Timeless Calling, Timely Response

In this book Tenkei Roshi provides guidelines for Zen Buddhist practice based on the “Four Modes of Meditation” that he developed over recent years at Zen River Temple. He also addresses how these modes can be extended to koan training, ritual, study, work, and social interaction. Timeless Calling, Timely Response aims to serve as an inspiration for anyone interested in hearing their life’s calling and finding their own way to respond to it.

The book is for sale via the webshop. If you are outside Europe it may be more economical to buy the paperback edition or the digital edition from the amazon store in your region, e.g. at amazon.com.


The two Anthologies of Buddhist texts (250 pages each), compiled by Tenkei Roshi and for sale in our reception office, are in-house publications that serve as guides for in-depth study. They are not available for download, as the copyright dues only cover printed copies.

For an overview of the whole Buddhist path and a presentation of general Buddhist principles, the following publications are recommended:

  • Introductory Lectures, by Hakuun Yasutani. In: Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice and Enlightenment, by Philip Kapleau (Anchor Books, 35th Anniversary Ed., 1989) – Some of these lectures are included in the first Anthology.
  • Eight Beliefs in Buddhism, by Hakuun Yasutani – Out of print, but included in the first Anthology.
  • The Undying Lamp of Zen: The Testament of Zen Master Torei, by Torei Enji; translated by Thomas Cleary (Shambala, 2010).
  • The Compass of Zen, by Seung Sahn, edited by Hyon Gak (Shambala, 1997).
  • The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma, Vol.1: The Path of Individual Liberation, Vol.2: The Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion, Vol.3: The Tantric Path of Indestructible Wakefulness, by Chogyam Trungpa (Shambhala, 2013)
  • The Way to Buddhahood, by Venerable Yin-shun; translated by Dr. Wing H. Yeung (Wisdom, 1998).
  • The Jewel Ornament of Liberation: The Wish-fulfilling Gem of the Noble Teachings, by sGampopa; edited by Ani K. Trinlay Chödron, translated by Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche (Snow Lion, 1998).
  • The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path of Enlightenment (three volumes), by Tsong-kha-pa; edited by Joshua Cutler & Guy Newland, translated by Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee (Snow Lion, 2000).

Here follows a list of recommended literature in various categories:

  • Maezumi Roshi and Genpo Roshi
  • Appreciate your life: The Essence of Zen Practice, by Taizan Maezumi (Shambala, 2002).
  • Teaching of the Great Mountain: Zen Talks, by Taizan Maezumi (Tuttle, 2001).
  • On Zen Practice: Body, Breath and Mind, by Taizan Maezumi & Bernie Glassman (Wisdom, 1999).
  • The Hazy Moon of Enlightenment, by Taizan Maezumi & Bernie Glassman (Wisdom, Rev. Ed., 2007).
  • The Eye Never Sleeps: Striking to the Heart of Zen, by Genpo Merzel (Shambala, 1991).
  • Beyond Sanity and Madness: The Way of Zen Master Dogen, by Genpo Merzel (Tuttle, 1994).
  • 24/7 Dharma: Impermanence, No-Self Nirvana, by Genpo Merzel (Tuttle, 2001).
  • The Path of the Human Being: Zen Teachings on the Bodhisattva Way, by Genpo Merzel (Shambala, 2005).
  • Big Mind – Big Heart: Finding Your Way, by Genpo Merzel (Big Mind Publ., 2007).

