the practical buddhist : essentials

12 buddhist books to light your path

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

With that said, here a list of books that I’ve personally read and recommend:

Buddhism Without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening, Stephen Batchelor

The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation, Thich Nhat Hanh

Making Space: Creating a Meditation Practice, Thich Nhat Hanh

Ruling Your World: Ancient Strategies For Modern Life, Sakyong Mipham

Walk Like a Buddha: Even if Your Boss Sucks, Your Ex Is Torturing You, and You’re Hungover Again, Lodro Rinzler

Buddha Standard Time: Awakening to the Infinite Possibilities of Now, Lama Surya Das

Buddhism is Not What You Think, Steve Hagen

Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, Chyogyam Trungpa

Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, Stephen Batchelor

Meditation Now of Never, Steve Hagen

How To Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life, The Dalai Lama

Buddhism Plain and Simple, Steve Hagen

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 or at the TPB Sangha by clicking here.