This post will guide you to give an idea about the best books about Buddhism for beginners. I will share 10+ books to read on Buddhism. But before diving into that list let’s know a little bit about Buddhism.
Buddhism is a belief established by Siddhartha Gautama about 2500 years ago. Buddhism is one of the most influential religions in the world.
Gautam buddha’s teachings are referred to as Dharma. And all Buddhist follow five moral concepts. These include not killing living things, not taking what is not given, not doing sexual misuse, telling truth, getting away from drugs. Buddhism is built with such concepts as five moral insights, four noble truths, noble Eight-Fold Path, etc.
Best Buddhism books of all time:
1. What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula
If you do not have any idea about Buddist and Buddhism then this is a complete overview of Buddhism. Rahula is a scholar-monk who has trained in Theravadan has put all the Buddhist concepts he learned throughout his life.
This book is an introductory book to Buddhism. By reading this book, you will learn what the Buddha taught, a bibliography and you will get an idea about Pali texts, including the Suttas and Dhamma.
2. Wisdom of Buddha by John Powers
Wisdom Of Buddha represents the realizations of Siddharta Gautama as he seeks mahasattva questioners. If you think about dharma and try to live it in the world then this book is right for you.
It represents the learning of buddha throughout his life. In short, the book unveils the life realization of Gautama.
3. Buddhism by Michael Williams
“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” – Buddha.
Buddhism by Michael Williams is a comprehensive guidebook for the beginner who wants to know about meditation, yoga and core concepts and philosophy of Buddhism. You will also learn how to implement Buddha’s teaching in your life to live a healthier and happier life. It’s one of the best books on buddhist meditation.
4. The Buddha and His Teachings by Samuel Bercholz
“The Buddha and His Teachings” will give you a straightforward and motivating response to Buddha’s teaching. Not only BUddha, but the book also contains the teaching of the buddha from the other Buddist masters. The book starts with the amazing life of the Buddha, followed by the history of Buddhism. This could be a perfect Buddhist book for a beginner.
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5. The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh
Buddha’s lessons are applicable to our everyday lives. Buddhism is established with some core concepts and beliefs. The Four noble truths, the noble eightfold path, the three doors of liberation are just a few of the core concepts. You will learn a ton about inner peace, peace on earth, and a bunch of core concepts of Buddhism in this book.
6. When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
When everything goes wrong, life feels hopeless, fear and depression gradually grasp us. How do you get yourself out of those negative thoughts? The answer lies in this book. Written by Pema Chödrön, this book will teach you to live your life with boundless joy.
7. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
You will relate a lot of things in this book. The writing is great. This book considered one of the Classic American Literature books also one of the best-loved novels.
The story is about the quest of Buddha, who has all the privilege and comfort. Despite having all the comforts , Budha sought the truth. In his journey, he eventually discovers that true knowledge is guided from within.
8. Buddhist Philosophy by William Edelglass, Jay Garfield
This book is not for a complete beginner in Buddhism. It might be a bit of hard reading because of the vocabulary, but the book itself is great. Who can read this book? Well, if you have knowledge about philosophy and have an interest between western philosophy and Buddhism.
9. Buddhist Religions By Richard H. Robinson, Willard L. Johnson, Thanissaro Bhikkhu
This book covers the Buddhism religion as well as portraits buddhas philosophy. It represents buddha’s teaching and core concepts that buddha taught. This book is one of the best books about Buddhism for beginners.
10. Buddhism for Beginners By Thubten Chodron
Written by Thubten Chodron Buddhism for Beginners could be the best book for a complete Buddhism beginner. The book starts with the Buddhist path. Then it moves to karma, fear, meditation, Buddha-nature, and so on. Those are the topic you will get to know with the help of this book.
11. No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners by Noah Rasheta
The book is written by renowned Buddhism teacher Noah Rasheta. Noah Rasheta also hosts a famous podcast named Secular Buddhism.
You will gain basic knowledge of Buddhism and its philosophy after reading this book. This book will also help you to get answers to some common questions about Buddha’s teachings.
12. Buddhism For Dummies by Jonathan Landaw, Stephan Bodian, Gudrun Bühnemann
You might have read books from the dummy series. If not then let me tell you by saying that dummies series books are written in clear terms and easy to read way.
Buddhism is one of the most unique religions. Buddhism for dummies will guide you to know more about Buddhism, its key concepts and explores different topics.
Those are some of the best books about Buddhism for beginners. There are tons of books on this topic. But as a beginner, you should not be confused about choosing the right book. Choose any of the books from the list to know more about Buddhism.