What are the best books about Buddhism?

asked by Anonymous
184 contributors
27 solutions
  1. 22

    #1Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

    Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

    Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice is a book by famous Zen master Shunryu Suzuki about how a complete beginner can apply Zen in his life. It has an afterword from his biographer, David Chadwick.

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    Roger Duncan
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "In attempting to figure out my spirituality, I wanted to learn more about the religion of Buddhism. With Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, I was able to start to understand why Buddhism, and religion in general, isn't specifically about the rituals and prayers. Buddhism is about how you apply those principles to your own life and that book was incredible for teaching that lesson to me. "
  2. 19

    #2Everyday Zen: Love & Work

    Everyday Zen: Love & Work

    Everyday Zen: Love and Work is an introductory guidebook written by Charlotte Beck about an Americanized approach to Zen and its applications in life, from love to work to fear and suffering. It was published in 2009.

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    Joyce Armstrong
    Written on March 24, 2018
    "Buddhism and the American way of life really don't mix, but I'll give the author points for effort. "
  3. 19

    #3The Way of Zen

    The Way of Zen

    The Way of Zen is a history and guidebook written by Alan W. Watts about the beginning of Buddhism and Taoism, and about how the two philosophies evolved throughout time. It was first published in 1957 and is considered a classic.

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    Lee Lu
    Written on March 18, 2018
    "This is a very interesting book. It has so much information about Buddhism and is worth the read."
  1. 17

    #4A Path with Heart

    A Path with Heart

    A Path With Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life is a guidebook on meditation written by Jack Kornfield about how to integrate Buddhist spirituality with the American way of thinking.

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    Adam Bishop
    Written on March 22, 2018
    "Great book for those trying to learn a bit about Buddhism."
  2. 15

    #5The Places That Scare You

    The Places That Scare You

    The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times is a guidebook by Pema Chodron originally published by Shambhala in August 2002. It is about how to concentrate and live through dark and scary times.

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    Alexander Peters
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "While this book shares some similarities with ego concepts, it says nothing explicitly about Buddhism or teaches no Buddhist doctrines so it has an interesting concept but is certainly not about Buddhism. It's not a Buddhist book or endorsed by a Buddhist at all."
  3. 15

    #6Being Peace

    Being Peace

    Being Peace is a guidebook on meditation written by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. It was first published in 1987 and has been translated into more than 30 languages. It has an introduction from Jack Kornfield.

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    Steven Scott
    Written on March 15, 2018
    "If you are looking into meditation, this is the book for you. It has all the teachings of Zen Master that will leave you feeling peaceful and relaxed."
  4. 13

    #7What the Buddha Taught: Revised and Expanded Edition

    What the Buddha Taught: Revised and Expanded Edition
    What the Buddha Taught: Revised and Expanded Edition with Texts from Suttas and Dhammapada is a guidebook by Walpola Rahula about the modern Buddhism. It has a foreword from Paul Demieville and 16 illustrations.
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    Esteban Toledo
    Written on March 20, 2018
    "A great primer for budding buddhist that wants to truly learn everything there is to the teaching of the master Buddha himself. With summaries of the ancient texts, quotes and in depth explanations of their hidden, spiritual meanings, the book is filled with authentic interpretations and accounts of what it means to reach enlightenment."
  5. 12

    #8Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

    A father and his son start a motorcycle trip across the Northwest of America, the starting point of a moving and penetration meditation about the lives they, and we all, live. 




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    Charles Scott
    Written on April 11, 2018
    "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a classic story of coming to terms with oneself and inner reflection. Told through an interesting backdrop of repairing motorcycles, this introduction to Zen and the Buddhist religion is both compelling and amusing. A definite must read. "
  6. 9

    #9Wherever You Go, There You Are

    Wherever You Go, There You Are

    Wherever You Go, There You Are is a spiritual book written by Jon Kabat-Zinn wherein he shares guides on meditation and mindfulness for anyone who are lost. 

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    Michael Newman
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "These "mindfullness" and "meditation" books should really let you know that they are talking about a religion and not just techniques to boost awareness."
  7. 7

    #10Tao Te Ching

    Tao Te Ching

    Tao Te Ching is a non-fiction spiritual book written by Lao Tzu. This Chinese classic self-help philosophy book is about Taoism and published in 1989 by Vintage.

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    Francisco Paredes
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "I learned a lot reading this book. It is very well written and informative."
  8. 4

    #11Peace Is Every Step

    Peace Is Every Step

    Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life is a spiritual book written by Zen master and spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh. This Buddhism book was published in 1990 by Bantam. 

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    Teresa Reid
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "I learned some good meditation techniques in this. I recommend this to anyone looking for serenity."
  9. 3

    #12The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching

    The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching

    The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation is a spiritual book written by Thich Nhat Hanh. It is first published in 1998. 

