Books on Buddhism can provide insight into the religion and its practices. They can also introduce readers to the history and culture of Buddhism. In addition, books on Buddhism can help to increase understanding and tolerance of the religion. For example, books that discuss the life of the Buddha can help to illustrate the core beliefs of Buddhism, such as karma and reincarnation.

In addition, books that explain Buddhist practices, such as meditation and mindfulness, can help readers to understand how these practices can be used to improve their lives. Ultimately, books on Buddhism can be a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning more about this ancient religion.

In recent years, Buddhism has become increasingly popular in the West. This is likely due to a number of factors, including the increased interest in Eastern philosophies and the growing awareness of the benefits of meditation. For many people, Buddhism provides a unique path to inner peace and spiritual enlightenment.

In a world that is often chaotic and stressful, the teachings of Buddhism can offer a much-needed sense of calm and balance. In addition, the practice of meditation can help to improve mental clarity and focus, making it an ideal tool for dealing with the challenges of modern life. As more people seek out ways to reduce stress and find inner peace, it is likely that Buddhism will continue to grow in popularity.

These are the best books on Buddhism…

The Essence of Buddha: The Path to Enlightenment by Ryuho Okawa

The Essence of Buddha: The Path to Enlightenment is a book by Ryuho Okawa that explores the teachings of Buddhism and how they can be applied to modern life. Okawa is high revered Japanese spiritual leader. The book delves into the core principles of Buddhism, such as the Eightfold Path, the six Paramitas and the Laws of Casualty.

Okawa manages to explain and present all of the main Buddhism tenets in a manner that makes them easier to understand and thoroughly engaging. Throughout the book, Okawa provides readers with practical advice on how to incorporate Buddhist principles into their daily lives. In doing so, he offers a rare and insightful look into the ancient wisdom of Buddhism through a modern lens.

The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation by Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, offers a comprehensive introduction to the main tenets of Buddhism. In clear and accessible language, Hanh covers topics such as the Four Noble Truths, karma, and the Eightfold Path. He also delves into the Heart Sutra, arguably the most important text in Mahayana Buddhism.

Throughout the book, Hanh emphasizes the importance of mindfulness and compassion in our lives. He argues that by practicing these values, we can transform our suffering into peace, joy, and liberation. The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching is an essential guide for anyone interested in understanding Buddhism. Hanh’s insights and wisdom make it an indispensable resource for anyone on the spiritual path. His Holiness the Dalai Lama said of the author, “Thich Nhat Hanh shows us the connection between personal, inner peace, and peace on earth.”

Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment by Robert Wright

In his book, Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment, Robert Wright discusses the Buddhist belief that suffering is caused by our desires and attachments. He argues that Buddhism offers a path to liberation from this suffering through detachment and meditation. Although Buddhism is often seen as a religion, Wright highlights its compatibility with science, pointing to the fact that many Buddhist teachings about the mind and brain have been verified by recent scientific research.

In addition, he argues that Buddhism’s emphasis on mindfulness can help us to break free from the “false narratives” that our culture tells us about happiness and success. Ultimately, Wright makes a convincing case that Buddhism is not only true but also relevant and useful in our modern world. Susan Cain, the bestselling author of Quiet said of the book, “This is exactly the book that so many of us are looking for. Writing with his characteristic wit, brilliance, and tenderhearted skepticism, Robert Wright tells us everything we need to know about the science, practice, and power of Buddhism.”

No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners: Clear Answers to Burning Questions About Core Buddhist Teachings by Noah Rasheta

No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners is a book written by Noah Rasheta and published in 2017. The book focuses on providing clear answers to burning questions about Buddhism, such as “what is Buddhism?”, “what is enlightenment?”, and “what is nirvana?”. Rasheta draws on his own experience as a Buddhist teacher, lay minister, author and host of the podcast Secular Buddhism. to provide readers with an accessible introduction to Buddhism. In addition, the book includes a helpful glossary of Buddhist terms, making it an ideal resource for those who are new to the religion.

Overall, No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners is an informative and engaging introduction to Buddhism that is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about this ancient religion. Author Yael Shy said of the book, “No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners is a beautiful gift to all levels of practitioners–from those who are just beginning to explore Buddhism to long-time Buddhists who would like to brush up on their knowledge.”

Buddhism Plain and Simple: The Practice of Being Aware Right Now, Every Day by Steve Hagen

Steve Hagen’s Buddhism Plain and Simple is an accessible and practical guide to Buddhist principles and practices. The book starts with a discussion of buddha’s life and teachings and then goes on to explain how Buddhists understand the nature of reality. Hagen emphasizes the importance of mindfulness or being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings in the present moment. He also discusses the Buddhist concepts of karma and rebirth, and how Buddhists view suffering.

The book provides practical advice for incorporating Buddhist principles into daily life, such as meditating and being kind to others. Overall, Buddhism Plain and Simple is an excellent introduction to Buddhism for both beginners and experienced practitioners. Steve Hagen, Roshi, has been a student and practitioner of Zen since 1967. For fifteen years he studied with Dainin Katagiri, Roshi, from whom he received Dharma Transmission (endorsement to teach) in 1980.

The Story of Buddhism by Donald S. Lopez Jr

The Story of Buddhism by Donald S. Lopez Jr is a comprehensive introduction to the history of Buddhism. Donald S. Lopez Jr. is the Carl W. Belser Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan. Lopez covers the life of Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, and the early history of the religion. He considers the difficult conundrum of whether Buddhism has modified cultures or has modern-day cultures modifies Buddhism.

