Best Books on Buddhism
5 min read ⌚
Founded by Siddhartha Gautama – The Buddha or the “Awakened,” this relatively old teaching lured many followers in 500 B.C.
These so-called early Buddhists quickly began spreading the word of their master – wisdom that will be etched into the hearts of many generations.
Siddhartha was born as a prince, who had all the privileges of living a life anyone could wish for. His stay at the castle deprived him of seeing the actual truth behind closed doors.
When “The Buddha” finally got a touch with reality, he was both anxious and eager to learn more about suffering.
It was this moment, that can be marked as the beginning of a new era. Many people would disagree that Buddhism is a religion, due to the fact that it allows you to find your own path to self-knowingness.
On the other hand, it shares a handful of insights to guide you on this endless journey.
The story about a prince and heir to the throne, who gave up the crown and worldly pleasures to become the Buddha, a person who is aware of its inner potential.
Many stories link him to peacefulness, and how he managed to pass over the wisdom to others.
Buddha’s decisions surprised many, and sometimes his methods were not only unorthodox but also quite shocking.
He frequently refused to help people with mental baggage, who demanded merely a therapy not to embark on a full-scale adventure.
He believed that it’s not up to him to help them but to show them the way so that they can overcome the egoic world.
To cut a long story short – He fought against “I,” the egocentric phenomenon that represents the foundation for all evil that exists in human action.
In Christianity or Islam, the priests are duty-bound to impart the same methods over and over again to untold generations.
Buddhism however, cannot sum up the teachings of Buddha in one central text.
To put it simply, what we know today as Buddhism is in actuality a mix of philosophies, insights, revelations, and inner pulls. A real collection of practical tips that are supposed to aid you in the struggle of reaching nirvana.
Let’s expose the Top 10 Books on Buddhism:
1. Radiant Mind – Jean Smith
We can say with some confidence that Jean Smith underlines only the most life-altering tips for novices in the field spirituality.
If you are eager to plunge into the secrets of Buddhism, this is the book you wouldn’t want to sidestep.
A collection of all the essential teachings is more than enough to get you started.
Even if you are still not sure of your path, this book can provide guidance, especially when the ride gets a bit bumpy.
2. A Force for Good – Daniel Goleman
Although this book doesn’t cover the teachings directly, it sure illustrates the urge for providing help and assistance to others.
Dalai Lama in his efforts to educate the world and spark peacefulness puts under the radar the elementary principles, we as a society have embraced.
He explains why a peaceful solution is the only permanent fix that cannot fade away. Compassion is the only weapon we should use against ignorance and hatred.
Extinguishing a fire, with bigger flames is not advisable nor feasible.
3. Being Upright – Reb Anderson
Reb Anderson displays all the fundamental teachings of Zen and how these concepts of pure Zen Buddhism thoroughly examines the ten basic precepts.
Among them, you can find something similar to the ten commandments: Don’t steal, kill nor lie.
It’as based on ethics and real understanding among all beings of the universe.
Compassion as a tool is once again at the center of the process because it represents the alpha and omega in Zen Buddhism.
We believe that Reb is a real devote and a passionate teacher who acquired his knowledge through ethics-based learning.
4. Peace is Every Step – Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Monk, who thrives in helping the society to improve in all aspects.
His methods are practical and easy-to-follow. Peace is Every Step illustrates the only path to full-awareness or mindfulness.
Many people are misled with the terminology such as “mindfulness.” It doesn’t indicate that your “brain” is filled with all sorts of items or elements, but on the contrary, it’s on another level.
A stage of true devotion towards the ultimate purpose, which is – achieving peace on a global scale.
5. Zen and the Art of Making a Living – Laurence G. Boldt
The real question is – Can you escape the daily grind? – Laurence questions the prowess to turn the attention over to more important things, such as being happy!
Such cliché talks are often ignored by the people because it seems like we’ve got it all figured out. However, your emotional position tells a different story.
If you cannot make a real living out of your habits, you are doing something wrong, so take notes and see what this book has to say.
6. The Poetry of Zen – Sam Hamill and J.P. Seaton
This collection of Japanese and Chinese poetry can bring your Zen knowledge to another level.
It stretches beyond the boundaries of time covering a wide range of teachings starting from the early days to the modern era.
Contemplating this amazing poetry will surely put you in a better mood.
7. Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse
Herman Hesse shares another story regarding the life of “The Buddha” or his real name – Siddhartha.
Before reaching a stage of total awareness, he had to handle a myriad of challenges.
In this book, you’ll get introduced to various situations that helped him to become the symbol of peacefulness and mutual understanding.
8. Mindfulness in Plain English – Henepola Gunaratana
This book is perfect for “rookies” in the realm of spirituality and enlightenment.
It provides an excellent cover for those willing to dive into the river of non-conceptualized knowledge.
We can only endorse its methods and encourage you to drink water from this fountain until you quench your thirst.
Generally speaking, exploit your potential by burying the hatchet.
9. Why Buddhism is True – Robert Wright
Wright explains how “The Buddha” realized the essence of this existence all those years ago.
Scientists today still struggle to find proof regarding the accuracy of these theories.
He acknowledges that meditation acts as a key to finding another route to happiness.
If you wish to get out of the circle of anxiety and be happy, maybe you need to alter your viewpoints and allow Buddhism to enter your heart.
10. The Three Pillars of Zen – Roshi Philip Kapleau
In this teaching by Roshi Philip Kapleau, you’ll be introduced to the core principles of becoming truly aware of the nature of your inner-self.
Just by following the three main pillars: teaching, practice, and enlightenment you’ll improve not just your life, but also serve as an example in your community.
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We hope that this list can help you in your journey of becoming truly in the presence of love and compassion.
Don’t delay anything, take action and start your adventure leading towards full-mindfulness.
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Emir is the Head of International and SEO at 12Min. In his spare time, he loves to meditate and play soccer.