Best Books on Buddhism to Read Once in Your Lifetime

Best Books on Buddhism to Read
Best Books on Buddhism to Read

Books have always been a medium to live through the principles of others. Books guide us to find real purpose and the right path to living. If you are looking for spiritualism in your life these are the best books on Buddhism to read .

Let’s understand what Buddhism is all about.

What is Buddhism?

Buddhism is a spiritual tradition with roots of over 2000 years ago. Alike from other religions, Buddhism does not account for any God and the laws that govern.

Buddhism is more about the principles that govern your life and transform into better well-being mentally and physically.


Gautama Buddha, the man who created and carried Buddhism over the years was a philosopher, mediator, spiritual leader. His teachings are applied in the present world, where a man finds it hard to live in reality.

According to Buddhist Doctrine,” Happiness comes from inner; the mind is powerful to accept what it thinks.”

Buddhism teachings

To train your mind, meditation is important. To remain calm, deal with stress, anxieties meditate. One cannot escape suffering but surely find a way to deal with it.

It will not ask you to travel to a new place, connect with new people and become a totally different person, rather it warms, it feeds us, create hopes, desire to change and accept it wherever we are living.

Because our world is also the most important reality we have.

The teachings are powerful and useful that cannot be comprised in a few lines. Read the best sorted out books on Buddhism.

These books are incorporated with real-life feedback after following the principles and doctrines. Most incredible pieces to read once in your lifetime, no matter how high you have achieved, still, there is a want of satisfaction and peace of mind.

Best Books on Buddhism to Read

1. Buddhist Philosophy: Essential Readings

By William Edelglass and Jay L. Garfield 

Buddhist Philosophy is a comprehensive volume defining the real Buddhist texts and philosophy behind this tradition.

The rich and original texts written in canonical languages are translated to address some important philosophical issues. The book is worth reading for anyone practicing Buddhism from its deep roots.

It is also the most recommended books for scholars studying the philosophies of the Buddhist tradition.

What can you learn?

One can learn a lot from this book based purely on Buddhist teachings and beliefs and transform into a new set of living. Reading for the sake will not change much, practicing and following meditation, calmness, peace, happiness, anger, facing the truth, the reality of life surely lead to a more ideal living.

2. The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching

By Thich Nhat Hanh

The title in itself describes that the book is about the core teachings of the Buddhist tradition. The four noble truths, the eightfold path, the three jewels, the five Skandhas the book holds for.

The author creates a more believable approach towards the enlightenment path and pictures how to live with the past and present communities.

When we think of running from the sufferings, the author holds us to challenge the pain and plant the seeds of hope and love within.

What can you learn?

The masterpiece of attaining enlightenment and mindfulness, this book on Buddhism is a must-read. People striving hard in their life crisis must read this book once in their lifetime.  If you are on road to find the real calm and meaning, practice meditation and yoga the pillars of Buddhism.

3. Start Where You Are

By Pema Chödrön

Pema Chodron, the renowned mediation master, is an American Buddhist nun. In her book, “Start where you are”, she focuses on cultivating fearlessness in the minds and hearts.

The author chooses to provide hope to start from wherever you belong, instead of avoiding the painful complications, embrace and face to live with it. She provides a path to know our greatest asset that we have lost in the shades of ignorance and avoidance.

What can you learn?

One can learn a lot from this exclusive piece of writing. Learn to resist the pain of existence, cultivate relaxation, and calmness in his world of disturbances. Train your mind and body in coordination with your living.

4. The Three Pillars of Zen

By Philip Kapleau Roshi

The three pillars of Zen- teaching, practice, and enlightenment, the author in his book elaborates on the history and disciplines of Zen Buddhism.

Philip Kapleau worked for his life in growing the seeds of Zen Buddhism in American soil. Considered as the most important Zen classic, the book has been translated into 12 different languages to enlighten the young practitioner about the Zen tradition.

What can you learn?

A truly enjoyable and enlightening reading, the book is the best option for the Western, studying the real Zen meditation. How to apply the discipline of hope, compassionate thinking, and lead a spiritual life.

5. Real Happiness

By Sharon Salzberg

Meditation is a powerful practice to relieve stress, anxiety, lower blood pressure.  Meditation helps us find ourselves, sharpen our minds, increase concentration, and improves our capabilities.

Buddhism is closely related to meditation, well the real Happiness directly not talk or illustrates the study of Buddhism but focuses on the power of mediation. That is why they deserve a place to be one of the books on Buddhist teachings.

What can you learn?