Other successors in the White Plum lineage:

  • Jizo Bodhisattva: Guardian of Children, Travelers, and Other Voyagers , by Jan Chozen Bays (Shambala, 2003).
  • The Way of Zen, by Tenshin Fletcher & David Scott (Thomas Dunne Books, 2002).
  • Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master’s Lessons in Living a Life That Matters, by Bernie Glassman & Rick Fields (Harmony, 1997).
  • Bearing Witness: A Zen Master’s Lessons in Making Peace Hardcover, by Tetsugen Glassman (Harmony, 1998).
  • Infinite Circle: Teachings in Zen, by Bernie Glassman (Shambala, 2002).
  • The Eight Gates of Zen: A Program of Zen Training, by John Daido Loori (Shambala, 2002).
  • The Heart of Being: Moral and Ethical Teachings of Zen Buddhism, by John Daido Loori (Dharma Publ., 2009).
  • Two Arrows Meeting in Mid-Air: The Zen Koan, by Daido Loori (Tuttle, 1994).
  • The Nine-Headed Dragon River: Zen Journals 1969–1982 , by Peter Matthiessen (Shambala, 1998).
  • The Great Heart Way: How To Heal Your Life and Find Self-Fulfillment, by Ilia Shinko Wick & Gerry Shishin Perez (Wisdom, 2006).

Related contemporary teachers:

  • Taking the Path of Zen, by Robert Aitken (North Point, 1982).
  • Everyday Zen: Love & Work, by Charlotte Joko Beck (HarperOne, 1989).
  • Sit: Zen Teachings of Master Taisen Deshimaru, edited by Philippe (Hohm, 1996).
  • Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice and Enlightenment, by Philip Kapleau (Anchor Books, 35th Anniversary Ed., 1989)
  • Returning to Silence, by Dainin Katagiri (Shambala 1988).
  • You Have to Say Something, by Dainin Katagiri (Shambala, 2000).
  • Each Moment is the Universe, by Dainin Katagiri (Shambala, 2008).
  • The Compass of Zen, by Seung Sahn, edited by Hyon Gak (Shambala, 1997).
  • The Essence of Zen: The Teachings of Sekkei Harada, translated and edited by Daigaku Rummé (Wisdom, 2008).
  • Hoofprints of the Ox, by Sheng Yen (Oxford University Press, 2001).
  • Attaining the Way: A Guide to the Practice of Chan Buddhism, Sheng Yen (Shambala, 2006).
  • A Flower Does Not Talk, by Zenkei Shibayama (Tuttle, 1970).
  • Golden Wind:Zen Talks, by Eido Shimano; edited by Janis Levine (Japan Publ., 1979).
  • Points of Departure: Zen Buddhism With a Rinzai View, by Eido Shimano (Tuttle, 1992).
  • The Way of Korean Zen, by Kusan Sunim (Weatherhill, 2009).
  • Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, by Shunryu Suzuki (Weatherhill, 1972).
  • Branching Streams Flow In The Darkness: Zen Talks on the Sandokai, by Shunryu Suzuki (University of California Press, 1999).
  • From the Zen Kitchen to Enlightenment: Refining Your Life, by Kosho Uchiyama (Weatherhill, 1983).

Dogen Zenji:

  • Shobogenzo (four volumes), translated by Gudo Nishijima & Chodo Cross (Dogen Sangha, 1994).
  • Treasury of the True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen’s Shobo Genzo, edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi (Shambala, 2010).
  • Shobogenzo-zuimonki: Sayings of Eihei Dogen Zenji, edited by Koun Ejo, translated by Shohaku Okumura (Kyoto Soto Zen Centre, 1987).
  • Shinji Shobogenzo. 301 Koan Stories, translated by Gudo Nishijima (Windbell, 2003).
  • Dogen’s Extensive Record: A Translation of the Eihei Koroku, translated by Taigen Dan Leighton & Shohaku Okumura (Wisdom, 2004).
  • Dogen’s Pure Standards for the Zen Community: A Translation of the Eihei Shingi, translated by Taigen Daniel Leighton & Shohaku Okumura (State University of New York Press, 1996).
  • Enlightenment Unfolds: The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Dogen, edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi (Shambala, 2000).
  • Moon in a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen, edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi (San Francisco Zen Center, 1985).
  • Dogen’s Genjo Koan: Three Commentaries, translations and commentaries by Nishiari Bokusan, Shohaku Okamura, Shunryu Suzuki, Kosho Uchiyama, Sojun Mel Weitsman, Kazuaki Tanahashi & Dairyu Michael Wenger (Counterpoint, 2011).