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    Karen Cunningham
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "I did not know that much about Buddhism at first, but this book taught me how peaceful it is. It has really helped me learn more about the religion, and how to become a better person through it."
  10. 1

    #13Essential Reiki: A Complete Guide

    Essential Reiki: A Complete Guide

    Essential Reiki: A Complete Guide to an Ancient Healing Art is a book by Diane Stein that made the ancient Reiki attunements understandable and applicable by non-Buddhists, particularly the Westerners.

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    Nancy Hunter
    Written on March 25, 2018
    "I read this book for a report I did. It covers Reiki, which is a form of Buddhist healing. I enjoyed reading about the history on the practice. While it doesn't really cover all the bases, it was very informative and did help me get an A!"
  11. 0

    #14The Eight Gates of Zen

    The Eight Gates of Zen

    The Eight Gates of Zen: A Program of Zen Training is a guidebook written by John Daido Loori. It was released in 2002. It is a beginner's guide to practicing Zen and how to apply it in life.

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    Rakesh Chauhan
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "I bought this just because I was curious about Buddhism. I didn't really apply anything I knew into my life. I enjoyed the perspective, though."
  12. 0

    #15Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing

    Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing

    Hsin Hsin Ming, the Book of Nothing: Discourses on the Faith Mind of Sosan is a religious Zen Buddhism spiritual book written by Osho. With over 200 pages, this book is published in 1983 by Osho International Foundation.

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    Justin Wood
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "I never really cared about Buddhism until my brother decided he was one. I decided to get information about it and read this book. I found it very interesting and realized a lot of the ideals are similar to my own. I would recommend to anybody trying to learn about Buudhism."
  13. 0

    #16The Heart Sutra

    The Heart Sutra
    The Heart Sutra is a Philosophy, Spiritualism, Zen Buddhism Reference Book written and translated by Red Pine. It was published August 9, 2005 by Counterpoint.
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    Thomas Jenkins
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "I believe the The Heart Sutra is a great book about Buddhism. It is Buddhism in a nutshell which makes it a great fit. "
  14. 0

    #17The Book of Equanimity: Illuminating Classic Zen Koans

    The Book of Equanimity: Illuminating Classic Zen Koans

    The Book of Equanimity: Illuminating Classic Zen Koans is a nonfiction philosophical book about Zen Buddhism written by Zenkei Shibayana. This nonfiction philosophical book about Zen Buddhism was published on December 5, 2000 by Shambhala.

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    Tiffany Little
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "The Book of Equanimity is the perfect book for people just learning Zen. It can be a hard subject to read about without a book like this. Shibayana takes the history and puts it in modern perspective, making it a very easy and highly interesting read."
  15. 0

    #18The Diamond Sutra

    The Diamond Sutra
    The Diamond Sutra is a Philosophy, Spiritualism, Zen Buddhism Reference Book written and translated by Red Pine. It was published December 17, 2002 by Counterpoint.
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    Carl Arnold
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "A book that I not reading"
  16. 0

    #19The Diamond That Cuts Through Illusion

    The Diamond That Cuts Through Illusion
    The Diamond That Cuts Through Illusion: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Diamond Sutra is a Philosophy, Spiritualism, Zen Buddhism Reference Book written by Thich Nhat Hanh and translated by Anh Nuong Nguyen.
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    Doris Reid
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "I thought that this was an absolutely fantastic book. It was really enlightening and I thought that the text was clear and easy to understand. It had a lot of good messages and helped me to start looking at my life in a different way. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for more Enlightenment. "
  17. 0

    #20The Essence of the Heart Sutra

    The Essence of the Heart Sutra

    The Essence of the Heart Sutra: The Dalai Lama's Heart of Wisdom Teachings is a Philosophy, Spiritualism, Zen Buddhism Reference Book written by The Dalai Lama and translated by Thupten Jinpa.

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    Kyle Harris
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "It's easy for a westerner like myself to miss the crux of Buddhism. I wasn't steeped in the religion as well as millions of other people, so I've decided to do my own research. This book is popular text read by millions of people, and there's a reason why: it's packed with insights you simply can't find anywhere else. I find it to be a must read."
  18. 0

    #21The Heart of Understanding

    The Heart of Understanding
    The Heart of Understanding: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra is a Philosophy, Spiritualism, Zen Buddhism Reference Book written by Thich Nhat Hanh. It was published October 1, 1988 by Parallax Press.
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    Howard Ross
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "This book is hands down the heart of understanding Buddhism. It gives you the basic knowledge you need in order to follow your passion for this religion. "
  19. 0

    #22Basho's Haiku

    Basho's Haiku
    Basho's Haiku: Selected Poems of Matsuo Basho is a compilation of poetry works written by renowned Zen monk Matsuo Basho. It was released in 2004. It is translated by David Landis Barnhill. 



