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  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran
    edited June 2005
  • edited July 2005
    Thanks Simon, this is a great site.
  • edited July 2005
    Brian wrote:
    One of the first things that people who are new to Buddhism ask me is "Can you recommend any good books?"

    I'll tell you, my wife and I have been the victims of some BAD books on Buddhism. There's a lot of garbage to wade through before you come across the gems. I don't know how it is in other languages, but the English-language selection can be pretty grim sometimes. I generally divide english-language books into three broad categories:

    1: "California Hippie Buddhism" - Books by authors like Jack Kerouac, that make Buddhism out to be a free-ride peace and love deal, where you can do all the drugs you want and wander the countryside, radiating lovingkindess to your fellow man. Terrible. Unfortunately, a great majority of non-Buddhist Americans see Buddhism in this light, thanks to books like this :(

    2: "Dry, Scholarly, and Inaccessible" - Many books written by monks who seem to have lost something in trying to communicate with the average layperson. There are books in this category that have merit, but only if you're experienced or you are a scholar. Many 600+ page tomes, containing line-for-line translations of the Pali canon, lack the simple humor or bright outlook that really "clicks" with the Western mindset. My opinion: Save it for later, when you are REALLY into Buddhism.

    3: "Just Right" - There are some authors who can't seem to get it wrong, and write books for the Western mind that really speak to you. Thich Nhat Hanh comes to mind (pronounced TEEK NAHT HAHN-- Thich is a Vietnamese word meaning "teacher" or "monk"). These are the ones that you come across once in a while and just say....."wow".

    So, the purpose of this thread is to help you find books to read if you want to learn more about Buddhism. Feel free to ask any questions or even offer up reviews of any books you've read.

    Sorry for such a late reply...

    Kerouac was a tortured soul, torn between Catholic guilt and...well, most anything else. So while I will agree that his books are clearly poor introductions to Buddhism, I'm sort of stepping to his defense about the literature: there are some beautiful passages and profound experiences in them.

    I second the recommendation on "Awakening the Buddha Within" by Lama Surya Das. Thoroughly enthralling, and I can relate to it as with no other text I've read so far.
  • SabineSabine Veteran
    edited July 2005
    Whoa! Thanks so much! :bowdown:
  • SabineSabine Veteran
    edited July 2005
    By the way, I decided to go ahead and get a copy of The Dhammapada at Barnes and Noble earlier today, it was only about six dollars--lucky me :D I've only read the preface though :p
    Rowan1980
  • edited July 2005
    "The Way of Harmony" by Jim Dreaver.

    Mind intriguing book - I found a lot of Buddhism principles in this book.
  • edited September 2005
    Hello every one! I not sure if it has been mentioned befor, I'm new here, but there are many excelent books out there at no cost. Many of these seem to have more to say than what I've been finding on the book store shelves. Two of the friendliest sources I've found are as follows:

    http://www.budaedu.org/en/
    http://www.ymba.org
  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran
    edited September 2005
    Welcome, Iron Tortoise!
  • edited September 2005
    Hello every one! I not sure if it has been mentioned befor, I'm new here, but there are many excelent books out there at no cost. Many of these seem to have more to say than what I've been finding on the book store shelves. Two of the friendliest sources I've found are as follows:

    http://www.budaedu.org/en/
    http://www.ymba.org

    I love it. There are excellent. Venerable Jin Chung has a great impact on my life, he is extraordinarily good.

    Thanks.

    cheers,
  • JerbearJerbear Veteran
    edited September 2005
    Hello All, Another idea about books. Since some of us are newcomers, would people be interested in having a book discussion thread? The group that told me that I seemed more Buddhist than what their group was for got me started on studying Buddhism. We could take a book and discuss a chapter or two a week. Sounds like homewok I know, but we could gain the insight and experience of the more experienced people on the site. :buck:
  • edited September 2005
    emmak wrote:
    1. Did a book exchange get off of the ground?
    2. Are the stated buddhist magazine available worldwide?

    Well, did it - are they?

    i like the tao of pooh - the pooh bear has a simple way of explaining things.

