Best Beginner’s Buddhist Books (we’re all beginners).
Growing up, I was (as are most young punks) half-crazy with hormones, thoughts, adrenaline, ambition and insecurity.
What got me through those days? A great mom. Some great, patient girlfriends. Basketball, and baseball, and anything that tired me out. Meditation.
And, reading the “profound, holy Dharma”—a series of Buddhist books that, better than any would-be mentor, connected with my heart and mind and experience—and fomented an inner dialogue that helped me to grow up, relax, and think about others (almost) as much as myself.
My Favorite Buddhist Books*
- For someone who’s active in the world, family-oriented, not-too-cynical & not-too-religious: Shambhala.
- For someone who just likes to read great writing: How the Swans Came to the Lake or Crooked Cucumber.
- For just about anyone anywhere anytime: Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind or Wisdom of No Escape.
- For scholarly types: Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism.
*for newer Dharma titles, see Shambhala Sun’s recommendations here and be sure to read the comments) like Turning the Mind Into an Ally or Ruling your World (great for business types) or excellent books by Sharon Salzberg, Robert Thurman, and a certain ‘simple monk.’
PS: back in the day, I used to read a page of Training the Mind—it’s so practical and helpful. Finally, it fell apart and I bought another, which now sits on my office desk.
What are your favorite Dharma books, that you’d recommend for others? All traditions welcome! Thich Nhat Hanh? Zen? Insight?
Relephant bonus: a famous meditation practitioner and writer:
hot on elephant
The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. A Letter to my Children: You do not come from a Broken Home. These People are Rare Gems—Keep Them, Fight for Them, don’t Give Up on Them. Mom, can I Call her Mom, Too? Jon Stewart makes first appearance since retiring—”it’s not your country.” Waylon shares 10 transformingly beautiful Quotes about Love. 40 Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years. Why your Yoga Goals are (Probably) Irrelevant, if not Downright Dangerous. My Marriage had to End—for my Life to Begin. Dear Woman in the White Car at Margaritas Mexican Grill in West Memphis, Arkansas on July 15th, 2012.