publishing . . .

For twelve years, Present Perfect Books published titles on Buddhist meditation practice. In 2000, Sweet Zen won first prize in the spirituality category of ForeWord magazines Book of the Year contest.

Present Perfect Books no longer accepts manuscripts for publication. The titles marked with an asterisk below are available through Keep It Simple, which supports the work of Living Compassion and the Zen Monastery Peace Center.


*Sweet Zen: Dharma Talks from Cheri Huber

available through Keep It Simple

swtzenEdited by Sara Jenkins
Sweet Zen offers an unusual approach to meditation practice: emphasizing simple kindness to oneself as the means of developing compassion for others. The talks, which address ordinary concerns in contemporary life, are short and clearly focused. The meditation practice described is a technique rather than a belief system and can be usefully applied within any religious tradition.

“. . . an articulate and inspiring rebuttal to the notion that deprivation is good for the soul . . . a truly enlightened and enlightening invitation to participate fully and joyfully in life.”
– Midwest Book Review
ISBN 0-9630784-4-5 200 pp., $12.00


*Buddha Facing the Wall: Interviews with American Zen Monks

available through Keep It Simple

budwalEdited by Sara Jenkins
Seventeen Zen monks respond to the questions, What brought you here, and what is it like? Their teacher, Cheri Huber, answers, too, in an interview about her own spiritual path and monastic training.

“I like Cheri Huber’s approach—down to earth, commonsensical, useful, and illuminating.”
– Robert Thurman
ISBN 0-9630784-3-7 208 pp., illus. $14.00



*Good Life: A Zen Precepts Retreat with Cheri Huber

available through Keep It Simple

goodlifeEdited by Sara Jenkins
Engaging discussions of how to transform real-life difficulties into freedom. The precepts help us see what keeps us from the natural joy of being wholeheartedly who we are.

“I love this book. It is a clear teaching tool which will be of great help to many.”
– Roshi Joan Halifax
ISBN 0-9630784-2-9 136 pp., $12.00




Trying To Be Human: Zen Teaching from Cheri Huber

out of print

ttbhEdited by Sara Jenkins
This book addresses three phases of spiritual life: finding a path, practicing it, and the awareness that results. Cheri’s approach brings a light, often humorous touch to this gentle path to personal transformation.

“Cheri Huber tells it like it is.”
– Zen priest Dai-En Bennage
ISBN 0-9630784-1-0 128 pp., $9.95



Turning Toward Happiness: Conversations with a Zen Teacher and Her Students

available through

tthEdited by Sara Jenkins
Down-to-earth descriptions of meditation practice in the words of long-term Zen students, five people living as Zen monks, and the teacher herself.

Tricycle recommended reading list
ISBN 0-9630784-0-2 168 pp., $8.95




At the Eleventh Hour: Caring for My Dying Mother

available through

11thhrby Susan Carol Stone
A memoir of love, written by a woman who interrupted an unusual life  in a Buddhist monastery  to return home and become a full-time caregiver. Dedicated to all those who are and will be caregivers, this book offers a compelling perspective on living a spiritual practice in the ordinary and extraordinary circumstances of a parent’s dying.

“An exquisite exploration of the heart . . . Susan allows us to accompany her on the path that leads through death to birth  for death in the family can move us toward the birth of our own deepest being.”
– Ondrea and Stephen Levine
ISBN 0-9630784-5-3 196 pp., $14.00


Knee Deep in Grace: The Extraordinary Life and Teachings of Dipa Ma

available through

dipamaby Amy Schmidt
One of the few women of her generation to devote herself entirely to the pursuit of meditation, Dipa Ma attained profound levels of insight in an astonishingly short time. As the teacher of Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, and Jack Kornfield, Dipa Ma profoundly influenced the development of insight meditation practice in the West. Dipa Ma taught that anyone can walk the path of awakening, and that meditation cannot be separated from daily life.

“An inspiring and beautiful book about one of our beloved elders, a modern Buddhist saint.”
– Jack Kornfield, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry and other titles
ISBN 0-9630784-6-1 174 pp., $12.00


Most of these titles are available for donation to prison and other programs—send request to Sara via email.