Shingon & Kukai
One of my favorite books in English concerning Shingon Mikkyo is “Kukai: Major Works” by Columbia University Press. It went out of print, and they must have not printed that many because it was darn near impossible to get a copy for a long while.
The founder of Shingon (True Word) Mikkyo (Mystery School) Buddhism was Kukai, (Sea of Emptiness) who became lovingly known as Kobo Daishi after his death. “Kukai: Major Works” contains several translated examples of Kukai’s work. I used to use one of these, the “Ten Stages of the Mind.” as an outline for the study of many different schools of Buddhist thought when I would teach about Buddhism along with meditation classes. The “Ten Stages of the Mind” culminates with (surprise, surprise) Shingon. So, this particular essay worked well as a framework from which to study the foundational schools of thought that eventually lead to Shingon, and then Shingon itself.
Why am I writing about his now? Well, I was following a lead on another Kukai related book on Amazon and ‘lo and behold’ it looks as if they have reprinted “Kukai: Major Works!” So, if you have any interest in Shingon, and are an English reader, I strongly recommend this book to you and suggest that you buy one now before they disappear again! Kukai: Major Works