I’m very excited. Why? There have been a lot of people who are interested in Buddhism in the last 50 years. It’s because of people like Jack Kornfield and D. T. Suzuki, who have helped people learn how to read.
Today, there are a lot of books about Zen and the philosophies that go with it. You might be eager to start reading.
You can’t just pick the best Zen books for beginners and do it quickly.
As a meditation teacher and author, I read a lot of books and articles about Zen, spirituality, meditation, and other things. I’ll be honest with you. Some of them don’t work. Some of them are good, but not worth the money. You then get the best Zen books, the ones you should own and put on your bookshelf with pride.
People who are new to zen will find a lot of books they like. Some are personal stories, some are educational and have how-tos, some are in-depth essay style books, and some are novellas.
Ready for your reading glasses? There is now a list. And don’t forget to check out my own guide to Zazen meditation and its benefits, as well.
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
This might be the best book on Zen ever written. A small title, but oh my goodness, this book has a lot of wisdom and insights inside of it! I think it’s great.
It was first published more than 40 years ago, and it has become one of the world’s best-known spiritual publications because of that. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn more about Buddhism’s philosophy.
To start, you will learn about posture and breathing techniques. You will also learn the most important things you should do.
But what I love most about this book is how clear it is. Remarkable.
The Way by Alan Watts
This is one of the best Zen books ever written by Alan Watts. He is one of the best Buddhist interpreters, and he shows it in this book! For people who want to learn more about Buddhism, this book is a must-read.
Here, Alan Watts goes back to the basics and tells us what Buddhist philosophy is all about in a way that we can understand. He goes all the way back to the beginning of Buddhism, when it came from the ideas of Hinduism, and shows how it changed. When we get to today, we’ll see how Chan Buddhism has changed over time, as well as how Buddhism is shown in Japanese art.
I think this is one of the best Zen books of all time because Watts explains the main ideas of Zen so well.
Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
Yes, this book has the best title of any Zen book that has ever been written.
Author Robert M Pirsig tells a story about how a trip across America with his son changed his life. It turns into a story of personal growth and transformation as Pirsig looks into the most basic questions about modern life. Through it all, he answers many of the most important philosophical questions we all have.
It is as personal as it is general. You will be so excited that you will want to change your lifestyle and think about things in a new way. One of the most unique books on this list is also one of the best ones to read.
The Three Pillars Of Zen
This is a good idea if you want spiritual help: The Three Pillars. The book is written by Roshi Philip Kapleau, the founder of the Rochester Zen Center. He talks about the three main parts of Chan Buddhism: teaching, practice, and enlightenment.
What makes this book one of the best Zen books for beginners is Kapleau’s ability to mix his own story with information about the practices and techniques. As we go through Kapleau’s journey from student to master, we are led on our own spiritual journey. There are two things that help you: the author’s story as inspiration, and the author’s insights as a guide.
The current edition has been updated to celebrate its 30th anniversary. It has beautiful illustrations and photos that are just the cherry on top.
Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
Readers who were just starting to learn about Chan Buddhism fell in love with this book right away. It was written in 1957. It has since become one of the most important publications on the subject, inspiring both students and teachers.
This title asks people to think about the main ideas of Chan Buddhism in their own way. There are 101 Zen Stories in this book, which is a collection of real-life stories about teachers from across five centuries. The classics are The Gateless Gate and Ten Bulls.
Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home: A Memoir
The Zen practitioner Natalie Goldberg tells a personal story about how she overcame the trauma of cancer by practising Zen. In Let The Whole Thundering World Come Home, she tells this story.
Natalie is a well-known Zen teacher whose words are both captivating and enlightening. Her ability to be both open and honest at the same time is what inspires me. It makes for a very interesting book.
This is one of the most moving books I’ve ever read about Zen and meditation. It’s also one of the best. And I’m sure it will help anyone who is sick to understand what they are going through.
Just Sit: A Meditation Guidebook for People Who Know They Should But Don’t
Sukey Novogratz and Elizabeth Novogratz, the co-founders of The Well Daily, wrote this book. It’s very fun and interesting. It’s one of the most simple and clear-cut books on Zen. You’ll be able to read this book in no time because the illustrations are fun and the writing is simple.
The book is for people who know they should meditate but don’t do it, so they read it. It gives easy ways to start meditating and answers most of the most common questions about it.
This is one of the best Zen books for people who are new to the subject. It’s so fun that even people who don’t believe in meditation will want to start.
Because I think the book’s ethos and energy are very Zen-like, I added it to this Zen book list.
An Introduction To Zen Buddhism
D.T. Suzuki is one of the most well-known names in the world of Zen books. He has written more than a hundred books and has been read by hundreds of millions of people.
David Suzuki’s best book is An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, but it’s not the only one (the content of the book is far more compelling than its uninspired title).
What makes this book one of the best Chan books of all time is that Suzuki makes Buddhism easy to understand for everyone. If you’re a Zen Buddhist, you’ll find a lot of depth and insight here. There are also clear instructions and advice for people who are just starting out.
Zen For Everyday Life by Buddhaimonia (Matt Valentine)
In Zen for Everyday Life, you can learn how to use Zen to find inner peace, happiness and spirituality. It’s an easy-to-read book. The best thing about this book is that it is very simple and gives clear advice on many different aspects of Zen.
Covers the basics of Zen and shows you how to apply the ideas to your own life to feel more at peace and happy, so you can live a better life. You don’t need more than you already have. I can enjoy life as it is.
The Daily Zen Journal
This is the official book of the blog Daily Zen. It’s a fun, illustrated journal where you can learn about Zen in a way that is both educational and fun.
The author, Charlie Ambler, says that playfulness and curiosity are the keys to being happy. This book is all about these things. The book gives tips and advice on how to have a “beginner’s mind.”
It’s what I like best about this book. It’s so much fun. It’s a lot more fun to read than the other books on this list. The illustrations are also really cool (done by Brooklyn artist Iris Gottllieb).
For people who want a more fun way to learn about Zen, I think Charlie Ambler’s book is a great choice.