What would you say is essental text for one who wants to get into zen?

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or Buddhism in general. or just plain old searching for mastery/enlightenment
i do martial arts so i have read a bit already hagakure, zen way to the martial arts, book of five rings and others of the such

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I from Japan but not religious. My lover from USA study many religions. He answer better than I, but he visit mother 3000 mile away. Nichiren wrote about zen. He was one of greatest.

Gorgeous Beast

Read “the unfettered mind”
Also good samurai philosophy:
“The Book of Five Rings” by Miyamoto Musashi and
“Hagakure” (less good, but quotable) by Yamamoto Tsunetomo


You’ll find two kinds of books about Buddhism and Zen — books written by scholars (these are generally worthless) and books by genuine teachers (some of these are worthwhile).
The classic book on Zen is “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by the founder of the San Francisco Zen Center, Suzuki Roshi. The other wonderful book on Zen is “Dropping Ashes on the Buddha” by the great Korean Zen master, Seung Sahn. (Links to both books below.)
The best introduction to the basics of Buddhism (Buddhism 101) is “It’s Easier Than You Think” by Insight meditation teacher, Sylvia Boorstein. This is a short, wise, and witty guide to Buddhist teaching, using stories from Boorstein’s own life. (Link below.)
These are wonderful books, but the actual practice of Zen will reveal more about Zen than any book possibly could. So I encourage you to find a center near you, get instruction, and practice regularly with the people there. (Listing of all Buddhist centers in the U.S. below) This will satisfy your thirst. Good luck!




There are no essential texts on zen. In fact most reading you do will be detrimental, not helpful – and certianly not essential. There is only one thing essential for zen, and that is to sit. Just sit.


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