Buddhism and Meditation
To learn about Buddhism and the way of the Buddha, its important to be familiar with the Sutras. If you find them difficult, as many beginners to the religion will, we have compiled a top ten list of books, as recommended by practicing Buddhists and long time advocates of Buddhism.
As well as reading one or all of the books below, you should also be practicing the art of meditation on a regular basis. One of the fundamental aspects of Buddhism is finding your center through meditation, and the teachings will not have much value if you do not combine them with regular meditation sessions. For a simple guide to meditation, click here.
10 Best Books On Buddhism
1. The Foundations of Buddhism – Rupert Gethin
The Foundations of Buddhism presents an introduction to Buddhism as it really is, as seen through the eyes of millions of its Asian followers, and not the cleaned-up atheistic Buddhism of latter-day “Western” converts. Mr. Gethin is able to present the different traditions in an honest way without being disparaging about any of them. It is perhaps the fairest, most even-handed and factual account of the different traditions that there is.
2. An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices – Peter Harvey
Professor Harvey has both contacted Buddhism culturally and continues to make an honest attempt to put Buddhism into practice. An introduction to Buddhism is one of the best overall introductions to this vast subject now available, superseding equivalent good books which are by now up to 50 years too old.
3. The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation – Thich Nhat Hanh
This book is probably the single best book for those interested in learning the fundamentals of buddhism, as well as for those looking for a guidebook to refine and contemplate their buddhist views. Thich Nhat Hanh is living testimony that Buddhist practice can transform a life of suffering and despair into one of peace and joy. His books were the start of my path and this book is almost like a handbook to the four noble truths and the eightfold path, as well as other fundamental thoughts of buddhists.
4. The Best Way to Catch a Snake Paperback – Karma Yeshe Rabgye
Lama Karma Yeshe Rabgye presents the ancient teachings of Buddhist traditions and wisdom in a simple and straight forward way. He manages to convey to the reader the most fundamental teachings of Buddhism throughout the book and he shares very easy methods to help the reader learn the importance of being responsible for his/her own thoughts and actions and through such mindfulness training, the reader comes to discover the kindness, compassion and peace that is inherent in all of us.
5. What the Buddha Taught: Revised and Expanded Edition – Walpola Rahula
This is a clear and concise introduction to the central teachings of Buddhism–the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, no-self, and meditation–by a monk and scholar from the Theravada Buddhist tradition. It includes translations of selected Buddhist texts and a glossary of Buddhist vocabulary.