Reading List


Reading is one aspect of Dharma. With the excellent translations available today, we are able to receive Dharma which has been passed down for millennia as well as teachings from our current, relative time. There are Sutras, Shastras, Koans, and Tantras as Dharma sources. Hokoji has a small library which has books donated by the sangha. These books are available to peruse as a support to and enhancement of one’s meditation experience. 

A suggested reading list below serves as a starting point. There are a lot of texts available in this day and age. This is a partial list of pertinent books; please ask if you are interested in more texts or more titles in a particular direction.

For newcomers to Buddhism:

  • Suzuki, S. (1999). Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. Shambala.

  • Thich Nhat Hahn (1998). The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation. Harmony Books.

  • Buddha (2500 BCE/1973). The Dhammapada. (John Mascaro, Trans.). Penguin Classics.


  • Walpola Rahula (1959) What the Buddha Taught. Grove Weidenfeld

  • Bikkhu Bodhi (2000) The Noble Eightfold path: Way to the End of Suffering. BPE


  • Vimalakirti (2500 BCE/1972). Ordinary Enlightenment: A translation of the Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra. (Charles Luk, Trans.). Shambala

  • Asvaghosha (550/1967).The Awakening of Faith: Attributed to Asvaghosha. (Yoshito S. Hakeda, Trans.). Columbia. This translation may not be available - an alternative translation is: Timothy Richard, Trans.

  • Huineng (700/2006) The Platform Sutra. (Red Pine, Trans.). Counterpoint.

  • Huang Po (850/1958) The Zen Teaching of Huang-Po: On the Transmission of Mind. (John Blofeld, Trans.). Grove Press.

  • Hongzhi (1150/2000) Cultivating the Empty Field: the Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi. (Taigen Dan Leighton, Trans.). Tuttle

  • Keizan (1300/1990) Transmission of Light: Zen in the Art of Enlightenment by Zen Master Keizan. (Thomas Cleary, Trans.). Shambala

  • Suzuki, S. (1999) Branching streams flow in the darkness: Zen talks on the Sandokai. Mel Wetsman and Michael Wenger (Ed.). University of California Press

Maha Ati/ Dzogchen:

  • Longchen Rabjampa (1350/2001) The Precious Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomenon. (Padma Translation Committee, Trans.). Padma Publishing.

  • Longchen Rabjampa (1350/1979) The Four-themed Precious Garland. (Dr. Alexander Berzin, Trans.). Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.

  • Reynolds, J. (1996) The Golden Letters. (John Myrdhin Reynolds, Trans.). Snow Lion Publications.

  • Urgyen, T. (1995) Rainbow Painting. Rangjung Yeshe Publications.

Regarding the (historically suppressed) women’s lineage of practice:

  • Schireson, G. (2009) Zen Women: Beyond Tea Ladies, Iron Maidens, and Macho Masters. Wisdom Publications.

  • Tisdale, S. (2006) Women of the Way: Discovering 2,500 Years of Buddhist Wisdom. Harper San Francisco.