Local Meditation Centers/Resources

Idyllwild Community Zen hosts a Monday evening sitting group as well as monthly half-day meditation retreats on the first Saturday of each month. For more information, contact Valerie Velez @ 951-659-8909 or [email protected].

Yokoji Zen Mountain Center is a Zen center in Idyllwild, offering weekly introductory classes in zazen as well as longer retreats and special events.

The Meditation Room is a space at the University of Redlands that is open to the public for silent meditation, and offers free introductory meditation classes every week during the school year. More information is available on the University of Redlands website, by calling (909) 748-8345, or by emailing [email protected].

About Zazen

Recommended Reading

There are many books on Buddhism and Zen, and this list is not intended to be comprehensive — merely some personal favorites.

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki. A gem of a book—subtle and profound on many levels and written in a warm, intimate, yet poetic style. Classic and indispensable.
More books by Shunryu Suzuki
Appreciate Your Life
Appreciate Your Life by Taizan Maezumi Roshi. A collection of short Dharma talks by one of the great Japanese teachers who brought Zen to the West. These pieces assume a basic knowledge of the fundamentals of Buddhism.
More books by Maezumi Roshi.
Three Pillars of Zen
Three Pillars of Zen by Philip Kapleau Roshi. A classic Zen text for Westerners, written by an American who studied in Japan.
More books by Philip Kapleau Roshi
Opening the Hand of Thought
Opening the Hand of Thought by Kosho Uchiyama. More books by Uchiyama include his commentary on Zen master Dogen's "Instructions for the Zen Cook," Refining Your Life.
Everyday Zen
Everyday Zen: Love and Work by Charlotte Joko Beck. Direct, practical, and lively descriptions of the application of Zen principles and practice to daily life, by an American Zen Buddhist teacher.
More books by Charlotte Joko Beck
What Makes You Not a Buddhist
What Makes You Not a Buddhist by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse. This explanation of core Buddhist tenets is not only clear and insightful, it is funny. This book is not about meditation, and not about Zen specifically, but it is well worth reading.
The Wisdom of No Escape
The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chödrön. An inspiring collection of retreat talks especially notable for their warmth and the emphasis on self-acceptance and working with rejected elements of ourselves, by an American woman teacher in the Tibetan tradition.
More books by Pema Chödrön
Full Catastrophe Living
Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat- Zinn, who has developed a pain and stress management hospital program based on Buddhist meditation techniques (but without using the B-word at all in the book). A rich resource for anyone using meditation and related disciplines in a clinical setting.
More books by Kabat-Zinn.
Miracle of Mindfulness
Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh. An accessible introduction to the way of mindfulness written in a disarmingly simple, direct style.
More books by Hanh include Being Peace, Old Path White Clouds, and Present Moment Wonderful Moment.
A Path With Heart
A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield. A thorough exploration of the spiritual path which incorporates the author's understanding of the psychological issues encountered in spiritual practice and how they can be resolved using both spiritual and psychological tools.
More books by Kornfield.
Experience of Insight
The Experience of Insight by Joseph Goldstein. An excellent treatment of meditation and practice in the Vipassana tradition of Buddhism by a leading Western teacher. (The Vipassana approach offers very clear "how to do it" instructions in meditation.)
More books by Goldstein.
Thoughts Without a Thinker
Thoughts Without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective by Mark Epstein. A sophisticated and well-organized integration of Western psychotherapy and Eastern spiritual thought.
More books by Epstein.
Buddhism Without Beliefs
Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor. A thought-provoking look at Dharma practice as distinct from Buddhism-as-religion.
More books by Batchelor.
What the Buddha Taught
What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula. Recommended for its authenticity, completeness, and scholastic rigor.
More books by Rahula.
Taking the Path of Zen
Taking the Path of Zen by Robert Aitken.
More books by Aitken include The Mind of Clover and his translation of "The Gateless Gate," or Mumonkan.
Moon in a Dewdrop
Moon in a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen, the 13th century Zen master who founded the Soto school in Japan.
More books by Dogen include Enlightenment Unfolds and Beyond Thinking.