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Book suggestions for someone who knows nothing about Buddhism?


Well-Known Member
I also suggest Bhikku Bodhi's "In the Buddha's Words". Ven. Bodhi carefully selected choice suttas from the earliest texts in the Buddhist canon to give the definitive introduction to Buddhism - using the Buddha's own words.

Unveiled Artist

Veteran Member
I also suggest Bhikku Bodhi's "In the Buddha's Words". Ven. Bodhi carefully selected choice suttas from the earliest texts in the Buddhist canon to give the definitive introduction to Buddhism - using the Buddha's own words.

That's a good one. I don't know if you can really get better than that, can you given there is sooo many suttas?


Resident megalomaniac
Compassion is a key practice in Buddhism.

Here is a wonderful site - includes Pema Chodron, who says:

"In order to have compassion for others, we have to have compassion for ourselves. In particular, to care about other people who are fearful, angry, jealous, overpowered by addictions of all kinds, arrogant, proud, miserly, selfish, mean—you name it—to have compassion and to care for these people, means not to run from the pain of finding these things in ourselves."

The site is called Lions Roar -




The Maha Satapathana Sutta is a must read.
It contains very good advice on how to stop suffering.
Read it often, it's really good.


  • 103佛陀的啟示(英文版)102.10.8.pdf
    3.2 MB · Views: 0
  • Maha Satipathana Sutta.pdf
    1.1 MB · Views: 0


Active Member
Lots of good recommendations already.

A book that I found extraordinarily helpful was A Concise History of Buddhism by Andrew Skilton.

It's written by a practicing Buddhist but takes a more scholarly approach than some of the other introductory alternatives that might be recommended. Its emphasis is on Indian Buddhism. It begins with a short chapter on the context in which Buddhism arose, a discussion of the scholarly controversies even dating the Buddha, what is known about his basic teaching and our sources for that knowledge. There's much discussion about the Tripitaka including a concise summary of its contents and divisions, its origin as an oral literature and a discussion of the place of Sutta and Vinaya in the early community. Early developments in the Sangha subsequent to the Buddha's Parinibbana/death are discussed including the early Councils and what is known about the various controversies that were argued there. The earliest divisions in the Sangha (the Mahasangikas etc.) are covered along with what constitutes sanghabheda, the rise of the early Buddhist Schools (Sarvastivadins, Pudgalavadins etc.) and what is known about their doctrines and literature. There's discussion of the Abhidhamma movement and its literature in multiple schools, the rise of Mahayana and the many scholarly views about how and why it appeared. Then the book discusses the most important Mahayana sutras and what is known about their origins and audiences, the Perfection of Wisdom movement, Tatagathagarbha and its perhaps paradoxical place in the tradition, and the philosophical developments like Vasubandhu, Nagarjuna and their increasingly scholastic successors. It ends up with a discussion of Tantra and Vajrayana.

Then the book moves to a much more cursory treatment of Buddhism's subsequent career in China, Japan, Tibet and southeast Asia.

Each of the many chapters is short and a masterpiece of concision. (Really beautifully written.) There's lots of technical vocabulary but it's all explained and the book is easily comprehensible to a layman. But after you read it, you should be able to read and understand the academic Buddhist Studies literature. What's more, it gives you the big picture of the tradition and where various schools and literatures belong. So it's an ideal introduction to the more academic study of Buddhism.

I strongly recommend it.

A Concise History of Buddhism
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Samana Johann

Restricted by request
Probably the most relayable source of gifts of Dhamma, and the matter of gift is something that matters right from beginning, a door to the Buddhas good teachings is found dedicated from a member of the Buddhas disciples, following the teachers tradition:

books (also possible to request printed gifts): eBooks | dhammatalks.org

audios: Long talks | dhammatalks.org

most by Bhante Thanissaro, his fellows and translations from ancestors of the lineage.

Genuine spiritual teachings
cannot be separated
from the manner in which they are given.

True Dhamma is like friendship: if you are being charged (before, while, after) for it,
you already know you are not getting the real thing.

Respect, Confidence and Patient is probably a good basic starter for best possible grow toward and into the tradition of the Noble Ones.
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Lotus Jewel

Student of the Shakyamuni
Hi guys, One of my favorite things to do is to learn about all the worlds different religions. Can anyone recommend any good books on Buddhism for a complete beginner?

In my opinion, you couldn't go wrong with a good translation of the Dhammapada, which offers the reader basic Buddha teachings for their consideration without someone telling them what to think of the Buddha's teachings.

Basically, it allows the reader to weigh and make a determination about the Buddha's teachings for themselves.

I think that if you want to explore Buddhism and think about finding a lineage and a teacher, it would first be good to determine that you personally find the Buddha's teachings convincing and worthwhile.

The Buddha invited everyone to consider his teachings in exactly such a way.
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