Skip to main content

About the Study Guide

By: Zoketsu Norman Fischer | 07/02/2007
In Topics: Emotion

Read these notes from Zoketsu on how to use the Study Guide.
The Everyday Zen Study Guide
revised December 2006

The Everyday Zen Study Guide is designed for students who want to develop their Zen or Buddhist practice through concentrated study. It is used by Everyday Zen practitioners, as well as by students of other groups and traditions.

For years now Zoketsu has been lecturing on a group of key texts that he feels are particularly important for a basic understanding of Zen and Buddhist practice. These lectures are delivered most often at the San Francisco Bay Area Dharma seminars (see schedule) but are frequently repeated at other places. The texts are mostly traditional Buddhist and Zen texts, but the approach to the texts is unorthodox, geared to a way of practice that assumes and honors everyday life in the post-modern world.

These texts and Zoketsu’s commentaries on them constitute the Everyday Zen Study Guide. When you click on one of the topics to the right you will see subtopics and a list of available English translations you can purchase at your local or online bookstore. You will also see a button for ordering CD sets of Zoketsu’s audio commentaries on the text. For MP3 downloads of the same material click on the “Audio” button below and select the Study Guide category you are interested in. (You will find references to the texts here as well). The suggested donation per download is $5, as you can afford. The audio section contains other talks and Dharma seminars on topics not included in the Study Guide.

The material to the right is listed in a suggested order of study, but students are free to pick and choose according to their interest. The Guide will be expanded on a regular basis so check the website for updates.

Please note that these talks are quite informal, not professional quality. They were given at retreats and seminars and are in some cases choppy or incomplete. But they will give the student a good impression of Zoketsu’s way of understanding a particular teaching.

Thanks to Lynne Hofmann, Peter Aradi, Bob Andrews, Tim Burnett, and especially to John Murray, whose devotion to the Dharma and to MP3 technology has made the downloads possible.

Any feedback on this material will be appreciated as we go on refining this process. Let us know what is useful to you and what is not. Email John at