Buddhist Book Group Readings

A List for the Louisville Zen Center

Books Read

  • What the Buddha Taught: Revised and Expanded Edition with Texts from Suttas and Dhammapada. Walpola Rahula. Grove Press, 1994. On RZC list. Read for June 5, 2020.
  • Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment. Robert Wright. Simon & Schuster, 2017. Read for June 5, 2020.
  • Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha. Tara Brach. Bantam, 2003. Read for July 3, 2020.
  • Mindful of Race : Transforming Racism From the Inside Out. Ruth King. Sounds True, 2018.
  • Finding Your Seat: A Zen Handbook. Amala Wrightson, Kathryn Argetsinger. Auckland Zen Centre, 2020.
  • Buddha. Karen Armstrong. Viking Penguin, 2001.
  • Tracking Bodhidharma: A Journey to the Heart of Chinese Culture. Andy Ferguson. Counterpoint, 2013. Read for Nov. 13, 2020.
  • Cave in the Snow : A Western Woman’s Quest for Enlightenment. Vicki Mackenzie. Bloomsbury, 1998. Read for Nov. 13, 2020.
  • Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. Shunryu Suzuki. Weatherhill, 1970. (There’s also a 2020 50th anniversary edition.) Read for Dec. 18, 2020.
  • The First Rule of Ten. (Tenzing Norbu mystery series no. 1). Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay. Hay House Visions, 2012. Read for Dec. 18, 2020.
  • Novice to Master: An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of My Own Stupidity. Soko Morinaga. Wisdom, 2002. Suggestion inspired by Trueman’s Dharma talk 1 and Dharma talk 2 of Sept. 2020. Read for Jan. 22, 2021.
  • How to Cook Your Life: From the Zen Kitchen to Enlightenment. Dogen, Kosho Uchiyama Roshi. Shambhala, 2005. Read for Feb. 19, 2021.
  • The Mind of Clover: Essays in Zen Buddhist Ethics. Robert Aitken. North Point Press, 4th ed., 1984. Read for March 19, 2021.
  • Therigatha. Read for April 16, 2021.
    • The First Buddhist Women: Translations and Commentary on the Therigatha. Susan Murcott. Parallax Press, 1991.
    • Therigatha: Selected Poems of the First Buddhist Women. Charles Hallisey. Harvard University Press, 2015.
    • Eight Dharma Talks by Gil Fronsdal and Meg Gawler of the Insight Meditation Center, Redwood City, California. Related: Ninth Dharma Talk by Gil Fronsdal about the Therigatha-based statuary at his Center.
  • Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong. Norman Fischer. Shambhala, 2013. Read for May 21, 2021.
  • Minding the Earth, Mending the World: Zen and the Art of Planetary Crisis. Susan Murphy. Counterpoint, 2014. Read for June 18, 2021.
  • The Three Pillars of Zen. Philip Kapleau. Read for July 16 and August 20, 2021.
  • World as Lover, World as Self: Courage for Global Justice and Planetary Renewal. Joanna Macy. Parallax Press. 30th Anniversary Edition, 2021. Read for Sept. 17, 2021.
  • Silent Illumination: A Chan Buddhist Path to Natural Awakening. Guo Gu. Shambhala, 2021. See also: videos of Guo Gu. Read for Nov. 19 and Dec. 17, 2021.Some Guo Gu resources recommended by members:
  • A Tale for the Time Being. Ruth Ozeki. Viking, 2013. See also: “Confessions of a Zen Novelist.” Read for March 18, 2022.
  • Ordinary Wonder: Zen Life and Practice. Charlotte Joko Beck. Edited by Brenda Beck Hess. Shambhala, 2021. Read for April 22, 2022. Related to this, on YouTube there are:
    1. A 30 minute documentary (recommended by Anna Belle)
    2. Source & Summary of Her Teaching” (8 minutes; recommended by Anna Belle)
    3. A YouTube playlist of her talks
  • Zen: Merging of East and West. Philip Kapleau, Roshi. Anchor, 1989. [Revised edition of: Zen: Dawn in the West. Anchor Press, 1979.] Read for June 17, 2022.
  • The Life and Letters of Tofu Roshi. Susan Moon. Shambhala, 2001. Related: a 2018 April Fool’s podcast by Bodhin-roshi on The Wisdom of Tofu Roshi. Read for July 15, 2022.


The Hidden Lamp: Stories Read

From The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women. Florence Caplow and Susan Moon. Wisdom Publications, 2013.

  • “Chiyono’s No Water No Moon” and reflection by Merle Kodo Boyd. Pages 37-40. Two teishos by Amala Sensei on this story: Oct. 2018 in Rochester and Nov. 2020 in Auckland. Read for Jan. 22, 2021.
  • “The Old Woman’s Rice Cakes.” Pages 256-259 in The Hidden Lamp. Note: Roshi discusses this encounter in his teisho of January 12, 2013. Read for Feb. 19, 2021.
  • “Lingzhao’s Helping.” The first story in part 4 (“The Path of Practice”) in The Hidden Lamp. Read for March 19, 2021.
  • “Maylie Scott Meets Loneliness.” A story in part 2 (“Bring Me a Mustard Seed”). Read for April 16, 2021.
  • “Bhikkhuni Kabilsingh Keeps the Precepts.” #90. Read for May 21, 2021
  • “Satsujo Weeps.” #50. Read for June 18, 2021.
  • “Satsujo Sits on the Lotus Sutra.” #72 in The Hidden Lamp. Read for July 16, 2021.
  • “Satsujo Overcomes Hakuin.” Read for Aug. 20, 2021.
  • “Songyeong Doesn’t Undress.” #95. Read for Sept. 17, 2021
  • “The Woman in Samadhi.” #17. Read for Oct. 15, 2021