Dogen Studies:

  • How to Raise an Ox: Zen Practice as Taught in Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo, translated and edited by Francis Dojun Cook (Wisdom, 1999).
  • Did Dogen Go To China? What He Wrote and When He Wrote It by Steve Heine (Oxford University Press, 2006).
  • Eihei Dogen, Mystical Realist, by Hee-Jin Kim (Wisdom, 2000).
  • Dogen on Meditation and Thinking: A Reflection on His View of Zen, by Hee-Jin Kim ( State University of New York Press, 2006).
  • Dogen’s Formative Years in China, by Takashi James Kodera (Prajna Press, 1980).
  • The Wholehearted Way: A translation of Eihei Dogen’s ‘Bendowa’; With Commentary by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi; translated by Shohaku Okumura & Taigen Daniel Leighton (Tuttle, 1997).
  • Visions of Awakening Space and Time: Dogen and the Lotus Sutra, by Taigen Dan Leighton (Oxford University Press, 2007).
  • How to Cook Your Life, by Kosho Uchiyama (Shambala, 2005).
  • Flowers Fall: A Commentary on Zen Master Dogen’s Genjokoan, by Hakuun Yasutani (Shambala, 1996).

Selected Old Masters:

  • Bankei Zen: Translations from the Record of Bankei, edited by Yoshito Hakeda, translated by Peter Haskel (Grove Press, 1994).
  • The Unborn: The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei, 1622–1693, translated by Norman Waddell (North Point, 1984).
  • Mud & Water: The Teachings of Zen Master Bassui, translated by Arthur Braverman (Wisdom, 1997).
  • The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma, translated by Red Pine (North Point, 1989).
  • Stopping and Seeing, A comprehensive Course in Buddhist Meditation, Chi-i, translated by Thomas Cleary (Shambala, 1997).
  • Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul’s Korean Way of Zen, translated by Robert E. Buswell (Kuroda Institute, 1991).
  • The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin, translated by Norman Waddell (Shambala, 1994).
  • The Zen Master Hakuin, translated by Philip Yampolsky (Columbia University Press, 1973).
  • Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi, by Daniel Taigen Leighton (North Point, 1991).
  • The Zen Teaching of Huang Po: On the Transmission of Mind, translated by John Blofeld (Grove Press, 1958).
  • The Zen Teaching of Hui Hai on Sudden Illumination, translated by John Blofeld (Rider, 1962).
  • The Recorded Sayings of Zen Master Joshu, translated by James Green (Shambala, 2001).
  • The Recorded Sayings of Layman P’ang, translated by Ruth Fuller Sasaki, Yoshitaka Iriya & Dana R. Fraser (Weatherhill, 1973).
  • The Record of Rinzai, translated by Irmgard Schloegl (The Buddhist Society, 1975).
  • The Record of Linji (Rinzai), translation and commentary by Ruth Fuller Sasaki, edited by Thomas Yuho Kirchner (University of Hawaii Press, 2009).
  • Dialogues in a Dream (Muchu Mondo), by Muso Soseki, translated and annotated by Thomas Yuho Kirchner with Fukazawa Yukio (Tenryu-ji Institute for Philosophy and Religion, 2010).
  • The Undying Lamp of Zen, by Torei, translated by Thomas Cleary (Shambala, 1994).
  • Tsung-Mi and the Sinification of Buddhism, by Peter Gregory (University of Hawaii Press, 2002).
  • Master Yunmen: From the Record of the Chan Master “Gate of the Clouds (Ummon), edited by Urs App (Kodansha, 1994).
  • Yongming Yanshou’s Conception of Chan in the Zongjing lu: A Special Transmission Within the Scriptures, by Albert Weller (Oxford University Press, 2011)
  • Zen Letters, Teachings of Yuanwu (Engo), by J.C. Cleary & Thomas Cleary (Shambala, 2001).

