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Best Books on Buddhism

Explore the path to enlightenment with this collection of the most revered books on Buddhism. Compiled from various authoritative sources, these titles are ranked by their frequency of recommendations.

Recommendations from 39 articles, Ellen DeGeneres, Harry Styles, Emma Watson and 46 others.
Best Books on Buddhism
75 books on the list
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The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching book cover
The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching
Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation
Thich Nhat Hanh - 1999-06-08 (first published in 1998)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the core teachings of Buddhism with Thich Nhat Hanh in The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching. Filled with comforting wisdom and clarity, Nhat Hanh shows us how the Buddha's teachings can be applied to our daily lives. Learn about the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, and other significant teachings to achieve enlightenment. With added material and new insights, this book is a radiant beacon on Buddhist thought for all readers. His Holiness the Dalai Lama praises Thich Nhat Hanh for showing the connection between personal inner peace and peace on earth, while Robert Lowell calls him a "real poet."
What the Buddha Taught book cover
What the Buddha Taught
Walpola Rahula - 1994-01-11 (first published in 1959)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the fundamental teachings of Buddhism and the words spoken by the Buddha in this insightful book. From the Buddhist attitude of mind and meditation to incorporating his teachings in the modern world, explore the appeal of this ancient practice on reflection and scholarship. Get a full account of his beliefs and a selection of texts from original Buddhist literature.
The Art of Happiness book cover
The Art of Happiness
A Handbook for Living
Dalai Lama - 1998-10-26
Goodreads Rating
Discover the secrets to a happy life in this beloved classic, now updated with new material from the Dalai Lama and Dr. Howard Cutler. Through conversations, stories, and meditations, the Dalai Lama shares how we can defeat day-to-day anxiety, insecurity, anger, and discouragement, finding inner peace in the midst of life's obstacles. Based on 2,500 years of Buddhist wisdom, The Art of Happiness is a timeless guide for all seeking greater happiness and fulfillment.
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind book cover
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice
Shunryu Suzuki - 1970-01-01
Goodreads Rating
This spiritual classic offers a fresh perspective on Zen as it teaches readers to embrace a beginner's mindset. With its simple but profound teachings, readers will be guided through the basics of Zen meditation, posture, and breathing to gain insight into the perception of nonduality. Perfect for anyone seeking a clear understanding of Zen, this book artfully presents the joy of insight from cover to cover, making it a highly recommended first read on the subject.
In the Buddha's Words book cover
In the Buddha's Words
An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon (The Teachings of the Buddha)
Bhikkhu Bodhi - 2005-07-28
Goodreads Rating
Discover the teachings of Buddha in a comprehensive anthology compiled by a renowned scholar and translator. In the Buddha's Words provides a framework, including ten thematic sections, to make it easy to navigate through the teachings of Buddha, no matter the level of experience or knowledge. Each section features essays and notes to help readers draw deeper insights from the Buddha's words. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, this valuable resource is perfect for teachers or those wanting to read Buddha's teachings on their own.
Recommended by
Mindfulness in Plain English book cover
Mindfulness in Plain English
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana - 1996-11-01 (first published in 1992)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the world of mindfulness and meditation with renowned meditation master Bhante Gunaratana in this step-by-step guide. Learn the myths, realities, and benefits of mindfulness as well as techniques for cultivating loving kindness. Perfect for beginners, this expanded edition offers a complete text and valuable insights into living a more productive and peaceful life.
Recommended by
Vinod Khosla
Peace Is Every Step book cover
Peace Is Every Step
The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
Thich Nhat Hanh - 1992-03-01
Goodreads Rating
Discover how to find inner peace in every moment with this beautifully written book. Filled with commentaries, personal anecdotes, and exercises from a renowned peace activist, this book shows how deep meditative presence is available to everyone, no matter where they are. Learn how to increase self-awareness and mindfulness through conscious breathing, leading to immediate joy and peace. Gain a greater understanding of relationships with others and the world around us, inspiring action for a more peaceful society.
