Purchase Publications

Most of the following publications are available from multiple retail and internet outlets.

Opening the Hand of Thought Cover ImageOpening the Hand of Thought, by Kosho Uchiyama, editors:  Shohaku Okumura, Tom Wright, Jisho Warner, Wisdom Publications, 2004. Paperback, 256 pages, $16.95.

By turns humorous, philosophical, and personal, this is above all a great book for the Buddhist practitioner. It is specially useful for those who have not yet encountered a Zen teacher. This expanded edition includes new prefaces, an index, and extended end notes. amazon

ryokan-interpreted-coverJust published!

Ryōkan Interpreted by Shohaku Okumura with Tonen O’Connor. Photography by Hoko Karnegis. Artwork by Tomon Marr. Dōgen Institute, 2021. Softcover, 195 pages.

The Japanese poet Ryōkan (1758–1831) is known throughout the world for his deep and delightful lyric verses, evoking the beauty of nature and the precious and transitory nature of everyday life. In his new book, the internationally-known Zen Buddhist commentator and author Shohaku Okumura newly translates poems by Ryōkan and provides commentary on Ryōkan’s life and works, for the enjoyment of lovers of poetry and for Buddhist practitioners alike.

A rich and comprehensive elucidation of the genuine Zen life of Ryōkan and his poetry, Ryōkan Interpreted reflects Shohaku Okumura Rōshi’s lifelong love of and dedication to the sublime masters Dōgen and Ryōkan. The beautiful portraits of Ryōkan and photographs of places where he lived along with the text will delight readers.
​​—Kazuaki Tanahashi, author of Sky Above, Great Wind


Squabbling Squashes_cvr_r2.inddSquabbling Squashes by Carol Lingman and Shohaku Okumura. Illustrated by Minette Mangahas.  Wisdom Publications, 2021. Hardcover, 32 pages, $19.95.

“It’s true that we are all different squashes . . . some are bigger and some are smaller… . some are rounder and some are longer. But even if we are different, we are all connected. We are all growing together. We don’t have to be such squabbling squashes.”

Squabbling Squashes is a story for children of all ages about interconnection and learning to live in harmony amid differences, from a leading light of contemporary Zen—based on a parable from Kosho Uchiyama’s classic bestseller Opening the Hand of Thought.

“Super enjoyable to hear, read, and savor for people of all ages, Squabbling Squashes helps our future generations to be aware of a universal mutual tie in society and nature.”
—Kazuaki Tanahashi, author of Painting Peace: Art in a Time of Global Crisis

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The Mountains and Waters Sutra: A Practitioner’s Guide to Dogen’s “Sansuikyo” by Shohaku Okumura (Author),‎ Shodo Spring (Editor),‎ Issho Fujita (Foreword),‎ Carl Bielefeldt (Contributor),‎ Gary Snyder (Contributor) Wisdom Publications, 2018. Paperback, 328 pages, $17.95.

“Mountains and waters are the expression of old buddhas.” So begins “Sansuikyo,” or “Mountains and Waters Sutra,” a masterpiece of poetry and insight from Eihei Dogen, the thirteenth-century founder of the Soto school of Zen. Shohaku Okumura, one of the most renowned scholar-practitioners of Dogen in the world, guides the reader through the rich layers of metaphor and meaning in “Sansuikyo,” which is often thought to be the most beautiful essay in Dogen’s monumental Shobogenzo.amazon

Boundless Vows, Endless Practice: Bodhisattva Vows in the 21st Century by Shohaku Okumura (Author),‎ Shodo Spring (Author),‎ Densho Quintero (Author),‎ Centre Shikantaza (Author),‎ Eido Reinhart (Author),‎ Doju Layton (Author),‎ Shoryu Bradley (Author),‎ Hoko Karnegis (Author),‎ Shoju Mahler (Author),‎ Kaikyo Roby (Author),‎ Jokei Whitehead (Author), Dōgen Institute, 2018. Paperback, 212 pages, $10.00.