The book does a brilliant job of covering a vast amount of information about the history, central tenets of the religion and development of the monastic life and lay practices. Overall, The Story of Buddhism is an informative and accessible guide to one of the world’s major religions. San Francisco Chronicle said of the book, “The Story of Buddhism is one of those rare books that gives fresh insights on repeated readings.”

Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Mindfulness in Plain English is a Buddhist book written by Bhante Gunaratana. The book discusses the concepts of mindfulness and meditation, and how to incorporate them into daily life. Gunaratana provides clear, step-by-step instructions on how to meditate, as well as how to deal with common obstacles that arise during meditation.

The book is written in an extremely accessible way, making it perfect for beginners to the practice of meditation. Mindfulness in Plain English is an essential guide for anyone interested in exploring the Buddhist path of mindfulness. Daniel Goleman said of the book, “A classic–one of the very best English sources for authoritative explanations of mindfulness.”

The Dhammapada translated by Eknath Easwaran

The Dhammapada is a Buddhist scripture that contains a collection of sayings attributed to the Buddha. Dhammapada means “the path of dharma,” the path of harmony and righteousness that anyone can follow to reach the highest good. The themes range from the importance of mindfulness to the dangers of attachment and craving.

The Dhammapada is one of the most popular Buddhist scriptures, and it has been translated into many languages. It is widely read by Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, and it continues to be an important source of wisdom and inspiration for people around the world. Eknath Easwaran is regarded as one of the twentieth century’s most important spiritual teachers, he sadly passed away in 1999.

The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama

In The Art of Happiness, the Dalai Lama provides Buddhist-based advice for leading a happier and more fulfilling life. One of the core Buddhist tenets is the idea of interdependence: the understanding that everything in the world is interconnected and dependent on one another. As a result, the Dalai Lama emphasizes the importance of altruism and compassion, both for others and for oneself.

He also discusses the Buddhist concept of “dukkha”, which can be roughly translated as suffering. According to Buddhism, dukkha is a central part of existence, but it is possible to alleviate suffering through meditation and mindfulness. By incorporating Buddhist principles into our lives, the Dalai Lama contends, we can all lead happier and more fulfilling lives.

The Bodhicaryavatara by Santideva

The Bodhicaryavatara is a buddhist scripture that was written by Santideva in the 8th century. The text addresses the desire to become a Buddha and rescue all beings from suffering. The Bodhicaryavatara is still highly respected by Buddhists today, and it is considered to be one of the most important texts on Buddhist ethics.

This version is translated by Kate Crosby who Tutor in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Pali at Oxford University. Andrew Skilton a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society; and Paul Williams who is Codirector of the Centre for Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

In Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki presents Buddhism in a way that is both simple and profound. Shunryu Suzuki was one of the most influential spiritual teachers of the twentieth century and is truly a founding father of Zen in America. He discusses the practice of meditation, and how it can help us to achieve greater peace of mind.

Throughout the book, Suzuki emphasizes the importance of having a beginner’s mind, which he defines as “a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing.” This is a powerful message that resonates with both Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. By presenting in such a clear and concise manner, Suzuki’s book serves as an excellent introduction to Buddhism for those who are new to the religion. Library Journal said of the book, “One of the best and most succinct introductions to Zen practice.”

The Life of the Buddha by Tenzin Chogyel

The Life of the Buddha by Tenzin Chogyel is a comprehensive biography of one of the most influential figures in history. Born Siddhartha Gautama in present-day Nepal, the Buddha began his spiritual journey after witnessing the suffering of humanity firsthand. He soon attained enlightenment after years of meditation and self-denial and went on to teach his fellow beings the path to liberation from suffering.

The Buddha’s teachings formed the basis for the Buddhist religion, which today is followed by millions of people around the world. The Life of the Buddha is an enlightening read for anyone interested in learning more about this important religious figure.


What is Buddhism?

Buddhism is a religion that was founded by Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha, in the sixth century BCE. The Buddha was born into a wealthy family, but he left his life of luxury after encountering the suffering of others. He then spent six years searching for a way to end suffering, before finally achieving enlightenment. The Buddha then spent the rest of his life teaching his insights to others.

Buddhism shares some beliefs with Hinduism, including karma and rebirth. However, it also has some unique beliefs, such as the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. The Four Noble Truths state that suffering exists, that it has a cause, that it can be ended, and that there is a path to ending it. The Eightfold Path is this path, and it consists of eight components: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

Buddhism today has around 500 million followers worldwide. It is most prevalent in Asian countries such as China, Japan, Tibet, and Myanmar. However, it is also practiced in many other countries around the world.

What are the Benefits of Learning about Buddhism?

Many people find Buddhism to be an interesting religion. For example, Buddhists do not believe in a god or gods. This can be confusing for people who are used to thinking about a god or gods as the creator of the universe and everything in it. Instead, Buddhists believe that we are all connected and interdependent. This means that we are all responsible for our own actions and for the world around us.

Additionally, Buddhists believe in reincarnation. This means that after we die, we are reborn into another life. Buddhists also teach that it is possible to achieve nirvana, or perfect peace and happiness. As a result, Buddhism can offer a different perspective on life and death, and provide practices that help promote peace and well-being.

If you enjoyed this reading list of the best books on Buddhism, you may also want to check out the best books on mindfulness.