Great books by the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh and others on the religion that's making waves in the 21st century: Buddhism. What I like about Buddhism is that it is a religion that does not tell you what to believe, nor what you should do. However, it does give tools for transforming your life. The most well known of these tools is of course mindfulness meditation. However, you don't need to become a Buddhist to practice that. Fortunately.
Best Books on Buddhism
Buddhism is very popular these days. These books will help you understand why: they're from best selling authors who can really inspire as well as introduce their topic well.
1) The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh is the most popular Buddhist teacher around - second known only to the Dalai Lama himself. But then the latter is as much a political figure as a spiritual teacher.
Thich Nhat Hanh combines a thorough knowledge of the Zen tradition of his native Vietnam to social engagement (he coined the phrase 'engaged Buddhism') and a simple teaching style that appeals to millions.
This book introduces core Buddhist teachings - the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Twelve Links of Interdependent Co-Arising - without making it hard on anybody. In short - real Buddhism for people just like you who want to live their lives in an authentic way.
Thich Nhat Hanh books on my top 5 list
|The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching|
Three Rivers Press
|Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday ...|
|Buddhism Plain and Simple|
|Buddhism for Beginners|
Snow Lion Publications
|Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Weste...|
2) Buddhism Plain and Simple, Steve Hagen
Another Zen teacher introducing Buddhism to the masses.
This is the Buddhism as Westerners would like to know it: Seeing reality, realizing the wisdom of the self, breaking free of dualistic thinking - all tough philosophical issues, that yet have the potential to turn your life around.
Another eternal best seller.
The popularity of Zen is probably due to it being such an open tradition. It got rid of a lot of the traditional Buddhist forms, like celibacy, and when it came West, it got rid of many more...
3) Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
Another Thich Nhat Hanh best seller
Mindfulness is IT. Why? Because it offers a simple way to get yourself out of the facebook, cell phone, always connected, tv watching, DVD consuming mode - and back to you.
And who better to learn Mindfulness from than the most popular Zen teacher of our times, Thich Nhat Hanh?
This book is a combination of simple yet profound thought and exercises you can do at home. It really can transform your life.
5) Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World
Lama Surya Das
Funny and well written, Lama Surya Das introduces Buddhism - really Tibetan Buddhism - to a Western audience in a way that's both enlightening and deep.
This no-nonsense guide will help you understand the Buddha better, because what WOULD he do if he were dropped into our modern world? But best of all, if you follow through with the practice advised in this book, you'll get to know yourself better. And that really is what it's all about.
4) Buddhism for Beginners, Thubten Chodron
This is really a good general introduction into Buddhism. From karma and meditation to modern issues like abortion and euthanasia. Thubten Chodron also goes into the basics of the history of Buddha and yet never talks down to his readers.
Thubten Chodron is the first woman on our list. She is from the USA originally, Thubten Chodron is her Buddhist name. She started out studying (Tibetan) Buddhism in Nepal, and traveled all the way to Taiwan to get ordained as a full fledged bhikshuni (nun) as full ordination for women had died out in Tibetan Buddhism.
These books explain Buddhism for a modern Western audience. They generally focus on the practical aspects of Buddhism: how to live your life well and meditation.
Buddhist best sellers by Thich Nhat Hanh, the Dalai Lama and Pema Chodron
Pema Chodron Books, Calendars, Quotes and Tibetan Buddhism information on Pema Chodron
Appropriate gifts for Buddhists
I love guided meditations. Presently I love Thubten Chodron's Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path, from Tibetan Buddhism.