    Also How to Know God : The Soul's Journey Into the Mystery of Mysteries by Deepak Chopra - though not buddhist - talks about how there are 7 stages to getting to know God starting from fearing him (like catholics) all the up to enlightenment. Interesting, even for an atheist like me.
  • edited October 2005
    Sounds good to me. Pick a book, and post it. I may already have it!
  • JerbearJerbear Veteran
    edited October 2005
    How about "The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings" by Thich Naht Hahn. Everyone would be welcome, especially those who've been practicing for a while. Us rookies need your experience.
  • edited October 2005
    Jerbear wrote:
    How about "The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings" by Thich Naht Hahn. Everyone would be welcome, especially those who've been practicing for a while. Us rookies need your experience.

    An excellent choice! I own and have read it many times, but constantly refer back to it. I'll start over tonight. When would you like to discuss?
  • JerbearJerbear Veteran
    edited October 2005
    How about the week of the 17th. I work nights and have found that a specific day to start a discussion can be kind of tough. The only requirement for joining the discussion is that you have read said material. We shall start with chapter 1 on Monday 10/17/05. All are welcome.
  • edited October 2005
    I will be on around 8:00 Eastern. Look forward to it.
  • JerbearJerbear Veteran
    edited October 2005
    I am going to start a different thread for this calling it "Book Club: The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings". That way we will know where it is exactly. Hope others of you join us.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited October 2005
    (Ask Brian if he can "sticky" it for you.... am now going to see if I can dig the book out of storage....!)

    what is "8:00 eastern time" in GMT euro-language, please? :)
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited October 2005
    Jerbear wrote:
    We shall start with chapter 1 on Monday 10/17/05. All are welcome.

    I forgot that in the USA you put the month first then the date..... *D'oh!!* :tongue2:

    Look forward to it.... :)
  • JerbearJerbear Veteran
    edited October 2005
    you mean we'll start 17/10/2005? Is that it? Hehehehehehehehehe
  • edited December 2005
    Hello All,

    I wrote a book called 'The Buddhism Primer : An Introduction to Buddhism', here is a brief description: Printed: 230 pages, ISBN: 1-4116-6334-9

    An introduction to Buddhism including: The Buddha, History of Buddhism, The Major Schools of Buddhism, The Dhammapada, Metta Sutta, Basic Buddhist Dictionary, Buddhist Festivals and Holidays, and teachings on Kamma (Karma).

    After reading many books, as well as being a Dhamma teacher for some years. My goal was to write a book that delved into the basics, but is of use to someone interested in any of the schools of thought without leaning too much one way or the other. I also wanted to make sure that readers had answers to many questions they are left with in other books. Simple but important things like the major Buddhist holy days and festivals.

    In addition I also included 2 major texts which are pretty much accepted and held as important by all the schools of thought, the Dhammapada, and the Metta Sutta (Buddha's teachings on loving kindness). To give the reader actual full texts they can compare all the 'descriptions and outlines' they are reading to. I think this is very important.

    The book can be found here (I hope this is okay) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1411663349/qid=1133660057/sr=11-1/ref=sr_11_1/002-0058998-7970462?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

    You can find out more about me here: http://www.whoisrobertmestre.uni.cc/

    Metta
    Dhammasaavaka (Robert Mestre)

    I enjoy this board and plan on sticking around. I am always available for questions about the Dhamma (Dharma). I do not know everything, but will always try to help.
  • edited December 2005
    The second link is dead btw.
  • edited December 2005
    The second link is dead btw.

    Fixed it...thank you :)
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited December 2005
    Welcome Dahmmasaavaka, and thank you for joining us.... It is good to know that we have such a varied anc eclectic mix of people here... Thise who wish to learn, and those who teach..... fortunately, I can't tell which is which, because at one point or another, we all switch roles - !!
    Nice to meet you!! :)
  • edited December 2005
    Absolutely we never stop learning. Even in teaching we are students of those we teach.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited December 2005
    ........And I used to keep snakes! Oh, DS, we have so much in common!! :lol: :lol:
  • edited December 2005
    Dhammasaavaka,

    I have an interesting read on some of your links.

