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  • edited August 2010
    It has been downloaded :)

    Did you get my message though? I saved it to my computer just in case it didn't send
  • edited August 2010
    thanks. just replied. i'd be interested in your thoughts about zen mind, beginners mind. It came highly recommended. Look up the bio of the author on the web. sounds like he might have a good delivery
  • edited August 2010
    I will. I should be able to start reading it by tomorrow night and when I finish I'll let you know
  • edited August 2010
    I have ordered The Miracle of Mindfulness and Anger: Buddhist Wisdom for Cooling the Flames, I think my worst quality can be my temper, im very looking forward to reading both these books, and soon as im done, im sure il be ordering more :)

    Thank you for all the great tips :)
  • mugzymugzy Veteran
    edited August 2010
    I just finished reading The Energy of Prayer: How to Deepen Your Spiritual Practice by Thich Nhat Hanh and have recently started another book of his, The Heart of Understanding: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra. Next after that will be The Diamond That Cuts Through Illusion: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Diamond Sutra, also by Hanh. I still have a few of his books that I started and didn't finish, and another book of his that I have yet to start!

    Needless to say, I'm a big Thich Nhat Hanh fan :)
  • edited August 2010
    I found that Buddhism for beginners by Thubten Chodron and How to Practice The Way to a Meaningful Fife by His Holiness The Dali Lama were good books
  • edited September 2010
    I find there's something good in every book I've read. What I mean, there's always something I have learned such as a new principle, idea or at the very least that I now know that I'm not inclined to a certain view, etc.
  • edited October 2010
    I looked through this thread and have found it very inspiring. Certainly will add quite a few of these onto my list, thanks!

    I still am finding great inspiration in The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, by Thich Nhat Hanh. For me this book lays out the primary teachings compassionately and in a cut and dry fashion for easy reference. Chapter one specifically hit me hard when I was just beginning to learn about Buddhism, and I often revisit those first pages when I need a shot in the arm, so to speak. I know this book is often mentioned but there is a reason, for it is great for beginners. As well as Walpola Rahula's What the Buddha Taught. To me that book is like a 'just the facts' perspective on the philosophy which can be very helpful to someone starting out.

    I have two translations of the Dhammapada. I think the Dhammapada is a great introductory tool for those that want to dip their toes in the old Pali texts. Simple poetry with the Buddha's message at the core. The newer edition is translated by Eknath Easwaran and is easily found at Amazon or outlet stores. He does a great job introducing and explaining each and every poem. Highly recommended. However, I kind of prefer the old translation I've found by P. Lal, but that could just be a bias of mine? I don't know.

    I don't recall Geshe Tashi Tsering's Four Noble Truths being mentioned in this thread? That book, as well as Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness by Bhante Ghunaratana (both Wisdom Publications) have been inspiring to me at the outset.
  • edited October 2010
    Buddhism For Beginners by Thubten Chodron gave me good ideas of how to get started in Buddhism.
  • B5CB5C Veteran
    edited October 2010
    I hope I found some good books. I am new too Buddhism, so I go to book stores and used book stores. These are books that I bought and I want to know if they are good.

    "How to Practice" by the Dalai Lama

    "The Universe in a Single Atom" by the Dalai Lama
    "Introducing Buddhism" by Chris Pauling

    At used bookstores in town I find A LOT of books from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
    "The Meditation Handbook"

    Yes I even got the Idiots Guide on Buddhism as well.
  • edited October 2010
    "I just started reading my first book by Thich Nhat Hanh, the above mentioned "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching". It is explaining the Four Noble Truths in a way this novice can understand and I am sure the entire book will be a much needed step in my learning"
    This is the book a friend just gave me to read. I've been doing most of my studying online, but am very excited to have a list of books to refer to! I'm so happy to have found this site. :)
  • edited October 2010
    I've also finished 'The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching', that was by far the best book I read about Buddhism. One interesting thing, which I could improve my understanding about through the reading of this book, is that Buddhism has evolved throughout History and throughout the countries he visited.
    The author can, for instance, explain a concept through its Chinese ideogram, puts forward new theories (new= do not belong to the Theravada tradition) or challenges the Pali canons. My feeling is that it removes the sacred aura about the Buddha and makes Buddhism appears more like a quest for wisdom.
  • zpwestonzpweston Explorer
    edited October 2010
    I really like what I have read about Tibetan Buddhism, and I want to read more. I am reading Awakening the Buddha Within by: Surya Das. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. May all be well.
  • cazcaz Veteran
    edited October 2010
    I hope I found some good books. I am new too Buddhism, so I go to book stores and used book stores. These are books that I bought and I want to know if they are good.

