Below is a list of useful books on the teachings of Chan (Zen) and Buddhism at general. They are listed in order of importance, but you can read them in order or pick any one from each subheading.

There are three subheadings: Chan Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism, and Buddhism in General.

There are sub‐sections under each subheading. How the books are divided should all be self explanatory.

I. Chan Buddhism:

Dharma Drum Chan Lineage by Chan Master Sheng Yen


Getting the Buddha Mind

Subtle Wisdom

Zen Wisdom

Orthodox Chinese Buddhism

Why Take Refuge in the Three Jewels?


Hoofprint of the Ox


The Mind Dharma of the Sixth Patriarch

Faith in Mind

Song of Mind

Sword of Wisdom

Shattering the Great Doubt

Method of No‐Method

Translation of Premodern Chan Texts


The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma. By Red Pine

The Sutra of Hui‐Neng: Grand Master of Zen. Tr. by Thomas Cleary

Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening. Tr. by John Blofeld


The Zen Teaching of Huang‐Po. By John Blofeld

The Record of Linji. By Ruth Sasaki and Thomas Kirchner

Swampland Flowers. By J.C. Cleary

Record of Tung‐Shan. By William Powell

Cultivating the Empty Field. Tr. by Taigen Dan Leighton

Zen Letters. Tr. by J.C. Cleary

The Sayings of Layman P’ang. By James Green

Tracing Back the Radiance. Robert E., Jr. Buswell

Sounds of Valley Streams. By Francis Cook

Hakuin on Kensho. By Albert Low

The Gateless Barrier: The Wu‐Men Kuan. Tr. and Comments by Robert Aitken

The Blue Cliff Record. Tr. by Thomas Cleary

Other Zen Teachers

Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind. By Shunryu Suzuki

The Mind of Clover. By Robert Aitken

Empty Cloud. Charles Luk [biography of our great grand master]

Novice to Master. By Soko Morinaga

Peace is Every Step. By Thich Nhat Hanh


II. Chinese Buddhism:


The Way to Buddhahood. By Yin‐shun

Inquiry into the Origin of Humanity. By Peter Gregory


The Sutra of Hui‐Neng: Grand Master of Zen. Tr. by Thomas Cleary

There is no Suffering. By Master Sheng Yen

Complete Enlightenment. By Master Sheng Yen


III. Buddhism in General:


Foundation of Buddhism. Rupert Gethin

Early Buddhist Scriptures

Dhammapada. Tr. by Juan MascaróIn the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon. Tr. by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Later Buddhist Scriptures

The Diamond Sutra. Tr. and Comments by Red Pine

The Vimalakirti Sutra. Tr. by Burton Watson

The Lotus Sutra. Tr. by Burton Watson

Contemporary Teachers

The Dalai Lama at Harvard. By the 14th Dalai Lama

Alone with Others. By Stephen Batchelor

Start Where You Are. By Pema Chodron

What the Buddha Taught. By Walpola Rahula