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    Patrick May
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "As somebody looking to understand more about how the world works, I always like to read books on new religions. When I wanted to learn about Buddhism, I read Basho's Haiku, which was able to use poetry to show me how to best embody the tenants of Buddhism and how to live my life more peacefully. "
  20. 0

    #23The Lotus Sutra

    The Lotus Sutra

    The Lotus Sutra is a Philosophy, Spiritualism, Zen Buddhism Reference Book written and translated by Burton Watson. It was published April 15, 1993 by Columbia University Press.

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    Linda Wong
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "This book has some real great insights on Buddhism, I really got into a lot of the parts. I also learned a lot of stuff that I didn't know, and I've studied the religion before!"
  21. 0

    #24The Platform Sutra: The Zen Teaching of Hui-neng

    The Platform Sutra: The Zen Teaching of Hui-neng
    The Platform Sutra: The Zen Teaching of Hui-neng is a Philosophy, Spiritualism, Zen Buddhism Reference Book written and translated by Red Pine. It was published November 6, 2006 by Counterpoint.
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    David Watkins
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "As a card-carrying Buddhist, this book as allowed me to teach Buddhist ideology to many of my acquaintances. I would recommend recommending this book to anyone who has a poor grasp of what Buddhist is really about. It is an excellent book for lay-people and serves to dispel many of the common rumors and misconceptions about Buddhism. Overall, excellent read but if you’re already a knowledgeable Buddhist you probably won’t gain much new insight."
  22. 0

    #25The Vimalakirti Sutra

    The Vimalakirti Sutra
    One of the most popular Asian classics for roughly two thousand years, the Vimalakirti Sutra stands out among the sacred texts of Mahayana Buddhism for its conciseness, its vivid and humorous episodes, its dramatic narratives, and its eloquent exposition of the key doctrine of emptiness or nondualism. Unlike most sutras, its central figure is not a Buddha but a wealthy townsman, who, in his mastery of doctrine and religious practice, epitomizes the ideal lay believer. For this reason, the sutra has held particular significance for men and women of the laity in Buddhist countries of Asia, assuring them that they can reach levels of spiritual attainment fully comparable to those accessible to monks and nuns of the monastic order.

    Esteemed translator Burton Watson has rendered a beautiful English translation from the popular Chinese version produced in 406 C.E. by the Central Asian scholar-monk Kumarajiva, which is widely acknowledged to be the most felicitous of the various Chinese translations of the sutra (the Sanskrit original of which was lost long ago) and is the form in which it has had the greatest influence in China, Japan, and other countries of East Asia. Watson's illuminating introduction discusses the background of the sutra, its place in the development of Buddhist thought, and the profundities of its principal doctrine: emptiness.
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    Julia Caballero
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "This book was absolutely beautifully written and I think that it's a must for anyone that wants to learn about Buddhism. I found that the teachings in it were very easy to understand and it was a good helpful book overall. "
  23. 0

    #26The Zen Teaching of Huang Po

    The Zen Teaching of Huang Po
    The Zen Teaching of Huang Po: On the Transmission of Mind is a guidebook written by Huang Po His Yun with an introduction from P'ei Hsiu. It was translated by John Blofeld and was released in 1994.
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    Shaurya Jhadav
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "The Zen Teaching of Huang Po is one of the most interesting and informative Buddhist texts that I've seen. It is clearly written and everything is explained in detail. I came away from this book knowing so much more about the religion. My perspectives were changed, and I feel a sense of knowledge with the world. See if this text will have the same impact on you. Give it a read."
  24. -1

    #27The Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of Hui-Neng (Shambhala Dragon Editions)

    The Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of Hui-Neng (Shambhala Dragon Editions)

    The Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of Hui-Neng (Shambhala Dragon Editions) is a Philosophy, Spiritualism, Zen Buddhism Reference Book written by A. F. Price et al. It was published May 12, 1974 by Shambala.

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    Ann Jordan
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "The Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of Hui-Neng is a very useful reference Buddhist book and is said to be the oldest extant printed book in the world. For anyone looking for enlightenment, these scriptures are treasured teachings of the Buddhist tradition."

Summary

Best What are the best books about Buddhism
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1Zen Mind, Beginner's MindBooks 22 Paid
2Everyday Zen: Love & WorkBooks 19 Paid
3The Way of ZenBooks 19 Paid
4A Path with HeartBooks 17 Paid
5The Places That Scare YouBooks 15 Paid
6Being PeaceBooks 15 Paid
7What the Buddha Taught: Revised and Expanded EditionBooks 13 Paid
8Zen and the Art of Motorcycle MaintenanceBooks 12 Paid
9Wherever You Go, There You AreBooks 9 Paid
10Tao Te ChingBooks 7 Paid
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