    "How to Practice" by the Dalai Lama

    "The Universe in a Single Atom" by the Dalai Lama
    "Introducing Buddhism" by Chris Pauling

    At used bookstores in town I find A LOT of books from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
    "The Meditation Handbook"

    Yes I even got the Idiots Guide on Buddhism as well.

    Meditation Handbook Is very good, The New Meditation Handbook has a better layout though. Takes you through all the Meditations of the Lamrim, Not so much wordy but as it says a handbook for daily practise :)
  • PalzangPalzang Veteran
    edited October 2010
    zpweston wrote: »
    I really like what I have read about Tibetan Buddhism, and I want to read more. I am reading Awakening the Buddha Within by: Surya Das. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. May all be well.

    You might enjoy The Myth of Freedom or other books by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche is another popular one.

    Palzang
  • edited November 2010
    As a relatively new Buddhist who has read few texts, may favorite so far has been the "Dhammapada". It reads straight forward almost like a guide but it is poetic and metaphorical at the same time, a real pleasure. Because the Dhammapada is comprised of "the Buddha's teachings" I can randomly read from any page for a bit of quick inspiration. I find that it is a text that is easily paired with my daily practice.

    Dhammapada Annotated & Explained by Jack Maguire is the version that I currently read from. The annotation is side by side so I don't need to flip pages or look at the tiny footnote print.
  • edited November 2010
    As a relatively new Buddhist who has read few texts, may favorite so far has been the "Dhammapada". It reads straight forward almost like a guide but it is poetic and metaphorical at the same time, a real pleasure. Because the Dhammapada is comprised of "the Buddha's teachings" I can randomly read from any page for a bit of quick inspiration. I find that it is a text that is easily paired with my daily practice.

    Dhammapada Annotated & Explained by Jack Maguire is the version that I currently read from. The annotation is side by side so I don't need to flip pages or look at the tiny footnote print.
  • edited November 2010
    an eye opener book is:

    "the party" a chronological prospective on a confrontation at a buddhist seminary

    it's out of print but can ofen be found on amazon.com and ebay.

    here's a review along with the book for sale

    http://www.amazon.com/great-Naropa-poetry-wars/product-reviews/0932274064
  • B5CB5C Veteran
    edited November 2010
    I am curretly reading:

    51BgIoAmmUL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

    I thought the idot guide series wasn't worth it, but it was 6 bucks at my local used book store I gave it a try. I recommend this book en though you already read other Buddhist books. This book has been clearing my mind a bit and making me to suck in Buddhism much more easiler.

    The Dalai Lama's "Becoming Enlightened" was a great book. Yet I will have to read it again to fully understand his concepts. With the idots guide gives Buddhism to a point that you don't have to reread it too understand it.
  • edited November 2010
    One book that really changed my views on Buddhism was Hardcore Zen by Brad Warner. I love the way he writes and presents Buddhism. It's so honest and real, and I connected with it so much.

    I know I'll probably get eaten for this, but I don't like Thich Naht Hahn's stuff very much. I think the way he writes is too... oh, how do I put this? Flowery? Hoity-toity? His work just... grates on me. I mean, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching is a great book information-wise, but... yeah. His stuff just doesn't do it for me.
  • BonsaiDougBonsaiDoug Simply, on the path. Veteran
    edited November 2010
    I am curretly reading:

    51BgIoAmmUL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

    I thought the idot guide series wasn't worth it, but it was 6 bucks at my local used book store. I recommend this book en though you already read other Buddhist books. This book has been clearing my mind a bit and making me to suck in Buddhism much more easiler.
    Indeed a good book. The 3rd edition has the word "understanding" removed. Gary Gach said he convinced the editors that is was more than a bit presumptuous to believe anyone could "understand" Buddhism after just one basic book.
  • B5CB5C Veteran
    edited November 2010
    Indeed a good book. The 3rd edition has the word "understanding" removed. Gary Gach said he convinced the editors that is was more than a bit presumptuous to believe anyone could "understand" Buddhism after just one basic book.


    He does give it in a basic version. If the 3rd version is just removed the word "Understanding" I guess it's not worth buying it?
  • BonsaiDougBonsaiDoug Simply, on the path. Veteran
    edited November 2010
    He does give it in a basic version. If the 3rd version is just removed the word "Understanding" I guess it's not worth buying it?
    He mentions more has been added to the 3rd edition, but having never seen the 2nd I personally can't state whether it's worth the "upgrade."
  • edited November 2010
    Indeed a good book. The 3rd edition has the word "understanding" removed. Gary Gach said he convinced the editors that is was more than a bit presumptuous to believe anyone could "understand" Buddhism after just one basic book.

    I'm glad to hear this..I've requested this from my library along with another book, Buddhism For Dummies. Has anyone read that one?
  • edited November 2010
    Loved the Gita. Need to read it again. Serious insights about life, and duty.
  • edited November 2010
    The first book I remember reading about Buddhism was The Beginner's Guide to Zen Buddhism by Jean Smith. I haven't read it in a while, but I remember liking it and thinking it was a pretty good introduction to Zen Buddhism.

    I've read a few books on Buddhism, but one I really liked that I've read recently was Why I Am a Buddhist: No-Nonsense Buddhism with Red Meat and Whiskey by Stephen Asma. I wouldn't necessarily read it as an introduction to Buddhism, per se, but I think it was the first book I've read that seemed to be specifically aimed at diminishing the stereotype of what a Buddhist is and more about incorporating Buddhism into one's life. He also has another book out that's written as an introduction to Buddhism; I want to get this one, too, not only for the information but also because I just like his writing style.

    I've been developing an interest in Pure Land Buddhism, i.e. Jodo Shu/Jodo Shinshu/Shin Buddhism. So far I've found a few articles online describing it. Does anyone have any good recommendations for books on the subject?
  • edited November 2010
    Here it is...so, so helpful, inspiring. http://www.amazon.com/Buddhism-Plain-Simple-Steve-Hagen/dp/0767903323/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1290005236&sr=1-2

    See the table of Contents - part 2 is "The way to wake up"

    Davy
  • 1) "What the Buddha taught" by Walpola Rahula

    2) "What makes you NOT a buddhist" by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse

    3) "Gates to the buddhist Practice" by Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

    4) "The words of my Perfect Teacher"

    These are the one that come to mind. Of course there many many others I find very inspiring and helpful.
  • Sorry to double post but I forgot two things. 1) "What the Buddha taught" byWalpola Rahula probably the best book for someone interested in Buddhism. straight ahead no fancy stuff just the stuff.
    I second that recommendation. One of the best introductions to Buddhism I've ever read. I still use it as a reference book.

    I'd also recommend anything by HH Dalai Lama because he has such a good way with communicating with Westerners and never makes you feel inferior. His books always make me feel happy. In fact, my first ever Buddhist book was "The Art of Happiness", which is a book I often give to interested non-Buddhists.

    Thich Naht Hahn is a wonderful teacher and writer, especially his book on Mindfulness.

    I'd also like to recommend the book "The Complete Idiots Guide to Buddhism" by Gary Gach, as it is very good survey of Buddhism in the West and has very useful lists about basic Buddhist concepts. Again, a really useful reference book.
  • I was introduced to Buddhism by a friend's Christmas present- 'Buddhism Pure and Simple' by Steve Hagen. I've read several books since, but the one book that I read just about everyday is the Ven. Ananda Maitreya's translation of "The Dhammapada"- I got it about 3 years ago for $9 from B and Ns, and I keep it with me all of the time. While 'Buddhism Pure and Simple' is a very good introduction to Buddhism in general and Zen in particular (my personal cup of tea- I'm kinda of a 'zen-lunatic' myself), 'The Dhammapada' states Buddha's wisdom for living life the right way.
  • Thank you so much for posting this!
  • Can anybody recommend "novels" (not sure this is the correct english word) that have buddhism as a central theme? For example Island by Aldous Huxley and Siddartha by Herman Hesse.
  • Also, I was wondering if there are any good books specifically about Zen Buddhism (for a novice) and if there's a book that describes the life of the Buddha, from prince gautoma until The Enlightened One. Apologies if one of these books have been posted here already but I skimmed the thread and didn't find anything that mentioned these things.
  • Has anyone read "the tibetan book of meditation" ? I thought that was very useful ^_^
  • Some of the books that had helped.

    Zen Mind Beginners Mind- Shunryu Suzuki

    The Three Pillars-Phillip Kapleau

    Hardcore Zen and Sit down and Shut Up- Brad Warner

    Moon in a Dewdrop- Dogen

    The Gateless gate and The Blue Cliff Records
    (Not exactly introductory, but read on anyway.) :0)





  • Very beautiful thread!:)
  • I have just read "Buddhism for Mothers" by Sarah Napthali. As a mum with 4 children I found it to be fantastic. It's also available on audio C.D as well. x
  • Guys, I'm looking to buy a ton of books, need some advice :)
    -Something that fully explains all of the core concepts,
    -Something that covers meditation
    -Anything else that people reccomend

    Preferably with a Theravada twist on it.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Is The Religion of the Samurai a good book for zen? Also would anyone recommend reading Wisdom of the East?
  • Buddhism: Plain and Simple by Steven Hagen was my first stepping stone on the path. It's an attempt to look at Buddhism without cultural influences to get at the heart of the Dharma.
    This was the first book I read on buddhism too! Loved it!
  • Is The Religion of the Samurai a good book for zen? Also would anyone recommend reading Wisdom of the East?
    Don't recommended, Zen isn't about fearless and motionless in battle. I recommend commentary on the platform sutra.

  • If you would like to just peruse some free readings I would try KOBO and KINDLE i use them on my IPOD and have about 15 books for free. I have not read all of them yet and can not say if they would be helpful or not. (hope mention of those programs do not violate terms on website because they are free and I am not selling anything. Absolutley free!)
    My favorite book read was Zen and the art of Archery by, Eugen Herrigel one of the only westerners allowed in the school of Kyudo. I am a avid archer so it was a must read for me.
    Also own several zen sayings books and the tibetian book of the dead.
  • MeisterBobMeisterBob Mindful Agnathiest CT , USA Veteran

    Not Buddhist per say but Mindfulness- Jon Kabot Zinn's "Where ever you go there you are" is a wonderful read especially if your looking for the core of Buddhism without the Buddhism...Bob

  • @ZenLunatic said:
    Buddhism: Plain and Simple by Steven Hagen was my first stepping stone on the path. It's an attempt to look at Buddhism without cultural influences to get at the heart of the Dharma.

    Thank you so much for this recommendation. I am reading Hagen's book now. It well-written and gives a fresh perspective on Buddhism. It is fascinating to me which book was our very first book on Buddhism. My first book on The a Heart of the Buddha's Teaching by Thich Nhat Hahn. It is an awesome book.

    Bunks
  • Pure and Simple by Upasika Kee Nanayon. Wisdom Publications. A very fine book from a Thai laywomen. Translated by Thanissaro Bhikku.

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    "Mindfulness in Plain English" by Bhante Gunaratana is one of the most useful books I have ever encountered. My copy was given to me by a monk, but I understand that amazon.com sells it.
    The first few chapters explain very clearly what Buddhism is and is not, and the rest of the book is instructions for how to do the Theravadan Vipassana (Mindfulness) meditation, complete with advice for stumbling blocks you will encounter. For those without a teacher, it is about as good as you are going to find for a substitute.
    But a teacher is still better.

    I was also impressed with "What Makes You (Not) a Buddhist" by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse (the "not" is a play on the concept that being a Buddhist is letting go, not grasping).
    No mystical approach to Buddhism here. A no-nonsense easy to understand coverage of what being a Buddhist is about. I wrote down several quotes from this book (as I did for the book above too).

  • I'm currently reading "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching" by Thich Nhat Hanh. Highly recommended.

    Vastmind
  • Many Suttas are available on the internet free as pdf or ebooks. I would also recommend accesstoinsight as a good site for eginners and experienced alike. Mainly Theravadan but lots of resources and Pali Canon.

  • Am now finishing up Wake Up: A Life of the Buddha by Jack Kerouac. It's a bit wordy at times but beautifully written.

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