Kapleau, Roshi P (35 Rev Updated Edition, 2013) Three Pillars of Zen,

New York: Anchor Books, division of Random House

Three Pillars Of Zen


Philip Kapleau (who died fairly recently in his 90s) was one of the first, if not the first, Westerner to qualify as an accredited Zen Master. His book is also one of the first to concentrate on the practice of Zen, rather than the theory and philosophy.

Most poignantly he discusses notions of death within the practice of Zen and coming to peace within oneself regarding loss.

To purchase click: Three Pillars of Zen

Prior to this most Zen literature, especially that written by D T Suzuki, who almost single-handedly introduced Zen to the West, concentrated on theory and philosophy and neglected discussing aspects of the practice. This explains why, Three Pillars of Zen, now in another new edition, became so popular with Westerners interested in developing a Zen meditation practice.

Incidentally, there is an interesting youtube interview with Prof. Suzuki in which he mentions death.