Koan Collections:

  • The Gateless Barrier. Zen Comments on the Mumonkan, by Zenkei Shibayama (Shambala, 2000).
  • Two Zen Classics: Mumonkan & Hegikanroku, translated by Katsuki Sekida (Weatherhill, 1996).
  • Secrets of the Blue Cliff Record. Zen Comments by Hakuin and Tenkei, translated by Thomas Cleary (Shambala, 2000).
  • The Book of Serenity (Shoyoroku), translated by Thomas Cleary (Shambala, 2005).
  • The Book of Equanimity (Shoyoruku): Illuminating Classic Zen Koans, translated by Gerry Shishin Wick (Wisdom, 2005).
  • Transmission of Light: Zen in the Art of Enlightenment by Zen Master Keizan (Denkoroku), translated by Thomas Cleary (Shambala, 2002).
  • The Zen Koan: Its History and Use in Rinzai Zen, (Including Tozan’s Five Ranks); by Isshu Miura & Ruth Fuller Sasaki (Harcourt Brace & Company, 1993).


  • The Flower Ornament Scripture, A Translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra, translated by Thomas Cleary (Shambala, 1993).
  • In the Buddha’s Words. An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon, edited and introduced by Bhikkhu Bodhi (Wisdom, 2005).
  • The First Discourse of the Buddha, by Rewata Dhamma (Wisdom, 1997).
  • The Dhammapada, translated by Gill Fronsdal (Shambala, 2005).
  • The Diamond Sutra & The Sutra of Hui Neng, translated by A.F. Price and Wong Mou-Lan (Shambala, 1990).
  • The Diamond Sutra, The Perfection of Wisdom, translated by Red Pine (Counterpoint, 2001).
  • Lankavatara Sutra: A Mahayana Text, translated by D.T.Suzuki (Motilal Banarsidass, 1999).
  • The Lankavatara Sutra: A Zen Text, translation and commentary by Red Pine (Counterpoint, 2012).
  • The Lotus Sutra, translated by Burton Watson (Columbia University Press, 1993).
  • The Perfection of Wisdom. In Eight Thousand Lines & Its Verse Summary, translated by Edward Conze (City Lights, 1973).
  • Mother of the Buddhas: Meditation on the Prajnaparamita Sutra, selected by Lex Hixon (Quest, 1993).
  • The Surangama Sutra, with commentary by Ven. Hsuan Hua (Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2009).
  • The Awakening of Faith, attributed to Ashvagosha, translated by Yoshito S. Hakeda (Columbia University Press, 1967).
  • Complete Enlightenment: Zen Comments on the Sutra of Complete Enlightenment, translated and commented by Master Sheng-Yen (Dharma Drum, 1997).
  • Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra, translated by Charles Luk (Shambala, 1990).
  • A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life (Bodhicaryavatara), by Shantideva; translated by Vesna A. Wallace & B. Alan Wallace (Snow Lion, 1997).

Zen General:

  • Soto Zen in Medieval Japan, by William Bodiford (Kuroda Institute, 1993).
  • Crooked Cucumber; The Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki, by David Chadwick (Broadway, 1999).
  • Thank You and OK!: An American Zen Failure in Japan, by David Chadwick (Penguin, 1994).
  • Original Teachings of Chan Buddhism, by Chang Chung-Yuan (Random House, 1971).
  • Timeless Spring, A Soto Zen Anthology, edited and translated by Thomas Cleary (Weatherhill, 1980).
  • Zen Ritual: Studies of Zen Buddhist Theory in Practice , edited by Steven Heine & Dale S. Wright (Oxford University Press, 2007).
  • Zen Skin, Zen Marrow: Will the Real Zen Buddhism Please Stand Up?, by Steven Heine (Oxford University Press, 2008).
  • The Living Buddha by Daisaku Ikeda; translated by Burton Watson (Weatherhill, 1996).
  • Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Zen Journal and Letters of Maura “Soshin” O’Halloran, by Maura Soshin O’Halloran (Tuttle, 1994).
  • The Elements of Zen, by David Scott & Tony Doubleday (Element, 1992).
  • Essays in Zen Buddhism (three volumes), by D.T. Suzuki (Munshiram Manoharlal, 2000).
  • Zen and Japanese Culture, by D.T. Suzuki (Princeton University Press, 1959).
  • The Golden Age of Zen: Zen Masters of the T’ang Dynasty, by John C.H. Wu (World Wisdom, 2003).