Recommended by
Taylor OtwellAkshay M
When Things Fall Apart book cover
When Things Fall Apart
Heart Advice for Difficult Times
Pema Chodron - 2000-09-26 (first published in 1996)
Goodreads Rating
This spiritual classic offers life-changing tools for transforming suffering and negative patterns into ease and joy. Drawing from traditional Buddhist wisdom, the author shows that moving towards painful situations and becoming intimate with them can open up our hearts in unexpected ways. A must-read for those seeking personal growth and resilience.
No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners book cover
No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners
Clear Answers to Burning Questions About Core Buddhist Teachings
Noah Rasheta - 2018-05-01
Goodreads Rating
Discover the essential concepts of Buddhism and how they relate to your daily life with No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners. Renowned Buddhism teacher Noah Rasheta presents a practical Q&A format that simplifies the vital concepts of Buddhism into easy-to-understand ideas. Learn about the Buddha, key Buddhist concepts, the Buddha’s teachings, and current Buddhist practices through a simple 4-part structure. With Everyday Buddhism Sidebars that offer down-to-earth examples, No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners provides the groundwork necessary for building or continuing your own Buddhist practice in a simple, conversational style.
Why Buddhism is True book cover
Why Buddhism is True
The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment
Robert Wright - 2017-08-08
Goodreads Rating
Discover how Buddhism can provide moral clarity and enduring happiness in a secular age in this groundbreaking book by a New York Times bestselling author. Drawing on psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, and meditation, the author explains how suffering arises from our inability to see the world clearly and how meditation can help us gain a deep and valid happiness. With wit and clarity, the book argues for a spiritual life in the modern age and shows how we can save ourselves from anxiety, regret, and hatred.
A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield
Buddhism for Beginners by Thubten Chodron
Old Path, White Clouds by Thich Nhat Hanh
The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama
The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
Satipaṭṭhāna by Anālayo
Buddha's Brain by Rick Hanson
Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
The Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva
Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor
The Noble Eightfold Path by Bhikkhu Bodhi
Real Happiness by Sharon Salzberg
The Art of Living by William Hart
Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
The Dhammapada by Eknath Easwaran
Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das
How to Practice by Dalai Lama
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha by Bhikkhu Nanamoli
Open Heart, Clear Mind by Thubten Chodron
Rebel Buddha by Dzogchen Ponlop
What Makes You Not a Buddhist by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse
Words of My Perfect Teacher by Patrul Rinpoche
Waking Up by Sam Harris
Being Upright by Reb Anderson
On the Path to Enlightenment by Matthieu Ricard
Radiant Mind by Jean Smith
Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
Lovingkindness by Sharon Salzberg
Fear by Thich Nhat Hanh
The Three Pillars of Zen by Philip Kapleau Roshi
The Art of Communicating by Thich Nhat Hanh
Joyful Wisdom by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
Mindfulness by Joseph Goldstein
Practicing Mindfulness by Matthew Sockolov
Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
Food for the Heart by Ajahn Chah
The Long Discourses of the Buddha by Maurice Walshe
One Breath at a Time by Kevin Griffin
Breath by Breath by Larry Rosenberg
The Connected Discourses of the Buddha by Bhikkhu Bodhi
Awakening of the Heart by Thich Nhat Hanh
The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha by Bhikkhu Bodhi
Buddhism by Michael Williams
The Buddha and His Teachings by Samuel Bercholz
The Poetry of Zen by Sam Hamill
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Buddhist Wisdom by Gill Farrer-Halls
Gautama Buddha by Vishvapani Blomfield
Going Home by Thich Nhat Hanh
Thoughts Without A Thinker by Mark Epstein
Buddha by Karen Armstrong
In Love with the World by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness by Pema Chodron
Beyond Religion by Dalai Lama
The Four Noble Truths by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond by Ajahn Brahm
The Life of the Buddha by Hayward Morse, Leighton Pugh, Nicolette McKenzie, John Foley, Jinananda, Bhikkhu Ñanamoli, Dharma Audiobooks From W. F. Howes Ltd
The Foundations of Buddhism by Rupert Gethin
Mit den Augen eines Buddha by Chögyam Trungpa, Jochen Lehner
My Spiritual Journey by Dalai Lama
An Introduction to Zen Buddhism by D. T. Suzuki
Buddhism by Keith Yandell, Harold Netland
The Spirit of Buddhism by David Burnett
Buddha is a Greeter at Walmart by Kris Neely