A biography, by a senior student, of Shunryu Suzuki, the author of the classic "Zen mind, beginner's mind."
A very "American" approach to Soto Zen. The folks at Project H.O.M.E. here in Philadelphia do similar work.
A lucid introduction to meditation, focusing on the practice of insight (Vipassana) meditation. The author is the founder of the Bhavana Society (a forest monastery and retreat center in the Theravada tradition, located in West Virginia).
A sequel to the 1991 classic by the same author.
A classic by the great Vietnamese Zen teacher and founder of Plum Village. As a result of the Vietnam War, Thich Nhat Hanh's connections with U.S. Buddhism have been strong and deep, as is evident from the Plum Village site.
One of many, many helpful books by an American Zen original.
Focuses on meditation practice in the Tibetan tradition. Particularly helpful is the chapter on dealing with the afflictive emotions (anger, depression, and so on).
Ramana Maharshi was not a Buddhist with a capital B, but he was one of the great spiritual geniuses of the 20th century.
This is the story of a homegrown American saint. Peace Pilgrim wasn't a Buddhist with a capital B (as far as I know), but she walked the walk. The text of the book used to be available online, but no longer is. However, you can get an excellent sense of Peace Pilgrim's message from her Steps towards inner peace.
Focuses on the philosophical concepts underlying Buddhist meditation practice. The section on reincarnation is murky, but otherwise the book is very clear.
Focuses on the practice of insight (Vipassana) meditation, with particular reference to carrying the practice into daily life. Structured around one of the most famous of the Buddha's suttas, the Anapanasati (mindfulness of breathing) Sutta.
Not always easy to understand (at least for one who isn't awakened herself), but a very interesting record of the enlightenment journey of a British gardener, now living in London, with spiritual roots in both Zen and Theravada.
A classic by the founder of the San Francisco Zen Center, which has had enormous influence on the flowering of Zen, and Buddhism more generally, in the United States.
Last modified: 18 Nov 09