In honor of Sanshin Zen Community’s 15th anniversary, Shohaku Okumura and ten of his dharma descendants from around the world present a series of writings on making and carrying out bodhisattva vows in the 21st century. The book includes new translations by Okumura Roshi of material never before published in English.


Grenzenlose Gelübde, Endlose Praxis: Bodhisattva-Gelübde im 21sten Jahrhundert von Shohaku Okumura (Autor), Shodo Spring (Autor), Densho Quintero (Autor), Centre Shikantaza (Autor), Eido Reinhart (Autor), Doju Layton (Autor), Shoryu Bradley (Autor), Hoko Karnegis (Autor), Shoju Mahler (Autor), Kaikyo Roby (Autor), Jokei WHitehead (Autor) Dogen Institute, 2019. Taschenbuch: 234 Seiten, 328 pages, 9,00€.

Zu Ehren des 15-jährigen Bestehens der Sanshin Zen-Gemeinschaft präsentieren Shohaku Okumura und zehn seiner Dharma-Nachfahren aus aller Welt eine Reihe von Texten über das Ablegen und die Umsetzung von Bodhisattva-Gelübden im 21. Jahrhundert. Das Buch enthält neue Übersetzungen von Okumura Roshi von bisher unveröffentlichtem Material auf Deutsch.

Life-and-Death: Selected Dharma Poems by Kosho Uchiyama (Author),‎ Daitsu Tom Wright (Translator),‎ Shohaku Okumura (Translator), Dōgen Institute, 2018. Photos by Jisho Takahashi. Paperback, 26 pages, $12.00.

“After giving his last teachings to his disciples and talking about impermanence, the Buddha said, ‘From now on all of my disciples must continuously practice. Then the Thus Come One’s dharma body will always be present and indestructible.’ This ‘indestructible dharma body’ is the Buddha’s eternal life in the Lotus Sutra. I think the interpenetration of impermanence and the eternal life of Buddha is what Uchiyama Roshi is teaching us about in this collection of his poems. ” — Shohaku Okumura


Deepest Practice, Deepest Wisdom: Three Fascicles from Shobogenzo with Commentary by Tom Wright (Translator),‎ Shohaku Okumura (Translator),‎ Kosho Uchiyama (Commentary), Wisdom Publications, 2018. Paperback, 344 pages, $19.95.

In Deepest Practice, Deepest Wisdom, Kosho Uchiyama, beloved twentieth-century Zen teacher addresses himself head-on to unpacking Dogen’s wisdom from three fascicles (or chapters) of his monumental Shobogenzo for a modern audience. The fascicles presented here from Shobogenzo, or Treasury of the True Dharma Eye include “Shoaku Makusa” or “Refraining from Evil,” “Maka Hannya Haramitsu” or “Practicing Deepest Wisdom,” and “Uji” or “Living Time.” Tom Wright and Shohaku Okumura lovingly translate Dogen’s penetrating words and Uchiyama’s thoughtful commentary on each piece.amazon

Zen-Teaching-of-Homeless-Kodo_0The Zen Teaching of Homeless Kōdō, by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi (Author), Jokei Molly Delight Whitehead (Editor), Shohaku Okumura (Translator, Commentary), Wisdom Publications, 2014. Paperback, 288 pages, $17.95.

Eschewing the entrapments of vanity, power, and money, Kōdō Sawaki Roshi lived a traveling and “homeless” life, going from temple to temple, student to student, teaching and instructing and never allowing himself to stray from his chosen path. Always clear, often funny, he jolts us into awakening. See associated study page.amazon

Living by Vow Cover ImageLiving by Vow: A Practical Introduction to Eight Essential Zen Chants and Texts, by Shohaku Okumura, Wisdom Publications, 2012. Paperback, 220 pages, $19.95.

This immensely useful book explores Zen’s rich tradition of chanted liturgy and the powerful ways that such chants support meditation, expressing and helping us truly uphold our heartfelt vows to live a life of freedom and compassion. Now also in Italy from Ubaldini Editore — Introduzione in Italiano qui.amazon

Dogen's Extensive Record Cover ImageDogen’s Extensive Record: A Translation of the Eihei Koroku, by Eihei Dogen, trans. Shohaku Okumura, Wisdom Publications, 2010. Paperback, 824 pages. $26.95.

Dogen’s Extensive Record is the first-ever complete and scholarly translation of this monumental work into English. This edition contains extensive and detailed research and annotation by scholar, translator, and Zen teacher Taigen Dan Leighton, as well as forewords by the 18th-century poet-monk Ryokan and Tenshin Reb Anderson, former abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center.amazon

Dogen's Genjo Koan Cover ImageDogen’s Genjo Koan: Three Commentaries, by Eihei Dogen. Translations and Commentaries by Nishiari Bokusan, Shohaku Okumura, Shunryu Suzuki, Kosho Uchiyama , Sojun Mel Weitsman, Kazuaki Tanahashi, Dairyu Michael Wenger. Counterpoint Press, 2012. Hardcover, 240 pages. $18.95.

Dogen’s Genjo Koan is the first chapter of his Shobogenzo, and for many followers it might be thought to contain the gist of Dōgen’s work—it is one of the groundwork texts of Zen Buddhism. This unique edition contains three separate translations and several commentaries by a wide variety of Zen masters.amazon

Realizing Genjo Koan Cover ImageRealizing Genjokoan: The Key to Dogen’s Shobogenzo, by Shohaku Okumura, Wisdom Publications, 2010, $16.95.

A comprehensive introduction to the teachings and approach of Dogen Zenji. A thorough guided tour of the most important essay in Dogen’s seminal work, the Shobogenzo. This volume also includes an introduction to Dogen’s life from Hee-Jin Kim’s classic, Eihei Dogen: Mystical Realist, with updated annotations by Okumura. Paperback, 328 pages. amazon

Whole Hearted Way Cover ImageThe Wholehearted Way, by Eihei Dogen and Kosho Uchiyama, Translators: Shohaku Okumura, Taigen Dan Leighton, Tuttle Publishing, 1997. Paperback, 224 pages, $18.95.

A translation of Eihei Dogen’s Bendowa, one of the primary texts on Zen practice. Transcending any particular school of Buddhism or religious belief, Bendowa, or A Talk on the Wholehearted Practice of the Way, was written in 1231 A.D. and expresses Dogen’s teaching of the essential meaning of zazen (seated meditation) and its practice. This edition also contains commentary by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, a foreword by Taigen Daniel Leighton, and an Introduction by Shohaku Okumura. amazon

 Dōgen’s Pure Standards for the Zen Community,  A Translation of Eihei Shingi. Translators: Taigen Dan Leighton, Shohaku Okumura, State University of New York, 1995. Paperback, 294 pages, $33.95.

This is a complete translation of Eihei Shingi, the major writing by the Japanese Zen master Eihei Dogen (1200-1253) on monastic practice and the role of community life in Buddhism. Eihei Shingi contains Dogen’s principal guidelines and instructions for everyday life and rituals in the monastic training center he established. Included are a collection of dramatic teaching stories, or koans, on the attitude and responsibilities for practitioners in the community, the only collection of traditional koans with this practical focus. amazon

Shobogenzo ZuimonkiShobogenzo Zuimonki, by Eihei Dogen, translated by Shohaku Okumura and Tom Wright, Sotoshu Shumucho, 2009.  Available in a free, downloadable version.

The dharma talks of Eihei Dogen Zenji (1200–1253) who transmitted Soto Zen from China to Japan.

Heart of ZenHeart of Zen, by Eihei Dogen, Menzan Zuiho and Kosho Uchiyama, translated by Shohaku Okumura, Sotoshu Shumucho, 2016.  Available in a free, downloadable version.

Includes “Points to Watch in Practicing the Way (Gakudo Yojinshu),” “Samadhi of the Self (Jijuyu Zammai),” and “Dogen Zen as Religion.”

Soto ZenSoto Zen: An Introduction to Zazen, by Shohaku Okumura et al, Sotoshu Shumucho, 2016. Available in a free, downloadable version.

Includes zazen instruction with photos, texts on zazen, and commonly-used chants.

Realiser Genjokoan, La Clé du Shôbogenzo de Dôgen, par Okumura Shohaku. Almora, 320 pages, Date de parution : 09/02/2016.

Réaliser Genjôkôan est une introduction complète à l’enseignement et à l’approche de ce grand mystique, nous guidant dans une lecture de son essai le plus important: le Genjôkôan. Le Genjôkôan fut écrit en 1233; il n’est autre que l’introduction au Shôbogenzô (Le Trésor de l’OEil du vrai Dharma), le chef-d’oeuvre de Dôgen et ce texte contient l’essentiel du bouddhisme. Notre guide pour ce voyage est Shohaku Okumura, un maître zen contemporain éminent, qui a consacré sa vie à traduire et enseigner Dôgen.

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Die Verwirklichung der Wirklichkeit
«Genjōkōan» – der Schlüssel zu Dōgen-Zenjis Shōbōgenzō
Vorwort von Taigen Dan Leighton. Aus dem Amerikanischen von Ritsunen Gabriele Linnebach und Uwe Bierwolf.
312 S., fest gebunden mit Fadenheftung, Leseband
ISBN 978-3-932337-60-4
€ 18.80
Meister Dōgen (1200-1253), der Begründer des Sōtō-Zen, ist bekannt als einer der bemerkenswertesten Denker der Religionsgeschichte überhaupt und insbesondere des Zen. Seine Werke sind poetisch und literarisch formvollendet wie auch beispiellos erkenntnisreich und philosophisch. Sie verweisen auf die tiefsten Ebenen zen-buddhistischen Denkens, sind aber auch nicht leicht zugänglich für den Leser. Das vorliegende Buch schließt diese Lücke. Es gibt uns eine fundierte Einführung in das Denken und die Lehren Meister Dōgens, indem es das wichtigste Kapitel («Genjōkōan») seines bahnbrechenden Hauptwerks, des «Shōbōgenzō», ausführlich erklärt und erläutert. Das Genjōkōan ist gleichzeitig Gerüst, Schlüssel, Essenz und Kulminationspunkt von Dōgens umfangreichem Schaffen. Es eröffnet uns den Weg, die im Shōbōgenzō dargelegte Lehre ganz grundlegend zu verstehen und danach zu leben… Werner Kristkeitz VerlagBuy Now Button with Credit Cards
Durch Gelübde leben
Eine Einführung in die Gelübde und Rezitationssutras des Zen
Aus dem Amerikanischen von Ryoshun Barbara Lutz
323 S., fest gebunden mit Fadenheftung, Leseband
ISBN 978-3-932337-71-0
€ 18.80
Dieses äußerst nützliche Buch erforscht die reiche Tradition der Rezitationstexte im Zen-Buddhismus und die kraftvollen Wege, wie diese Rezitationen die Meditation unterstützen, unser Wesen ausdrücken und uns helfen, unser aufrichtiges Gelübde zu verwirklichen, ein Leben voller Freiheit und Mitgefühl zu leben. Zen-Meister Shōhaku Okumura erforscht hier acht der grundlegendsten und universellsten Rezitationstexte des Zen. In klarer und direkter Sprache erläutert und veranschaulicht er die tiefe persönliche und praktische Bedeutung und die Auswirkung dieser Rezitationen – insbesondere der Bodhisattva-Gelübde – und nutzt hierfür seinen reichen Erfahrungsschatz als Zen-Schüler wie auch als Zen-Lehrer… Werner Kristkeitz VerlagBuy Now Button with Credit Cards

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