Please could you recommend any books on the teachings of Buddhism?
by Bec Trower
Can you recommend any books on the teachings of Buddhism?
Hello and thank you for your question.
Before answering your question, I have to give you a disclaimer: I have not read loads of books on the subject and I am far from being a scholar. Thus, the following list is a mixed list of the books I read and books recommended by people I respect in the Dharma path.
Let’s start by one that I have just recently read and that is highly recommended by many people for its clarity, the author’s effort to remove all that is suppreficial and go to the very core of the Buddha’s teaching: the four noble truths and the eightfold noble path. The author states, correctly I think, that what the Buddha taught is now wrapped in so many layers of hocus-pocus and theory that the beginners are often scared of the amount of things they have to learn before considering themselves Buddhists.
Have a look at this excellent book:
There is also this very important book. The reason why it is important is twofold: it’s a great introduction to Zen Buddhism and it’s also a great reminder of keeping your roots and your beginner’s mind when you have been a long-time practionner.
This book is one of the first on the market and is a classic of Western Buddhism litterature. It inspired so many to start meditating and the reason we are now interested in Buddhism is also due to its influence on our culture. It is also a must-read:
The following book, I have not read. It was introduced to me just last week-end form a friend and it is on my list. From what I heard, it’s a biography of Zen master Shunryu Suzuki and the birth of Zen Buddhism in California. It is both inspiring and written with humor about a man who is considered a saint by many people. We see though that even masters have a dark side and are not always right 100% of the time. A lesson we should all remember.
Jack Kornfield’s voice is both peaceful and relaxing which can make for an audiobook difficult to concentrate on but his wisdom and depth of reasearch shows in this recorded course on Buddhism. Very inspiring:
Finally, any book by his holiness the Dalai Lama will do but since he has many, I will recommend two
Which is one of his best sellers.
My favorite, because despite everything, I still have a rational mind:
You can also look on Amazon.com for some great lists like this one: Good Buddhism Books