    Kin Lee :)
  • JerbearJerbear Veteran
    edited December 2005
    Welcome DS!
  • edited December 2005
    Hey all,

    Recomendations are just that. I'm always happy to have them, but its also why I like the library (or a good Borders with a coffee shop and time to peruse). Anyway, sometimes you get stuck with a book that just doesn't quite do it for you for some reason. I've collected my fair share. So I went looking for a good way to use this to my advantage and found a website that allows bookswap for free (except for the $4 shipping paid by receiver). There aren't many buddhist books on there, but I've gotten a couple of steals. I got a hardcover edition of Thich Nhat Hanh's 'The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching' and I'm currently waiting on his 'Miracle of Mindfulness'. I don't know how it would work outside the U.S. - I have a current question to them on this one, stay posted.

    I figure though with as many books as we must be reading collectively we could probably find a few that we could part with and boost the number of those of interest to others. If you decide to do this, if you would be so kind :poke: as to use the link below to register we both get 15 trading points (which is basically how they ensure that you're participating in both directions):

    http://www.bookins.com/index.php?promoCode=finalcause@gmail.com

    or the e-mail address finalcause@gmail.com as the promo code. Of course there is also the value of being able to unload any kinds of books in decent condition, they have an OK selection to date.

    Happy swapping.
  • edited December 2005
    Well - looks like those of you in the UK might have another option...

    From: Bookins <customercare@bookins.com>
    Date: Dec 23, 2005 7:24 AM
    Subject: Help

    Hi Bryan, thank you for getting in touch with this question. Our
    service is currently only available in the US, unfortunately, we
    cannot accommodate your friends in the UK and Singapore.

    Please have your friends in the UK take a look at
    www.readitswapit.co.uk, it is a free book swap shop - but is only
    available to UK users.

    Thanks very much!
  • PadawanPadawan Veteran
    edited January 2006
    One that I can heartily recommend is 'The Art Of Living', by His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama. Clearly and concisely written, it shows how the Dharma applies to every aspect of our daily lives.

    Peace.
  • edited January 2006
    And if anyone wants the above book, I'll sort out a discount for them. And yes, this is a plug.

    The Art of Living by the Dalai Lama
  • edited January 2006
    someone at work today gave me "The Sutra On The Eight Realizations Of The Great Beings" which has commentary from Thich Nhat Hanh. It's written in a way that seems easier to interpret. Anyone else read this? I'm sure most of you have though.
  • edited January 2006
    I have read The Art of Living...it is GREAT!
    I have also read Lama Surya Das's Awakening the Buddha Within. Currently I am starting the next in his trilogy. I have also started reading The Snow Lion's Turquoise Mane. It includes wisdom tales for Tibet.
  • edited January 2006
    thud thud thud thud (size 8 feet in snowboots approaching)

    My copy arrived! :) :) :) :) :)
  • JerbearJerbear Veteran
    edited January 2006
    Without sounding silly, what arrived?
  • edited January 2006
    My copy of the book Jerry - now I am racing through my first reading of it so I can go back and read it slowly and then join in. Happy, happy, happy.
  • edited February 2006
    A book that I've found has unexpected breadth in explaining Buddhism is Luminous Emptiness by Francesca Fremantle. It explores the Tibetan Book of the Dead in detail, but arrives there by providing an overview of Buddhism.
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran
    edited February 2006
    Knitwitch wrote:
    My copy of the book Jerry - now I am racing through my first reading of it so I can go back and read it slowly and then join in. Happy, happy, happy.

    Hey Knitwitch, (I almost typed knitwit!, my bad)

    I've been lax on the last couple of chapters, maybe you and I can catch up together?

    -bf
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran
    edited February 2006
    UnderTree wrote:
    A book that I've found has unexpected breadth in explaining Buddhism is Luminous Emptiness by Francesca Fremantle. It explores the Tibetan Book of the Dead in detail, but arrives there by providing an overview of Buddhism.

    UnderTree,

    I might have to check that out. The Tibetan Book Of The Dead is one of those books I've wanted to check out - but just thought it might be too deep for me.

    Books that are written like various suttas...

    you know, the old...
    "Why do you ask this?"
    "Because of the asking."
    "You ask this because of the asking and what do you find?"
    "Because of the asking I find that I'm not getting a clear answer."
    "You ask this because of the asking and you find that you do not get a clear answer and what do you think?"
    "Because of the asking and finding that I'm not getting any real answer I think I'm getting pissed off!"
    "It is the pissing that you seek."

    Sometimes that stuff just gets too tedious for me. I know... that's my own problem.

    But I find it's easier to go through these sort of texts when I gain more familiarity with the basic principles and teachings of Buddha.

    -bf
  • JerbearJerbear Veteran
    edited February 2006
    BF and Knitwitch,
    Just so you know, we are finishing the Noble Eightfold Path this week. We are going on to the section "Other Basic Buddhist Teachings". If it would be easier for you guys to jump in there and read the other stuff on your own, why not do that. We sure want your input.
  • edited February 2006
    Jerbear wrote:
    BF and Knitwitch,
    Just so you know, we are finishing the Noble Eightfold Path this week. We are going on to the section "Other Basic Buddhist Teachings". If it would be easier for you guys to jump in there and read the other stuff on your own, why not do that. We sure want your input.


    Ta Jerry. We are on Right Livelihood at the mo right? Good oh - I have read that bit and might have something to say. Will go look. Bless!
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited February 2006
    Jerbear wrote:
    Just so you know, we are finishing the Noble Eightfold Path this week. We are going on to the section "Other Basic Buddhist Teachings".

    We ARE...? Oh Lordy, I thought you were going to let us off that bit....:grin:

    Just kidding....
    Excuse me while I prepare a cuppa and dig in.... :)
  • edited February 2006
    BF,

    I found this hilarious - cheers for the superior LOL-fest.
    "Why do you ask this?"
    "Because of the asking."
    "You ask this because of the asking and what do you find?"
    "Because of the asking I find that I'm not getting a clear answer."
    "You ask this because of the asking and you find that you do not get a clear answer and what do you think?"
    "Because of the asking and finding that I'm not getting any real answer I think I'm getting pissed off!"
    "It is the pissing that you seek."

    :)
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran
    edited February 2006
    Glad I could give you a chuckle, BSF...

    So, you know what I'm talking about ...

    -bf
  • edited February 2006
    Can I make a suggestion for the new book to be read?

    HH the DL - Ancient Wisdom, Modern World

    Why? Because I already have a copy. There, how's that for selfish! No, seriously I really cant afford to buy any new ones this month and get my glasses changed - which is going to cost me a fortune but will stop the headaches.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited February 2006
    I like that too. I have the book. Yay me!!
  • JerbearJerbear Veteran
    edited February 2006
    We have plenty of chapters left to read in "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching". Please get your glasses, book, and anything else you need. A few weeks before we finish TNH's book, we could discuss what we would like to read. My input doesn't count this time as I picked TNH's book. But if you're book gets picked, I think it only fair you run the thread for that period of time. Okay?
  • edited February 2006
    OH what an idea Jerry - me run a thread? I can't run a bath! But if it is so, then it is so. At least I can say "Well I didn't understand a word - anyone help me?" which will be nice.

    Bless.
  • edited March 2006
    Hello all, this is my first post. I've been reading everyone's threads for about a month now, and had to join myself. First off, let me say that I am new to the Buddhist idea. I have been reading various books for about 4-5 months, and it is amazing how much I agree with. I happened to stumble accross it while surfing the internet, and now I seem to be studying it almost daily. I wonder if I was a buddhist in a past life?

    I don't know if these books have been posted, but an author who I have found very helpful in learing about buddhism is Thubten Chodron. She is a Buddhist nun from America. The 2 books of hers that I have read are "Buddhism for Beginners" and "Open Heart, Clear Mind". I found these to be very well written, and easy to read. I have also recently read Siddhartha on a recomendation from a christian friend of mine.

    Anyways, I look forward to talking more with you all.
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