I love reading books about Buddhism. And although reading is the primary vehicle for my commitment to lifelong learning and study, I recognize the limitation that books present.
Books only light the path
Books, videos, dharma talks, podcasts, etc. can only light the path. It takes an active mind, as well as a daily commitment, to walk the path. The Buddha consistently urged his followers to dive deeply into the waters of active practice.
While reading about Buddhism can open doors and educate us in the Dharma, it is no substitute for doing Buddhism. Reading about meditation isn’t the same as actually meditating; reading about mindfulness isn’t that same as practicing mindfulness.
Books to light your path
The three books that changed my life:
- Buddhism Plain and Simple, Steve Hagen
- Meditation Now or Never, Steve Hagen
- Buddhism is Not What You Think, Steve Hagen
Nine books that I highly recommend:
Buddhism Without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening, Stephen Batchelor
Making Space: Creating a Meditation Practice, Thich Nhat Hanh
Ruling Your World: Ancient Strategies For Modern Life, Sakyong Mipham
Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, Chogyam Trungpa
Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, Stephen Batchelor
How To Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life, The Dalai Lama
What are your favorite dharma books?
Are there books from your own experience that you’d recommend? If so, please list them in a comment below.