Author Topic: The ONE book for beginners  (Read 16901 times)

Yeshe

  • Guest
Re: The ONE book for beginners
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2010, 07:04:18 am »
^^  I want to buy a copy.  I'll be in London next month.  Anyone have a recommendation for good Buddhism-related bookstores there?


These days I always use Amazon and don't know London well.

But this place looks promising:
http://www.lbc.org.uk/village.htm

or maybe some of the London branches of Buddhist organisations:
http://www.westlondonbuddhistcentre.com/?page_id=35


Offline heybai

  • Member
  • Posts: 2145
    • View Profile
Re: The ONE book for beginners
« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2010, 10:07:37 am »
Thanks, Yeshe.  I use Amazon too, but the cost to ship out here sometimes exceeds the price of a book, so I tend to load up on things I cannot get here when I am in Europe or North America.

Offline Spiny Norman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5097
  • Cool baby yeah!
    • View Profile
Re: The ONE book for beginners
« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2010, 09:20:59 am »
"What the Buddha Taught" by Rapola Wahula. 

That's my favourite.

CP

Offline santamonicacj

  • Member
  • Posts: 2271
    • View Profile
Re: The ONE book for beginners
« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2010, 12:21:19 pm »
I'm a TB practitioner. If the question were to be formulated as 'what book would I liked to have read when I was starting', then the answer is:

Indestructible Truth by Reginald Ray.

It's a text for a college survey course but written by a practitioner as well as an academic. It includes a bit of Theravada & Mahayana. Even though he's a student of Trungpa there is almost no Trungpa influences I can see.

The reason I like it is that it would have taken out a lot of the confusion and WTF? type misunderstanding had it been available years ago.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 12:23:31 pm by santamonicacj »
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

Chokyi Wangpo

  • Guest
Re: The ONE book for beginners
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2010, 12:42:25 pm »
I'm a TB practitioner. If the question were to be formulated as 'what book would I liked to have read when I was starting', then the answer is:

Indestructible Truth by Reginald Ray.

It's a text for a college survey course but written by a practitioner as well as an academic. It includes a bit of Theravada & Mahayana. Even though he's a student of Trungpa there is almost no Trungpa influences I can see.

The reason I like it is that it would have taken out a lot of the confusion and WTF? type misunderstanding had it been available years ago.

For the same reasons I like Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by John Powers.

Offline santamonicacj

  • Member
  • Posts: 2271
    • View Profile
Re: The ONE book for beginners
« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2010, 12:52:46 pm »
Alternately for someone that really isn't interested in Buddhism but just wants a pleasant read about it:

Bodhisattva of Compassion by Blofeld.

He's an expert on Chinese Buddhism and a charming writer. It's a delightful read for almost anybody. The book is basically about the question of 'what is Kwan Yin?' Is she an etherial Buddha? A symbol? A Jungian archetype? He has a bunch of stories and anecdotes, then at the end he says, "I don't know the answer, but here is all the information I have on it. You decide."
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

Offline Aegis Kai Doru

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: The ONE book for beginners
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2010, 06:07:18 pm »
Let's say you met a complete beginner, not knowing much about the four noble truths or the noble eightfold path and having no idea about different buddhist schools.
If you could recommend only one book, which one would you choose?

I haven't read so many, so I would have to go with "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching" by Thich Nhat Hanh.

This was the first book on Buddhism that I read.

"What the Buddha Taught" was the second.

Offline heybai

  • Member
  • Posts: 2145
    • View Profile
Re: The ONE book for beginners
« Reply #37 on: March 13, 2010, 10:27:21 pm »
Would it be a good idea to place a sticky on this thread?  Many newcomers to Buddhism are likely to come to online fora looking for just this sort of exchange of suggestions and opinions.  I've learned a lot here myself.

Offline pickledpitbull

  • Member
  • Posts: 271
    • View Profile
Re: The ONE book for beginners
« Reply #38 on: March 15, 2010, 08:50:26 pm »
Yes to the sticky!  Even those of us who have been here for a while can benefit from a good book review!
You've been taught that there is something wrong with you and that you are imperfect, but there isn't and you're not.


~ Cheri Huber

Offline Kunlun

  • Member
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
    • Classical Acupuncture in Manhattan
Re: The ONE book for beginners
« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2010, 06:43:15 pm »
I'd like to second Bodhisattva of Compassion by John Blofeld. It was my first Buddhist book!


The Dalai Lama's books on Buddhism are all very clear and very highly recommended. I've known several people who got into Buddhism through his books.


Another nice book is The Words of My Perfect Teacher by Patrul Rinpoche. I like that one a lot, too.

Offline J. McKenna

  • Member
  • Posts: 1503
  • X X o o X X 137 45' 32" 67 33' 41"
    • View Profile
Re: The ONE book for beginners
« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2010, 06:12:52 pm »
A blank journal. Write down what you experience, revisit it regularly and capture new thoughts and considerations. Might want to make it a really thick journal, or get a case of them  :)
...i found there was no "i" anywhere.....

Offline Kaylee_S

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: The ONE book for beginners
« Reply #41 on: April 12, 2010, 02:12:01 pm »
I found "Buddhism - A Way of Life and Thought" by Nancy Wilson Ross a very good introduction.
Every day you make someone smile is a good day.

Offline FaDao

  • Member
  • Posts: 56
    • View Profile
Re: The ONE book for beginners
« Reply #42 on: April 13, 2010, 11:07:18 am »
"What the Buddha Taught" by Rapola Wahula. 

That's my favourite.

CP
There is no "one book," but Rapola Wahula is a good start.

I gave my son a copy of The Dhammapada by Eknath Easwaran for his 8th birthday -- but he didn't read it until he was 10.  :)

Namo Amitofo
- Fa Dao -

Offline Monkey Mind

  • Member
  • Posts: 2800
    • View Profile
    • My Buddhism Biography
Re: The ONE book for beginners
« Reply #43 on: April 13, 2010, 11:41:45 am »
Regarding a gift for a 10 year old- "I Once Was a Monkey: Stories Buddha Told" by Jeanne M. Lee, based on jataka tales. The kid in me LOVES that book.

Amazon just sent me a notice for this book: "Turning the Wheel of Truth: Commentary on the Buddha's First Teaching" (Paperback)
~ Ajahn Sucitto; This title will be released on April 27, 2010

Offline FaDao

  • Member
  • Posts: 56
    • View Profile
Re: The ONE book for beginners
« Reply #44 on: April 15, 2010, 10:12:29 am »
The Jatatka Tales are a wonderful collection of very simple simple stories that outline a living dhamma. "Children's stories", perhaps -- but they illustrate the dahamma rather than preaching.

The question re: a "One Book" for beginners is a matter of the state of the "beginner." Are we discussing an intellectual "beginner" who would benefit from Blofeld, Watts, Thurman or even Jung -- or are we discussing a day to day practitioner who would benefit by setting the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path into action in their daily life?

That is why there is no "one book" -- there is no "one seeker".

Namo Amitofo
- Fa Dao -

 


SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal