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I need help :/

I'm new to Buddhism, I only know one Buddhist but she doesn't like talking about it to anyone so she's no help, but I want to know which books I should read to become more informed in Buddhism :/ please help :(

Comments

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Hi Chris, I'm maybe six months into having discovered Buddhism, and I poked around on the internet, then the library and found lots of stuff to read about. My favorite book, which has become my Buddhist 'Bible' is all about his life as told by the very famous Vietnamese Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, and the book is called Old Path, White Clouds. This book tells the Buddha's life story in a very enchanting and engaging and yet realistic way.

    Just the other day, I ordered 3 books about Buddhism (cheap/used) on Amazon.com, and I wasn't into two of them and donated them to my library, but the third one sounded good.

    Happy hunting!

    Vastmind
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Chrisv23c said:> I'm new to Buddhism, I only know one Buddhist but she doesn't like talking about it to anyone so she's no help, but I want to know which books I should read to become more informed in Buddhism please help

    This is a good general introduction to Buddhism: http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/tree-enlightenment.pdf

    Are there any local Buddhist groups or centres you could visit? This site might be helpful: http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/

    dhammachick
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited April 2015

    Oh we love talking about it! You found the right place....

    @silver .... I'll PM you later on today. I can pass on some books I have finished...some I got passed on to me from people here. :)

    Little bit of everything. I got tons of TNH stuff...some duplicate books...so save your money ....

    Chrisv23csilverToshdhammachick
  • Chrisv23cChrisv23c New
    edited April 2015
    Thank you everyone (: and I'll be heckling the library probably today :)
    silver
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited April 2015
    My advice is to go to the source and check out one of the collections of discourses. I'd recommend either [The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha](http://www.amazon.com/The-Middle-Length-Discourses-Buddha/dp/086171072X) or [The Collected Discourses of the Buddha](http://www.amazon.com/The-Connected-Discourses-Buddha-Translation/dp/0861713311).
    bookworm
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Just my personal opinion of course, but the discourses were one of the first things I started with and I found them overwhelming to understand and frustrating.In time, my understanding grew and it became easier. It is good to look them over, because everyone is different of course.

    TNH is good to start with. "The Heart of Buddha's Teachings" was one of the first books I read. "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying" was another good one, by Sogyal Rinpoche. I still refer to it. Different things speak to different people. I'd look around at the library like others said, or get used books or borrow them before you start spending a fortune on books that might be completely unreadable for you. Chogyam Trungpa is another good one, but he has a bit of a different view that doesn't work for everyone.

    silverChrisv23cdhammachick
  • Nothing Special by Charlotte Joko Beck might answer some of your questions in an accessible way. Still the Mind by Alan Watts, I found very good. The Art of Happiness by the DL is a great read and finally I'm reading How Things Exist by Llama Zopa Ripoche. I use kindle unlimited which for a fixed fee means you can download up to 10 books a time to read and then return them like a library. There is no limit on how many you can read but only 10 at a time! Great of you want to dip into something then return it. Good luck on your travels, J

  • Hi Chris :D, welcome! I would recommend youtube talks as well as books, free and you can feel the energy of the person talking (not in a hippie way lol - its just engaging in a different way). I love Thubten Chodron's youtube channel and her website for articles and I love videos by Robina Courtan, who can seem kind of aggressive but she's really intelligent. I'd recommend Pema Chodron for reading, her books are great.

    dhammachick
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    Jason is correct, it is best to go to the source, I started with the Middle length discourses first, then the long discourses, now i'm starting with the connected discourses. A good introduction to the teachings of the Buddha would be in the Buddha's words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

    http://www.amazon.com/Buddhas-Words-Anthology-Discourses-Teachings/dp/0861714911

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran
    Walpola Rahula "What the Buddha taught," Thich Nhat Hanh's "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching," HH the Dalai Lama "The Art of Happiness," Chögyam Trungpa's "The Truth about Suffering" and Nyanatiloka Thera's "The Word of the Buddha."
    Anything by Pema Chodron, Charlotte Beck and Lama Surya Das.
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Chrisv23c said:
    I went to the library because I don't have money to buy books and my parents won't give me money i have found three books that seem interesting they are
    1) Letting go of the person you used to be-Lama Surya Das
    2) 3 Ways to the pure land- Dharma Master Cheng Yen
    3) The World Of Tibetan Buddhism-Dalai Lama

    If I'm not satisfied with them I'll just return them and get another set of books

    Namaste,

    Lama Surya Das is awesome. His books are what led me to affirming a serious practise of Buddhism. His writing style is great. I also recommend his book "Awakening The Buddha Within" if you can get a hold of it. Mine is almost in need of replacing I have re-read it so much :)

    _ /\ _

    Chrisv23c
  • I'll be trying the library or maybe trying to get a hold of it online (: thank you so much :3
  • @Chrisv23c said:
    but I want to know which books I should read to become more informed in Buddhism

    Books?

    You have the interweb and require help on 'books'? Isn't they like a kindle made of twigs used in the Buddha's time. No I think they did not even know how to write on leaves in them days ... ;)

  • thenovicemonk41thenovicemonk41 Explorer
    edited April 2015
    You don't need to buy book to grasp Buddhism. Go to buddhanet.net, it's an amazing website filled with information and free ebooks. Attend weekly service at the closest dharma center/monastery to you! I learned from a Zen (Rinzai) dharma center before I discovered Tibetan Buddhism.

    Also, attend retreats that dharma centers and monasteries hold.

    Save the money and use the Internet! :)
    lobster
  • @Chrisv23c said:
    I went to the library because I don't have money to buy books and my parents won't give me money i have found three books that seem interesting they are
    1) Letting go of the person you used to be-Lama Surya Das
    2) 3 Ways to the pure land- Dharma Master Cheng Yen
    3) The World Of Tibetan Buddhism-Dalai Lama

    If I'm not satisfied with them I'll just return them and get another set of books

    Hey Chris, that's ace!! Good thinking on the library, I wouldn't have thought of that :). When I first got into Buddhism, I just read whichever book titles or authors appealed to me or which ones had good reviews. You kind of begin to find which styles you like and who your favorite authors are and doing lots of reading is great because slowly over time you will learn all about the Buddhist principles and how to apply them in different situations.

    Also a lot of Buddhist centre's tend to have free talks on, maybe there is one near you :)?

    lobster
  • I highly suggest Ajahn Brahm videos. He is funny and wise! Just type in "Ajhan Brahm" on youtube and select a subject, he talks about pretty much anything
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I personally cannot read on the internet for long period. The format just does not work for me. I have no problem with kindle, but computer I cannot do. Partially because 75% of my reading is in the bath tub and the rest is in bed, and hauling the laptop is too difficult in those situations. Plus, there is nothing like holding an actual book :)

    Our used book store has a lovely donor who has subscriptions to Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma magazines so I can get them for about a quarter each instead of the cost of the subscriptions. Plus then they are re-used and not just thrown away :)

    Visiting a center, if you can, is ideal. Plus then there are people available to answer your questions that always come up. We can do that here, too, but we often get off track and sometimes you get TOO much information and don't know which way to go. Not everyone is close enough to a center to get there often, and that is ok, too. I am 250 miles away! But we formed a smaller local group and that works well for us.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @dantepw said:> I highly suggest Ajahn Brahm videos. He is funny and wise! Just type in "Ajhan Brahm" on youtube and select a subject, he talks about pretty much anything

    Yes, he's very entertaining. I love his approach to meditation.

    dantepw
  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    Let me second (or should that be third) the Ajahn Brahm videos. Also, starting out I found "Buddhism for Beginners" by Thubten Chodron very helpful. "Nothing Special" by Charlotte Joko Beck is an excellent book, but I'm not sure it's the best book for a beginner.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @Chrisv23c, Somebody ( I think @dhammachick ) mentioned "awakening the Buddha Within". This is actually one of a Trilogy, and I recommend - if you can - somehow obtaining all three, and reading them in order.

    Lama Surya Das is the author of the international bestselling 'Awakening' trilogy: Awakening the Buddha Within, Awakening to the Sacred and Awakening the Buddhist Heart.

    See this link.

    (I love that his initials are 'LSD'. he at least, is something very skilful to get high on...! :D )

    dhammachick
  • I would start by visiting a physical center or group.
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @federica said:
    Chrisv23c, Somebody ( I think dhammachick ) mentioned "awakening the Buddha Within". This is actually one of a Trilogy, and I recommend - if you can - somehow obtaining all three, and reading them in order.

    I have the trilogy and it is well worth the read.

  • adeleadele Blackpool Rocks! Explorer
    edited April 2015

    I am also new to Buddhism and I watched a lot of you tube - Ajahn Brahm, Pema
    Chodren; I read a lot from online sites such as buddhanet and the vipassana fellowship and information sections of monasteries and I visited two localish centres. Now I am doing courses with one centre and going on retreat to another. 'Turning Confusion into Clarity' by yongey mingyur rinpoche is a good book on Tibetan Buddhism and very easy reading. Have fun and enjoy the journey - and ask lots of questions on here too.

  • @adele said:
    I am also new to Buddhism and I watched a lot of you tube - Ajahn Brahm, Pema
    Chodren; I read a lot from online sites such as buddhanet and the vipassana fellowship and information sections of monasteries and I visited two localish centres. Now I am doing courses with one centre and going on retreat to another. 'Turning Confusion into Clarity' by yongey mingyur rinpoche is a good book on Tibetan Buddhism and very easy reading. Have fun and enjoy the journey - and ask lots of questions on here too.

    That's great C: and i want to go visit a bunch of different temples and groups but i still live with my parents (i'm only 18) and I'm relying on my brother to give me a ride ;P. Plus my parents are very religious Christians and would be very disappointed if they found out i was even looking into Buddhism. All my 'learning' about Buddhism has come from online, I'm planning to go to a Thai Temple this weekend and maybe take a class on meditation :awesome:

  • @Chrisv23c said:
    Plus my parents are very religious Christians and would be very disappointed if they found out i was even looking into Buddhism

    The Christian tradition practice meditation. I became interested in Gnostic Christianity after studying Buddhism ... Do your parents teach you Christian contemplative techniques? Probably not. Prayer as most people do it is just the beginning. Maybe you can go on a multi faith retreat? However I sense your parents are not really religious in the sense I recognise. Ah well ... be gentle and kind with them. B)

  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    Bhikkhu Bodhi is my favorite monk, and my favorite pali to english translator, his translations of suttas are smooth as butter.

  • LucianaLuciana Pacific Northwest New

    A personal opinion, but I agree with those who think that the original discourses are too archaic and overwhelming to start with. I just got bored, at the beginning. On the other hand, the quantity AND quality of modern writers are overwhelming too. Search Buddhist sites for recommendations, and search Amazon--reading reviews and sample pages when they're available. I hope that those who said that we don't need books 'because there's the internet' were joking. The internet is TRULY overwhelming and there's no filter or gateway to sort things out by quality. It's good for looking up a name, or an organization, or terminology, or a site for learning about and buying books, but if you want an organized presentation you need to go to books or to reputable Buddhist sites--people can either recommend them to you, or you'll be able to recognize them by the quality of their presentation.

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Hello, @Luciana , nice to meet you, welcome to the forum...

    This thread is two years old, and chrisv23C (the OP) hasn't posted since that date....

    If in doubt, have a look at the date of posting, because usually anything older than 6 months has been abandoned....

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