Tibetan Buddhism:

  • The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Liberation Through Hearing In The Bardo, by Francesca Fremantle & Chögyam Trungpa (Shambala, 2000).
  • The Jewel Ornament of Liberation, by sGampopa; translated by Herbert V. Guenther (Shambala, 2001).
  • Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, by Sogyal Rinpoche (Rider & Co., 1996).
  • Awakening the Buddha Within. Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World, by Surya Das (Broadway, 1997).
  • Mind at Ease: Self-Liberation through Mahamudra Meditation, by Traleg Kyabgon (Shambala, 2003).
  • Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, by Chögyam Trungpa (Shambala, 1973).
  • The Myth of Freedom, and the Way of Meditation, by Chögyam Trungpa (Shambala, 1976).
  • Journey without Goal: The Tantric Wisdom of the Buddha, by Chögyam Trungpa (Shambala, 1981).
  • The Flight of the Garuda: The Dzogchen Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, translated by Keith Dowman (Wisdom, 2003).
  • The Great Treatise On The Stages Of The Path To Enlightenment (Lam Rim Chen Mo, three volumes), by Tsong-kha-pa, translated by the Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee (Snow Lion, 2002).

Buddhism General:

  • How the Swans Came to the Lake. A Narrative History of Buddhism in America, by Rick Fields (Shambala, 1992).
  • Bodhisattva Archetypes: Classic Buddhist Guides to Awakening and Their Modern Expression (new title: “Faces of Compassion), by Taigen Daniel Leighton (Penguin, 1998).
  • The Emptiness of Emptiness: An Introduction to Early Indian Madhyamka, by C.W. Huntington (University of Hawaii Press, 1992).
  • What the Buddha Taught, by Walpola Rahula (Grove Press, Rev. Ed., 1974)
  • The Monk and the Philosopher: A Father and Son Discuss the Meaning of Life, by Jean-Francois Revel & Matthieu Ricard (Schocken, 2000).
  • A Concise History of Buddhism, by Andrew Skilton (Windhorse, 1995).
  • The Buddhist Handbook: A Complete Guide to Buddhist Teaching and Practice, John Snelling (Rider & Co., 2nd Ed., 1998).
  • The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen, translated by Michael H. Kohn (Shambhala, 1991).

Western Mystics:

  • The Cloud of Unknowing, edited by William Johnston (Image Books, 1973)
  • No Man Is an Island, by Thomas Merton (The Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, 1955).
  • A Deeper Love: An Introduction to Centering Prayer, by Elisabeth Smith & Joseph Chalmers (Bloomsbury Academic, 1999).
  • Original Blessing, by Matthew Fox (Bear & Company, 1983).
  • The Gospel According to Jesus: A New Translation and Guide to His Essential Teachings for Believers and Unbelievers, translated by Stephen Mitchell (HarperCollins, 1991).

Spiritual Psychology:

  • Compassion in Action. Setting Out on the Path of Service, by Ram Dass & Mirabai Blish (Bell Tower, 1988).
  • Thoughts Without a Thinker, by Mark Epstein (BasicBooks, 1995).
  • Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, by Daniel Goleman (Bantam, 1995).
  • Wherever You Go There You Are. Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life, by Jon Kabat-Zinn (Hyperion, 1994).
  • Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill, by Matthieu Ricard (Little, Brown & Co., 2006).
  • The Healing Power of the Past: A New Approach to Healing Family Wounds, by Bertold Ulsamer (Underwood, 2005).
  • Toward a Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Psychotherapy, and the Path of Personal and Spiritual Transformation, by John Welwood (Shambala, 2000).