Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"Must-Have" books on Buddhist Meditation Practice

Buddhist Library
Plu Rambles
Buddhist Library
Just like the Zen Movie post this post captures books that were recommended as "must-have" buddhist books.  Jen in Modoc started the Insight Timer app discussion thread with:

"I want to create a short list of must-have books on Buddhist meditation practice."

Namaste and Friendly Bows _/|\_

The following "short list" was then generated by the Insight Timer Community group:

  • How to Meditate by Kathleen McDonald
  • Transformation and, Healing: Sutra on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • You Are Here by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • How to Practice, The Way to a Meaningful Life by the Dalai Lama
  • Old Path White Clouds by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Guneratana (available free - click here)
  • Wake Up to Your Life by Ken McLeod
  • Wisdom Wide and Deep by Shaila Catherine
  • Training in Compassion by Norman Fisher
  • The Power of the Open Question by Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel
  • Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron
  • Joyful Path of Good Fortune by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
  • Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment - and Your Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace) by Chade-Meng Tan
  • Still the Mind: An Introduction to Meditation by Alan Watts
  • The Experience of Insight: A Simple and Direct Guide to Buddhist Meditation by Joseph Goldstein
  • Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time by Rick Hanson
  • Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English: An Introductory guide to Deeper States of Meditation by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
  • Journey of Awaking: A Meditator's Guidebook by Ram Dass
  • Five Ways to Know Yourself: An Introduction to Basic Mindfulness by Shinzen Young (available free - click here)
  • What is Mindfulness? by Shinzen Young (available free - click here)
  • The Teachings of Kirpal Singh by Satguru Sant Kirpal Singh
  • The Wheel of Life/Mystery of Death by Satguru Sant Kirpal Singh
  • Everyday Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck
  • Nothing Special by Charlotte Joko Beck
  • Zen Heart by Ezra Bayda
  • Zen Training by Katsuki Sekida
  • Opening the Hand of Thought, Foundations of Zen Buddhist Practice by Kosho Uchiyama
  • Breath by Breath by Larry Rosenberg
  • Secrets of Meditation: A Practical Guide to Inner Peace and Personal Transformation by Davidji
  • The Three Pillars of Zen by Phillip Kapleau
  • Each and Every Breath by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (available free - click here)
  • Change Your Mind by Paramananada
  • The New Meditation Handbook by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
  • Dancing with Life by Phillip Moffitt
  • The Mindful Way Through Depression by Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • The Empty Mirror by Janwillem van de Wetering
  • Hardcore Zen by Brad Warner
  • Satthipatana by Bhikku Analayo
  • The Heart of Buddhist Meditation by Nyanaponika
  • How To Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be by Cheri Huber
  • The Compass of Zen by Master Seung Sahn
  • Illuminating Silence by Master Sheng Yen
  • The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher Germer
  • Zen Meditation in Plain English by John Daishin Buksbazen
  • Taking the Path of Zen by Robert Aiken
  • Food for the Heart: The Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah by Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Amaro, and Jack Kornfield
  • A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield
  • The Wise Heart by Jack Kornfield
  • Living With The Devil by Stephen Batchelor
  • In this Very Life by U Pandita
  • Breath By Breath by Larry Rosenberg
  • Living in the Light of Death by Larry Rosenberg
  • When the Iron Eagle Flies by Ayya Khemma
  • Insight Meditation: the Practice of Freedom by Joseph Goldstein
  • Bearing Witness by Bernie Glassman
  • Instructions to the Cook by Bernie Glassman and Rich Fields
  • Seeking the Heart of Wisdom by Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield
  • After the Ecstasy, the Laundry by Jack Kornfield
  • A Still Forest Pool: The Insight Meditation of Achaan Chah by Achaan Chah, Paul Breiter, Ajahn Chah, Jack Kornfield
  • Be Here Now by Ram Dass
  • Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
  • The Meditative Gardener by Cheryl Wilfong
  • Maha Satipatthana Sutta
  • On Love by Ajahn Jayasaro (available free - click here)
  • With Each & Every Breath: A Guide to Meditation by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (available free - click here)
  • Turning the Mind Into an Ally by Sakyong Mipham and Pema Chodron


  1. Short lists are normally ... short. This one is not. So it is hard to know how to use it. We can't read all of them, so, to be frank, the list is not very helpful. Can't someone mindfully create a hierachy of where to start or who might find which one more useful? I chose "Each and every breath" because it's free.

    Thanks for the blog.

  2. Ah yes, the list grew...and to be frank...there are quite a few other books that I really like that aren't on the list. This list is a compilation from users of the Insight Timer App. There are a number of free publications in the list which is a great starting spot. If you go to my "Zen Book Review" web page the book reviews might help you find something of interest. If you have a particular type of book you are looking for I can try to narrow things a bit more. Namaste and Friendly Bows _/|\_


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