A complete guide on meditation, one can learn from the basics of posture, breathing to cultivate the purpose of your day. Real happiness explains how meditation plays an important role and how daily meditation results in more clarity, calmness, balance, and creativity of life.

6. On the Path to Enlightenment: Heart Advice from the Great Tibetan Masters

 By Matthieu Ricard

Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk and an active participator contributing to the research of the effects of meditation on the brain.

In his book, On the Path to Enlightenment, he combines the methodologies and practices of eight Tibetan Buddhist Traditions.

You will be addressed to the topics of human existence and death, sufferings, ignorance, actions, reactions, cause, and effects; how to remove these complications and make progress through meditation.

What can you learn?

Since the book composes views and saying of experienced Buddhist practitioners, this book is helpful in guiding the right path to spiritualism. Meditation is the strongest power to the mind, On the Path to Enlightenment won’t disappoint you in balancing your life.

7. After The Ecstasy, The Laundry

By Jack Kornfield

What to do after one has attained enlightenment? How to face problems in everyday life? So, here comes the most sorted out books.

Buddhism is spiritualism, Jack cornfield interviewed meditation masters, yoga teachers, and many Buddhism practitioner and reveal the reality of any normal human being.

He showed the importance of family, work, and relationships.  The book finds spot because it becomes necessary to find the balance in everyday households, the reality in which we exist.

What can you learn?

There is so much to learn from this book, as a follower of Buddhist tradition one must learn to find the courage to cope up with hardships. Though traditional stories, we learn how enlightenment guides the real world of family, emotional pain, sickness, insecurity, loss, and death.

Related: Best Books to find Inner Peace

8. Open Heart, Open Mind

by Tsoknyi Rinpoche with Eric Swanson

Open Hear, Open mind is an introduction to a mindful living through Tibet Buddhists.  The author in his book shares the unrevealed truths and wants of life.

Fear, pain, insecurity are the truths we have to live with, humans long for peace, love, courage for their living. We hold that warmth, openness, and courage which the author describes as “essence love”, but somehow have lost in ourselves, that we look outside to find them.

Drawing from the teachings of Buddhism, the author offers meditation exercise to reveal our true self, awaken the hidden energy that serves us to inspire and enlighten the entire world.

What can you learn?

The book focuses on all terms to discover the openness, fearlessness, and love that is an important part of life. One feel blessed to have such a book to read!

9. Radiant Mind

By Jean Smith

The radiant mind is a collection of essential Buddhist teachings and texts. This book comprises of short essays and fundamental beliefs of Buddhism.

The author combines the ideas and interpretations of the popular Buddhist leaders like Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Joseph Goldstein, Joko Beck. If you want to study Buddhism in a detailed way, this book is the best.

What can you learn?

As the purely focuses on Buddhist teachings, the book is a gemstone of opinion and viewpoints of different authors on a single topic making clarity in thought.

10. The Sound of Silence

By Ajahn Sumedho

Teachings from one of the popular American-born teachers, The Sound of Silence is one of the best books in the numerous collection. The title in itself depicts the sound in silence.

Being silent is not the state of nothingness; it is hearing and noticing when the mind is relaxed and open. The style of the author is showing that to hear, understand, and notice you have to be in a relaxed state of awareness preserve the warmth, humor, and style of writing.

What can you learn?

The Sound of Silence is one of the best Buddhism books that help us all view our life with a new vision of clarity. Anyone following Buddhism from deep roots will appreciate reading the key elements of Buddhism like suffering, mindfulness, clarity of thoughts, and consciousness in this book.

Related: Best Psychology Books

11. Mindfulness in Plain English

By Bhante Gunaratana

This book is one of the best books written to show how meditation is an important practice to achieve the right mindfulness.

It is more than a mediation book, the book teaches methods to overcome obstacles that almost every one of us faces in the path of progress and success. Mindfulness in Plain English, author Bhante Gunaratana is a classically trained meditation master in the Buddhist tradition.

In his book, he takes us to step by step towards the beliefs, importance, and results, the effect of meditation in our daily lives.

What can you learn?

Since the book is purely focusing on the topic of mindfulness, it provides a clear approach in on way. Look at this book as a complete guide for mediation. Even those who don’t engage in Buddhist tradition still get a lot of benefits to counter the distractions around and solutions to move on the right path.

This list of books on Buddhism is the most sorted out books describing the essential teachings and aspects of Buddhism tradition. So if you have an interest in any of the life fundamentals and peace of mind, meditation, yoga these are must-read books.

Enjoy reading, enjoy living!

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