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Books by Master Sheng Yen

Faith in Mind


The Supreme Way is not difficult 
If only you do not pick and choose. 
Neither love nor hate, 
And you will clearly understand. 
Be off by a hair, 
And you are as far from it as heaven and earth.

The World of Chan


This book is a collection of 29 articles. Most of them are edited transcripts of the lectures by Chan master Cheng Yen given both in the East and West, and previously published in either Humanity Magazine or Dharma Drum Monthly in Taiwan.

Chan and Enlightenment


"This book is not Chan itself, but it attempts to convey the readers some of the messages about Chan." The author of the book, Chan master Sheng-Yen (1930-2009) has published many important books on Chan which mostly collected from the lectures he gave during his life time. 

Things Pertaining to Bodhi


The Thirty-seven Aids to Enlightenment are a set of fundamental teachings of Buddhism in the form of a list. The list’s seeming simplicity belies the fact that it is actually a kind of road map to enlightenment for anyone who follows it with diligence and sincerity.

Shattering the Great Doubt


Huatou is a skillful method for breaking through the prison of mental habits into the spacious mind of enlightenment. The huatou is a confounding question much like a Zen koan. Typical ones are "What is wu [nothingness]?" or "What was my original face before birth-and-death?"

The Method of No-method


Here is a spiritual practice uncomplicated enough for anyone to learn, yet rich enough to be worked with for a lifetime. The traditional Chan (Chinese Zen) practice called Silent Illumination begins with nothing more than putting aside all thoughts except the awareness of oneself “just sitting.”

Footprints in the Snow


In this landmark memoir, a renowned Buddhist master traces his spiritual journey against the panoramic story of China from the pre-Communist era to the present.

Orthodox Chinese Buddhism


As a well-known scholar and meditation master—His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama called him “extremely modest, a true spiritual practitioner of deep and broad learning”—Sheng Yen is uniquely qualified to guide Western seekers into the world of contemporary Chinese Buddhism. 

Attaining the Way


This is an inspiring guide to the practice of Chan (Chinese Zen) in the words of four great masters of that tradition. It includes teachings from contemporary masters Xuyun and Sheng Yen, and from Jiexian and Boshan of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). 

Getting the Buddha Mind


”In meditation, we go from phenomena to emptiness by progressively voiding our mental states”. This sentence from Getting the Buddha Mind succinctly summarizes the purpose of practicing Chan meditation. What does it mean?

Song of Mind


"No words can explain enlightenment," says the seventh-century Zen classic Xin Ming, or "Song of Mind," yet, paradoxically, this poem is a masterpiece of expressing the inexpressible. In his commentary on it, Chan Master Sheng Yen takes a practical approach, opening up the language of the Xin Ming to show students how to approach meditation.

The Sword of Wisdom


The Sword of Wisdom is a penetrating commentary on the Song of Enlightenment, a famous Chan text that speaks of proper methods and attitudes for practice. In this book, compiled from a series of lectures delivered during intensive meditation retreats, Master Sheng-yen gives valuable advice and guidance to those who are practicing Chan meditation.

Illuminating Silence


This book provides a rare opportunity to explore and understand the practice of a Chinese Zen Retreat and a fascinating first hand account of the experience of the little known practice of Silent Illumination.

Zen Wisdom


Zen, in Chinese, is Ch’an In Zen Wisdom, renowned Ch’an Master Sheng Yen, speak to his students’ questions about Practice, Philosophy and Doctrine, and Social Issues.

There is No Suffering


The Heart Sutra, just over a page long, distills the teachings of the Buddha to their purest essence. Perhaps the best known of all Buddhist sutras, it is recited in Buddhist centers and monasteries around the world. 

Hoofprint of the Ox


Revered by Buddhists in the United States and China, contemporary Master Sheng-yen shares his wisdom and teachings in this first comprehensive English primer of Chan, the Chinese tradition of Buddhism that inspired Japanese Zen.

Subtle Wisdom


Master Sheng-yen, a dharma descendant from the founders of Buddhism in China, considers the concepts of suffering, enlightenment, and compassion; provides a glossary of key terms; and briefly recaps the history of Buddhism in China.

Dharma Drum


Here is an ideal guide to the practice of Chan Buddhism by a great modern teacher. Part One presents Master Sheng Yen’s lively, anecdotal account of the history and main principles of the Chan tradition, along with his careful instructions for meditation.

Complete Enlightenment


Complete Enlightenment is the first authoritative translation and commentary on The Sutra of Complete Enlightenment, a central text that shaped the development of East Asian Buddhism and Ch'an (Chinese Zen).

The Infinite Mirror


Here is the inimitable Master Sheng Yen at his best, illuminating the ancient texts of the Chinese Zen tradition to show how wonderfully practical they really are, even for us today.

The Poetry of Enlightenment


For the masters of the Chan tradition, poetry was a form of creative expression, but even more than that, it was a primary vehicle for teaching. Here a modern master presents ten teaching poems from the ancient masters, with illuminating commentary.

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