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Buddhist Books > Some Book Suggestions Please.

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message 1: by Steven (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:47AM) (new)

Steven Coolbaugh | 3 comments I am looking to leanrn about the Buddhist philosophy. Does anyone have suggestions for great introductory books? Thank you in advance.

message 2: by Gary (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:48AM) (new)

Gary Hi Steven,

I think two excellent and easy-to-read introductory books are THE HEART OF THE BUDDHA'S TEACHING, by Thich Nhat Hanh, and MINDFULNESS IN PLAIN ENGLISH, by Bhante H. Gunaratana. The former covers the philosophy; the latter covers the practice. Both are very enjoyable and can serve as easy stepping stones to further reading.

message 3: by Katherine (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:48AM) (new)

Katherine | 1 comments I agree re: Mindfulness in Plain English. An enjoyable read, and works as an excellent starting point for meditation.

message 4: by Rachel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:48AM) (new)

Rachel | 1 comments I also agree with 'Mindfulness in Plain English'. It was the first meditation book that I ever read and it was incredibly helpful.

message 5: by Joseph (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:49AM) (new)

Joseph | 1 comments I'll second Heart of the Buddha's Teaching. Very clear and warm introduction to the fundamentals of the practice. I also appreciated Stephen Batchelor's Buddhism without Beliefs, and Steve Hagen's Buddhism Plain and Simple.
Whenever I need a return to the basics, however, I first go to Thich Nhat Hanh.

message 6: by Steven (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:49AM) (new)

Steven Coolbaugh | 3 comments Thank you very much for your feedback. I have found "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching" at my local library. I have also checked out "The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha" and "Buddha and the Gospel of the Buddha". Has anyone read either of those two books?

message 7: by Fenixbird (last edited Feb 15, 2008 06:44PM) (new)

Fenixbird SandS | 4 comments Perhaps merely as an additional reference on history to understand Buddhism's origins I might recommend (1) George Feuerstein's The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali: A New Translation & Commentary, which I have added here to this group. (2) Encountering the Dharma: Daisaku Ikeda, Soka Gakkai, and the Globalization of Buddhist Humanism (Paperback)
by Richard Seager

On the above books (1) This book was given to me by a friend. Rather in-depth yet delves (with English translations alongside the Sanskrit) into the basic principles upon which Buddhist thought is based, including the 4 Noble virtues (often called the 4 Noble truths); the 3 poisons; 9 obstacles on the path to realization; & the 5 categories of fluctuations. By way of credit: This author co-founded & formerly directed the Yoga Research Center at Durham, England. At the time of this printing (1989) he had written 8 other books. (2) to be updated

message 8: by Korie (new)

Korie Brown (drbrown) | 3 comments If you're looking for a history of Buddhism and Buddhist thought, you might try Buddha or Bust! by Perry Garfunkel. I enjoyed it.

message 9: by kristen (new)

kristen (kaccardo) | 4 comments The Dhammapada is a good one - I have a good version with commentary on each verse.

The Dalai Lama has a few good basic books as well that discuss the Four Noble Truths, compassion etc.
I'll post some to the list here if I may.

message 10: by Rabbit (new)

Rabbit | 4 comments I would like to recomend Start Where You Are, by Pema Chodron, The Tibetan book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche, and, if Vajrayana is your flavor, Secrets of the Vajra World. Oh and ANYTHING by Chogyam Trungpa!

message 11: by Gary (new)

Gary | 8 comments as for books, what they said, above

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (this year's the 50th anniversary of suzuki roshi's coming to the west) this is on the top of most Best Buddhist Books lists

another chestnut:
Zen Flesh, Zen Bones A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings

note: those are both in the zen zone. there's also vipassana (insight meditation); pure land (the largest school in the world, and in the west); tibetan (vajrayana); nicheren, and soka gakai; etc. the first that treats all but the last equally and in depth is my own humble tome ...The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buddhism, 3rd Edition but then i'm divinely proud -- and you can read the second edition absolutely FOR FREE at books.google.com [just look it up by my name:]. for more info: http://word.to

(remember: a book about buddhism is like a spoon. you also want to taste the soup itself.

to put that another way, the best book on buddhism ... is in your own heart, written with your life, on a large scroll called time. enjoy!)

message 12: by Davis (new)

Davis (davismattek) | 4 comments Well, I learned about Buddhism at a very young age and have maintained an interest in it for quite sometime, and I just picked up "Siddhartha". I would recommend that.

message 13: by Rabbit (new)

Rabbit | 4 comments We are having a book study of Words of My Perfect Teacher. It is in my home but, hopefully, there will be online discussion, too. All are welcome:

buddhistbookstudy@yahoogroups.com buddhistbookstudy-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

message 14: by Gary (new)

Gary | 8 comments in finer degree of granularity, a buddhist philosophy of religion is strictly in the philososphy category. a book making links between buddhism and existential philosophy which i'm fond of is alone with others

message 15: by Gary (new)

Gary | 8 comments [odd ... good reads linked the first book to the dhammapada and the second to robinson crusoe ... heigh ho!:]

message 16: by Cyn (new)

Cyn Rutter (truenaturebeing) Thank you for all your wonderful suggestions. For me personally, I began with:

Sidhhartha by Hermann Hesse

The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh

A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils & Promises of Spiritual Life by Jack Kornfield

The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche.

Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya Das

Pema Chodron's The Wisdom of No Escape & the Path of Loving Kindness

Ayya Khema's Being Nobody, Going Nowhere: Meditations on the Buddhist Path

The Mind and the Way : Buddhist Reflections of Life

In This Very Life: The Liberation Teachings of the Buddha by Kate Wheeler (Editor), Sayadaw U. Pandita, U. Aggacitta (Translator)

message 17: by John (new)

John | 5 comments It seems almost pointless to add yet another, but since I don't see it mentioned above, I will:

What the Buddha Taught, by Walpola Rahula.

I'm a writer, and I read for style as well as content. Rahula's style is clear, but not over-simplified. His book is an enjoyable read for someone interested in the subject, with little or no prior knowledge. Rahula was a Sri Lankan monk and scholar, fluent in several languages, and visiting scholar at the University of Paris (Sorbonne).

From the forward: "...the aspect of Buddhism here presented by Dr. Rahula--humanist, rational, Socratic in some respects, evangelic in others, or again almost scientific--has for its support a great deal of authentic scriptural evidence which he only had to let speak for themselves."

A book well worth reading.


message 18: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca White (rebecca_white) | 14 comments Mod
My favorite writer is Alan Watts. To me, he's the master of explaining the Eastern way of thinking to those brought up in the west. This is It is one I would suggest to start with.

I just reread one of the first books on Buddhism I ever read and got even more out of it the second time: The Feeling Buddha by David Brazier.

message 19: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) I just finished Against the Stream: A Buddhist Manual for Spiritual Revolutionaries and it was very understandable and I was able to really understand what the author was saying.

message 20: by Gail (new)

Gail Testa | 2 comments Buddhism Plain and Simple -- An excellent book written by Steven Hagen who is a Buddhist Priest. Well-written and very easy to understand. Deals with the basics. Highly recommend it.

message 21: by darío (last edited Jan 31, 2011 07:14PM) (new)

darío hereñú | 20 comments Matthieu Ricard and his book, The monk and the philosopher. A deep looking about the eastern point of view about life, materialism, cravings, death, ignorance, joy, happiness... A mind's blowing book!

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