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Book Study



Book Study, Summer, 2015

Every summer we have a group book study at ZCOC. The purpose is to read and discuss a book together, after our regular sitting schedule, with emphasis upon its relationship to our own lives and practice.

This summer the book will be:

Zen Questions:  Zazen, Dogen, and the Spirit of Creative Inquiry

by Taigen Dan Leighton (Wisdom Publications, Boston, 2011).

Click on this link or the picture to buy the book from Amazon – the Zen Center receives a small portion of your purchase.

zen questions








Please note that electronics may not be used in the Zendo.

The dates for 2015 are Sundays, July 12, 19, 26 and Aug. 2.

In addition, we will have readings and discussions on selected sections the 1st and 4th Tuesdays in September.

Book Study Schedule (will be updated soon)

  • We will read about 30 pages per session.
  • If you do not have time, try to read the chapter in bold and italics type.
# Date Part Sections to be discussed
1 July 12  Part 1The World of Zazen Zazen as InquiryZen Mind and Transformative Function
2 July 19  Part 2Reflections on Eihei Dogen The Practice of GenjokoanPracticing the Awesome Presence of Active Buddhas
3 July 26  Part 3Commentaries on Dogen’s Extensive Record Readying the OxPractice-Realization-Expression
4 Aug. 2  Part 4Zen Expressions  Making Yourself into a Light (Poetry of Mary Oliver)Gary Snyder and Wild Practice

Two extra programs related to the Book Study:

Aug 25 Consumerism and the Bodhisattva Precepts



Evening Schedule

5:00 to 5:30…..Zazen/meditation

5:30 to 5:40…..Walking meditation

5:40 to 6:10…..Zazen/meditation*

6:10 to 6:20…..Walking meditation

6:20 to 7:00…..Book Study

7:00 to 7:30…..Optional tea & social

*For those who are not regular practitioners, the program will begin at 5:30 pm with 30 minutes of meditation, followed by the book study and optional social. Brief meditation instruction will be given at 5 pm at the first session.


The program is free of charge to ZCOC Practitioners.

For those who are not Practitioners, the fee is $100 and registration is below.

For Friends of the Center who have attended previous programs, the fee is $60.

Suggestions for Participation in the Book Study

You may choose to participate in the book study in a number of ways. The summer book study is designed to be flexible, so practitioners may come to all or some of the sessions. The chapters can “stand alone” and do not have to be read sequentially.  If you are participating, please bring your book and place it under your mat in the Zendo.

Full: Do all readings in advance, prepare written responses to the questions and participate actively in the discussion.

Part: If you are not able to do all of the reading, read what what you wish. You may wish to prepare responses to the discussion questions which pertain to the sections you read. If you have not been able to do any reading for a particular evening, you may attend as usual, listen and participate as you wish.

What if I don’t want to participate?

Practitioners who choose not to participate in the book study are encouraged to continue their practice as usual. You are welcome to come for Zazen, work practice, and individual instruction. You may also attend the book study sessions, listen to the discussion, and stay for optional tea and social.

Registration ($100) for those who are not ZCOC Practitioners:

For those who are not regular practitioners, the Book Study Program will begin at 5:30 pm with 30 minutes of meditation, followed by the book study. Optional tea and social is from 7:00 to 7:30 pm. Brief meditation instruction will be given at 5 pm at the first session.


Last year’s 2014 Book Study:



Book Study in Recent Years:









Ending the Pursuit of Happiness: A Zen Guide  Warm Smiles from Cold Mountains: Dharma Talks on Zen Meditation On Zen Practice: Body, Breath, and Mind

How to Raise an Ox: Zen Practice as Taught in Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo

You Have to Say Something

The Art of Just Sitting, Second Edition: Essential Writings on the Zen Practice of Shikantaza

Mindful Politics: A Buddhist Guide to Making the World a Better Place

The Mind of Clover: Essays in Zen Buddhist Ethics

Previous Book Studies


ZCOC has recommended reading under  “Getting Started” at the left menu tab.

If you use the search box below or any of our links to order your Zen books, or any other books, the Zen Center receives a small portion of the sale.

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