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BOOKS (from Amazon)

This page contains links to books for sale on Amazon. It will really help me keep this going if you make your purchase through The Temple Guy! Remember:

And that's a good thing!

Sun Shuyun: Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud
Sun Shuyun's retracing of the Silk Road to India is a great read in itself, but its significance for me was a casual mention of a list of 142 "key temples" in China, which got me started on what became my Chinese Pilgrimage.

Episode 056: Mount Potalaka, Realm of the South Sea Guanyin

Porter, Bill (Red Pine): Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits
Porter travels to the mountains south of Xi'an and interviews hermits--male and female--living lives of quiet contemplation. A fascinating look at history, sociology, and religion--with some travel adventure thrown in. One of my favorites of his books (but don't I always say that?).

For Journey to the West, see Episode 017 below.

Baroni, Helen J.: Obaku Zen: The Emergence of the Third Sect of Zen in Tokugawa Japan
A comprehensive look at the history, teachings, and impact of Japan's "third sect" of Zen. A treasured volume in my library.

Reps, Paul: Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings
A concise anthology of the sources of Zen wisdom: stories of Zen masters, the koans of the Gateless gate (Mumonkan), the famous "Ten Bulls," and an ancient Indian text on Centering. All of Zen distilled into 175 pages!

Tyler, Royall: The Tale of the Heike
A recent, masterful translation of the work that holds the same place as The Iliad does in European culture, or the King Arthur saga does in England. A stirring read, and the source of countless themes in film, television, and even manga ("comic books").

Aston, W. G.: A History of Japanese Literature
A manageable history that comes up only to the turn of the 20th century, by an early British diplomat and scholar. Not as thorough (or, perhaps, accurate) as Kato Shuichi's effort (see under Episode 052), but a lot easier to get through!

Ferguson, Andy: Zen's Chinese Heritage: The Masters and Their Teachings
Brief histories and succinct selections of the teachings twenty-five generations of Chinese Chan Masters. Should be on the bookshelf of every Buddhist writer or teacher.

Various authors: Shisendo: Hall of the Poetry Immortals
Five essays on the Shisen-do: one on Ishikawa Jozan, another on his poetry (as well as one poem by each of the 36 "Immortals"), a third on his calligraphy, one on the garden at Shisen-do, and the last--more story than essay--on the "Hall of the Poetry Immortals" itself. Well worth it!

Kato, Shuichi: History of Japanese Literature, Volume 2
Volume 2 of a hard-to-find three volume set (glad I have them all!). Not nearly as dry as one would expect; Donald Keene's one-volume Anthology of Japanese Literature makes a great companion buy.

Yoshida Kenko and Kamo no Chomei: Essays in Idleness with An Account of a Ten-Foot-Square Hut (called here Hojiki)
You'll squeal with delight (as I did) to find that the best way to buy Chomei's pessimistic reflections is in a volume with Kenko's Essays. It's a twofer!

Matsuo Basho: The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches
To see a sparse haiku embedded in the context in which is was written is like that moment in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy steps into Oz and black-and-white turns to color. Do yourself a favor!

Ryokan (translated by John Stevens): Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf: Zen Poems of Ryokan
Who would have thought that Japanese poetry could be so much fun! Filled with deep insight, a compassionate response to the world, and sly humor. A real role model!

More than a monk, Kukai (also known as Kobo Daishi) excelled in all of the known arts of his day. The emphasis here, however, is on eight of his works that detail his study in China and the teachings of the Shingon esoteric sect he developed as a result.

Episode 042: Miyamoto Musashi, Mystical Master Swordsman

Suzuki, D.T.: Zen and Japanese Culture
The classic study of the spirit of Zen and its influence on the soul of Japan

Yoshikawa Eiji: Musashi
Yoshikawa's novel of the life of the great swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, and his relationships with the lovely Otsu and the strict Buddhist monk Takuan, was the inspiration for the classic film trilogy.

Miyamoto Musashi: The Book of Five Rings (and Dokkodo) trans. Wilson, William Scott
This 2012 translation of Musashi's classic work includes a translation of the Dokkodo or "Way of Walking Alone" as well.

Ferguson, Andy: Tracking Bodhidharma: A Journey to the Heart of Chinese Culture
Zen practitioner and "China hand" Ferguson travels to sites in China associated with the life and legends of the First Patriarch of Chan (Zen).

Chiba, Reiko: The Seven Lucky Gods of Japan
A quick introduction to these quaint and fascinating characters, individually and as a group

Kwok, Man-ho, and Joanne O'Brien: The Eight Immortals of Taoism: Legends and Fables of Popular Taoism
Twenty-eight legends and "fairy tales" about the Eight Immortals of Daoism

Porter, Bill (Red Pine): Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits
Bill Porter travels south of Xi'an to interview hermits, both monks and nuns, leading solitary lives in quiet contemplation.

Koh Kok Kiang: The Eight Immortals Cross the Sea (AsiaPac comic book)
This story of the Eight Immortals is brought to life by the comic illustrations of Chan Kok Sing.

Porter, Bill (Red Pine): The Platform Sutra: The Zen Teaching of Hui-neng
Porter's translation of, and commentary on, one of the most important (Chan) Zen texts, the only book by a Chinese author widely considered to be a sutra, a term usually reserved for the words of the Buddha or his direct disciples.

Porter, Bill (Red Pine): Zen Baggage
Bill Porter visits sites associated with the first six patriarchs of Chan (Zen).

Kessell, John L.: The Missions of New Mexico Since 1776
The "Bible" for those studying New Mexico's missions, and a companion to Fray Angelico Chavez's report, The Missions of New Mexico, 1776.

Waley, Arthur: Monkey
An early translation and condensation of Wu Cheng'en's Journey to the West (see next)--shorter, but capturing "the spirit and meaning of the original."

Wu Cheng'en (and Anthony C. Yu): The Monkey and the Monk: An Abridgment of The Journey to the West
Perhaps Asia's most popular novel (and the source for dozens of film and television adaptations), this is the story of a monk, a monkey, an anthropoid pig, and a river spirit, and their supernatural adventures on the way to fetch Buddhist scriptures from India. Filled with outrageous events told with humor.

Luo Guanzhong (and Martin Palmer): Romance of the Three Kingdoms (abridgment)
Three sworn friends fight together for justice (as they see it), like ancient superheroes.

Shi Naian (and J.H. Jackson): The Water Margin [or] Outlaws of the Marsh
China's answer to Robin Hood and his Merry Men, a bunch of ruffians fight for the Little Guy.

Cao Xueqin: Dream of the Red Chamber
One of the most complex family sagas imaginable, beloved by generations.

Reps, Paul: Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
A concise anthology of the sources of Zen wisdom: stories of Zen masters, the koans of the Gateless gate (Mumonkan), the famous "Ten Bulls," and an ancient Indian text on Centering. All of Zen distilled into 175 pages!

Campbell, Joseph: The Power of Myth
The published version of PBS interviews conducted by Bill Moyers in Campbell's final years, this is the distilled knowledge of a lifetime of studies by a master mythologist.

Bhikkhu Bodhi: In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon
The book which these days serves as my bible (as the one above it, The Power of Myth, did before). Though it's based on Theravada (South Asian) documents, anyone who has mastered this book has imbibed most of what there is to know of the Buddha's teachings.

And don't forget: You can always Buy Me a Tea!

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