As one of the world’s oldest religions, there’s been a lot written on the subject of Buddhism. So if you’re looking to find only the very best books out there, then you should definitely check out those that have surpassed all the others to make it onto our ‘Top 7’ list…
1. Buddhism: Beginners Guide to Buddhism to Become Stress and Anxiety Free by Michael Williams
Buddhism is a great place to start if you’re beginning your journey along the path to Buddhist enlightenment. The perfect beginner’s guide, this book gently leads you through everything you need to know to fully understand how Buddhism can inject peace and clarity into the lives of so many who practice it.
Discover how meditation and yoga are so important, about the ‘4 Noble Truths’, how to practice the 5 Precepts, and much, much more.
One of the best books out there to begin the Buddhist journey to true peace and mindfulness.
2. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind starts with the awe-inspiring quote, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few”. And from these words it begins…
Possibly one of the most beloved of all Zen books, this book should definitely be high up on the list of anyone who’s interested in discovering more about the religion. A true modern masterpiece, you’ll find out about the ‘perception of nonduality’, as well as how important your posture and breathing is to the quality of your life.
Along with the book at number 1, this is definitely a ‘must read’ for anyone who wants to further understand the inner concepts behind the core of the religion.
3. Being Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhissatava Precepts by Reb Anderson
On first look, Being Upright might not seem one to make it into a ‘must read’ list on Buddhism. But once you start to turn its pages, you’ll see exactly why it’s been included.
Anderson does a wonderful job of introducing the reader to the fundamental concepts of Zen Buddhism. You’ll discover the 10 basic precepts, learn about Shakyamuni Buddha and his central teaching, and simply get straight to the heart of exactly what you need to understand about morality, wisdom, ethics, and emotional turmoil: Of course, it’s not that we can alter such facts, but it’s how we deal with them that’s the real teaching behind the religion.
Fascinating, yet easy to read – it’s as good a book for the beginner as it is for those who’re already a little further down the road of knowledge.
4. The Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Buddhist Wisdom: A Complete Introduction to the Principles and Practices of Buddhism by Gill Farrer-Halls
Another amazing book that brings the principles of the religion to the reader in an easy to understand and interesting manner. Farrer-Halls, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Buddhist Wisdom, begins with explaining the story of Prince Siddhartha and how the religion has spread. It then moves onto explaining the exact reasons why Buddhism is the fastest growing religion in the West.
The perfect antithesis to Western living, this is a religion that takes the follower on a journey that leads to true peace and happiness. If you feel you need a little more within your life, then reading this book is a great place to start.
5. What Buddha Taught: Revised and Expanded Edition with Texts from Suttas and Dhammapada by Walpola Rahula
What Buddha Taught might not be one of the most recently penned books on the subject (it was originally written in 1974). But it can certainly give other more modern books on the market a real run for their money.
Easy to read, you’ll discover a simple introduction to the complexity of the religion. It’s a classic book; one that’s comprehensive yet compact, covering all the essential ‘need-to-know’ information that any pupil of Buddhism will delight in learning.
In fact, The Buddhist Society says that this book is a real boon for the beginner, as for years there was no real text that gave such a in-depth yet simply put introduction to the subject of Buddhism.
6. Nothing Holy About It: The Zen of Being Just Who You Are by Tim Burkett
Burkett’s Nothing Holy About It delves into the principles of everything that makes Buddhism the religion it is. This book is all about learning what Bodhidharma, the legendary first ancestor of Zen, said about the main principle behind his teachings. And his answer, “a vast emptiness, with nothing holy about it”, still holds true today.
(Of course, what this actually translates is that there’s no need to go looking for something holy, because all that Buddhism represents is right there in front of you).
This book is all about tearing away anything complicated about Buddhism, and explaining it in everyday terms that we can all easily understand.
7. The Heart Of The Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation by Thich Nhat Hahn
For anyone who wants an in-depth, yet easy read into exactly what Buddhism is all about, The Heart Of The Buddha’s Teaching is the perfect place to start.
With Dalai Lama’s recommendation that the book “shows us the connection between personal, inner peace, and peace on earth”, it needs no higher accolade.
Discover significant teachings such as the 4 Noble Truths, The 3 Doors of Liberation, The 3 Dharma Seals, The 7 Factors of Liberation, and The Noble Eightfold Path, it’s a great book for those who want to understand more about the real concepts that make up the religion.
The teachings of Buddha really are accessible and applicable to everyone in the 21st century, and this book is the key to understanding and the way to begin the journey to true peace and enlightenment.