols. II-III)
_____. Introduction to Zen Buddhism
_____. The Zen Koan as a Means of Attaining Enlightenment
Victoria, Brian. Zen at War
Wright, Dale S. Philosophical Meditations on Zen Buddhism
_____. The Six Perfections: Buddhism and the Cultivation of Character

Grant, Beata. Eminent Nuns: Women Chan Masters of Seventeenth-Century China
Arai, Paula. Bringing Zen Home: The Healing Art of Japanese Women's Rituals
Merrell, Saduko Kaneko and Robert E. Morrell. Zen Sanctuary of Purple Robes: Japan's Tokeiji Convent Since 1285
Blofeld, John. Bodhisattva of Compassion: The Mystical Tradition of Kuan Yin
Yü Chün-Fang. Kuan-Yin

Grigg, Daniel. The Tao of Zen [Chan and Taoism]
Hinton, David. trans. Chuang-tzu: The Inner Chapters
Hinton, David. trans. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Cook, Francis H. Hua-yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra
Allione, Tsultrim. Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict
Trungpa, Chögyam. The Teacup & The Skullcup
_____. On Zen and Tantra
Suzuki, Shunryu. Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness: Zen Talks on the Sandokai

Addiss, Stephen and Ray Kass, eds. John Cage: Zen Ox-Herding Pictures
Bashō Matsuō and Nobuyuki Yuasa, trans. The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches
Berg, Stephen. Crow with No Mouth: Ikkyu
Blyth, R.H. Zen in English Literature and Oriental Classics
_____. Haiku, Volumes I-IV
Grant, Beata. Daughters of Emptiness: Poems of Chinese Buddhist Nuns
Hass, Robert. The Essential Haiku: Versions of Bashō, Buson, & Issa
Hinton, David. Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape
_____. Mountain Home: The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China
Ikkyu and Sonja Arntzen, trans. Ikkyu and the Crazy Cloud Anthology: A Zen Poet of Medieval Japan
Johnson, Kent and Craig Paulenich. Beneath a Single Moon: Buddhism in Contemporary American Poetry
Larson, Kay. Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists
Red Pine, trans. The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain
Schelling, Andrew, ed. The Wisdom Anthology of North American Buddhist Poetry
Seo, Audrey Yoshiko & Steven Addiss. The Sound of One Hand: Paintings & Calligraphy by Zen Master Hakuin

Baroni, Helen J. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Zen Buddhism
Buswell, Robert E. Jr., editor in chief. Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2 vols.
Keown, Damien. A Dictionary of Buddhism
Kohn, Michael H., ed. The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen