Books On Taoist & Zen Buddhist Philosophy

Zen Buddhism and Taoism Are Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Zen Buddhism (or Mahayana Buddhism) as taught by Bodhidharma, and passed on down through China & Japan, was an adaptation to Chinese culture of what was, essentially, a Zen Buddhist approach to enlightenment. Said another way, Zen is the philosophy of the Tao and the “Tao Te Ching is the worlds oldest zen poem” (Alan Watts).

The word Zen itself is the Japanese word for Dhayana meditation from the Indian Yogic culture (derived from the Chinese word for it, i.e.”Chan”). The difference between the application of this technique between the two cultures is that the Indian yogic culture sees dhayana meditation (za-zen or blank minded sitting meditation) as one technique to master amoungst MANY to choose and goal is to master them all. While to the Zenist/Taoist, only the dhayanic meditation is required and the understanding that practicing this technique will help the practitioner reach a level of spontaneity that is living from the mind itself, as if in constant meditation, which is the goal of Zen and Taoism. The writings here explores Zen Buddhism and the Tao Te Ching as two sides of the same coin making Taoist and Zen philosophy essentially the same.

The following introduction to Zen/Taoist-Philosophy is one I use for all my books. In the links above my books are listed under originals and some of the classics in this field are listed under Classics, including several different translations of the Tao Te Ching. There are some commentaries on several chapters of the Tao Te Ching in my book Zen Sage Zen Warrior for people particularly interested in Taoist philosophy in the Tao Te Ching. DT Suzuki’s translation of the Tao Te Ching from a Zen Buddhist perspective is, in my opinion, the most accurate translation of the Tao Te Ching.

[Download book/intro as PDF below]