Books

Genpo Roshi’s publications include The Eye Never Sleeps, Beyond Sanity and Madness, 24/7 Dharma, and The Path of The Human Being, a novel entitled The Fool Who Thought He Was God, and many DVDs. His book Big Mind/Big Heart: Finding Your Way, has been published in fourteen other languages: Dutch, Spanish, German, Russian, Polish, French, Italian, Hungarian, Croatian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Danish, Korean and Chinese.  His latest book, Spitting Out the Bones, A Zen Master’s 45 Year Journey, was published in 2016.

“You have to swallow the whole fish,” Zen Master Taizan Maezumi told his students, “…and then spit out the bones.”  First absorb the tradition, endure the hardships of Zen training, then you can spend the rest of your life separating the real treasure from the culture it came in, learning what you can let go of and what is truly yours.

Spitting Out the Bones is Genpo Roshi’s story of his uplifting and exhilarating and humbling journey, including the last five years rising from the ashes of his very public fall from grace, and a candid exploration of the challenge of bringing the essence of the great tradition he inherited to life in the West.

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Big Mind – Big Heart | This book presents a highly original and accessible pathway to self-discovery and personal liberation. Since 1999 the Big Mind process has been experienced by many thousands of people in seminars across America. Author Zen Master Dennis Genpo Merzel uses this technique to help people access the ever-present Big Mind/Big Heart awareness – the clear, “just being” awareness and the unconditional compassion that we all can experience.

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The Fool Who Thought He Was God | A mysterious package discovered behind a wall in an abandoned building recounts the strange tale of twin brothers reunited after years apart.  A school teacher’s quiet life is suddenly upended when he discovers his brother Sebastian, who thinks he is God, has had himself committed to a mental institution in Bangor Maine, close to where he himself has been living for years.  He records his visits with his long lost twin and the conversations that leave him increasingly baffled, inspired, and finally uncertain about the thin line between sanity and madness.

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The Path Of The Human Being | Dennis Merzel, one of the most highly regarded American Zen teachers, explains how meditation can gradually lead us to become more and more familiar with our minds, allowing us to better understand ourselves and the nature of human life. He explores the practice of meditation in depth, as well as a range of related topics including: connecting meditation practice to everyday life, understanding central Zen concepts, working with a teacher, and practicing meditation in the midst of difficult times.

 “Genpo Roshi invites us in a direct, no-nonsense language to transform ourselves and the world around us. He makes the Zen way clear and accessible to anyone who is willing to engage it. A must for every Zen library.”
—John Daido Loori Roshi, Abbot of the Zen Mountain Monastery

“Genpo Roshi gives those who have never meditated a chance to see their true face and experience the oneness of life.”
—Roshi Bernie Glassman, Zen Peacemakers

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Beyond Sanity and Madness | Zen Master Dogen (1200-1253), the founder of the Soto Zen sect in Japan and one of the most brilliant minds Japan has ever produced, was a true giant of Asian thought whose works are of an astounding richness and profundity.  In this book, Genpo Roshi explores the essential features of Dogen’s vision of Zen training and practice as presented in three of his most important works.

“Master Dogen reminds us to appreciate these old teachings from the Bodhisattva’s perspectives and to continually refresh our own integrity as embodied in these great vows of benefiting oneself and others.  Genpo Sensei, a follower of Kanzeon, offers his comments for your consideration. It will be most rewarding for him if these comments stimulate your own practice and cause you to confirm your vows.   I offer you my sincere encouragement in the genuine practice of the Buddha Way.”
— Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi, Roshi

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The Eye Never Sleeps | The radical challenge of Zen Buddhism is to drop all assumptions and prejudices and experience the truth directly. American Zen teacher Dennis Genpo Merzel brings new life to this ancient wisdom through his commentaries on a classic Chinese Zen scripture, “Verses on Faith-Mind,” by the Third Patriarch of Zen, Sosan Zenji. The author strikes to the heart of Zen with clarity and force, expressing in modern terms, to an American audience, the essential wisdom and compassion of Sosan Zenji’s famous poem. Full of colorful Zen lore and personal anecdotes from Dennis Genpo Merzel’s life, these talks impart the Buddha’s teaching directly and intimately, illuminating in simple words the timeless questions and problems of day-to-day life.

Shambhala >

“For the beginner, this introduces the fundamental teachings of Buddhism in language direct, clear, unexotic; drawing straight from the well of our recognizable lives, Genpo’s teachings remind with the pure resonance of the meditation bell: ‘Don’t waste time.’”
— Jane Hirshfield, author of Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry

24/7 Dharma | Zen Master Dennis Genpo Merzel brings clarity and wisdom to our most fundamental questions — Why do we suffer? How can we free ourselves from fear and sorrow? What does it take to live in harmony with others?  Merzel’s pithy and provocative observations can be read individually for inspiration and guidance, or from beginning to end as a lucid introduction to Buddhist truths.  Supremely accessible, 24/7 Dharma applies the central concepts of Buddhism to our modern-day experience.

“In a long tradition of Zen aphorisms and turning phrases, Roshi Genpo Merzel’s brief, laconic Dharma teachings always point to one’s own true nature.”
— Roshi Bernie Glassman, Zen Peacemakers

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