This practical introduction to Buddhism focuses on the application of Buddhist psychology to modern life. Thubten Chodron, an American Buddhist nun, presents the basic points of this path for understanding ourselves and improving the quality of our lives.
THE WORLD OF TIBETAN BUDDHISM: An Overview of Its Philosophy and Practice by H.H. the Dalai Lama, trans., ed., annotated by Geshe Thupten Jinpa
His Holiness explains the path to enlightenment via a general overview of its basic theories and practices, a commentary on selected readings from Shantideva's Bodhicaryavatara, the practice of love, kindness, and compassion, and lastly, a discussion of Vajrayana Buddhism and the path of tantra--we like this book!
TAKING REFUGE: A Teaching on Entering the Buddhist Path by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche
Taking Refuge, is the first formal step on the Buddhist path. This concise text explains that what is meant by refuge is protection and eventual freedom from the confusion and suffering of cyclic existence (samsara). Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche describes the genuine sources of spiritual refuge, which are called the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma, and Sangha. He explains the importance of receiving refuge from an authentic and unbroken lineage of transmission, the role of faith and trust, and how to relate to the refuge ceremony itself. Rinpoche emphasizes the importance taking refuge with the motivation to practice the path until we reach full spiritual awakening; and to do so not just for ourselves, but for the benefit and enlightenment of all beings.
AWAKENING THE SLEEPING BUDDHA by the 12th Tai Situpa
The most basic, clear principles of Tibetan Buddhism are here lucidly presented by a renowned modern teacher and monk. Tai Situ illuminates Buddhist teachings in commonsense terms, using down-to-earth examples- making this is a perfect handbook for beginners as well as an excellent companion for long-time students.
"Buddhism can appear so complicated and vast that it seems even a lifetime of study would not be sufficient to get to the bottom of it. That is how it is, from one perspective-at least until the ultimate goal of enlightenment is reached. On the other hand, Buddhism can be very simple, dissolving mysteries and complications easily with commonsense truths. Buddhism, in fact, encompasses both these extremes, although the foundation of Buddhist philosophy and practice rests on a few clear principles."
TIBETAN BUDDHISM FROM THE GROUND UP: A Practical Approach for Modern Life by B. Alan Wallace
Here at last is an organized overview of Tibetan Buddhism's teachings, beginning with the basic themes of the sutras - the general discourses of the Buddha - and continuing through the esoteric concepts and advanced practices of Tantra. Unlike other introductions to Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism from the Ground Up doesn't stop with theory and history, but relates timeless spiritual principles to the pressing issues of modern life, both in terms of daily experience and a uniquely Western world view. This fascinating, highly readable book asks neither unquestioning faith nor blind obedience to abstract concepts or religious beliefs. Rather, it challenges the reader to question and investigate life's issues on a personal level, in the light of an ancient and effective approach to the sufferings and joys of the human condition.
THE POCKET TIBETAN BUDDHIST READER ed. by Reginald A. Ray
Short, inspirational selections from legendary Tibetan masters, including the Dalai Lama, Milarepa, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Sogyal Rinpoche and others. A great pocket-sized companion full of pithy quotes.
ALONE WITH OTHERS, AN EXISTENTIAL APPROACH TO BUDDHISM by Stephen Batchelor
Alone With Others is a uniquely contemporary guide to understanding the timeless message of Buddhism, and in particular its relevance in actual human relations. It was inspired by Shantideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, the oral instructions of living Buddhist masters, Martin Heidegger's classic Being and Time, and the writings of the Christian theologians Paul Tillich and John MacQarrie.
BUDDHISM PLAIN AND SIMPLE: The Practice of Being Aware, Right Now, Every Day by Steve Hagen
The observations and insights of the Buddha are practical and eminently down-to-earth, dealing exclusively with awareness in the here and now. Buddhism Plain and Simple offers readers these fundamental teachings, stripped of the cultural trappings that have accumulated around Buddhism over the past twenty-five centuries. The newcomer will be inspired by the clear, simple principles found in Buddhism Plain and Simple, and those familiar with Buddhism will welcome this long-needed overview.
BUDDHISM IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK: Finding Freedom Beyond Beliefs by Steve Hagen
Steve Hagen penetrates the most essential and enduring questions at the heart of the Buddha's teachings: How can we see the world as it comes to be in each moment, rather than merely as what we think, hope, or fear it is? How can we base our actions on Reality, rather than on the longing and loathing of our hearts and minds? How can we live lives that are wise, compassionate, and in tune with Reality? And how can we separate the wisdom of Buddhism from the cultural trappings and misconceptions that have come to be associated with it?
BUDDHISM: An Illustrated Overview by Sheck/Gorgens
A vibrantly written and marvelously illustrated overview of Buddhism, this ancient and yet still vital religion. Each chapter is written by an acknowledged authority in the field. The book describes the origins and historic development of Buddhism as well as current trends. Perhaps most important, it explores the central, unifying principles of a religious and philosophical system that finds expression in an extraordinary diversity of forms, from the elaborate and esoteric rituals of Tantric Buddhism to the rarefied, minimalist refinement of Zen. A major section is devoted to an analysis of the religion's more important sacred writings. And throughout the book, magnificent illustrations capture the sacred art, architecture, daily practices, and symbols inspired by the Buddha and his teaching.