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suggest books for a novice

Discussion in 'Buddhism DIR' started by SaintAugustine, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. SaintAugustine

    SaintAugustine At the Monastery

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    books to be read for a novice.....please list.
     
  2. DreadFish

    DreadFish Cosmic Vagabond

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    It depends on what you want to learn.
     
  3. DreadFish

    DreadFish Cosmic Vagabond

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  4. dyanaprajna2011

    dyanaprajna2011 Dharmapala

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    Religion:
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    -Buddhism as a Religion, by Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda
    -Fundamentals of Buddhism, by Peter D. Santina
    -Good Question, Good Answer, 4th ed., by Ven. S. Dhammika
    -Buddhism in a Nutshell, by Ven. Narada, Thera
    -The Tree of Enlightenment, by Peter D. Santina (this is actually an expanded version of Fundamentals of Buddhism)
    -Handbook for Mankind, by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

    These are some great books for beginners. And, they are all downloadable for free in pdf format at Buddhanet.net.
     
  5. OneoftheLost

    OneoftheLost Member

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    I have to suggest a little bit of patience with What the Buddha taught. I have read through most of it, and it can be very hard to understand, and doesn't really go out of its way to explain a lot of things. I don't feel its a good book for a novice at all. When he starts covering the Five Aggregates it goes into a detail I havn't seen since my school biology textbooks. That section alone caused me to take a several month break from the book.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  6. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    Just about anything by Thich Nhat Hanh.
     
  7. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.
     
  8. SaintAugustine

    SaintAugustine At the Monastery

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    I have heard of this man..very well thought of.
     
  9. dyanaprajna2011

    dyanaprajna2011 Dharmapala

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    He's one of the most popular and important figures in Buddhism today.
     
  10. DreadFish

    DreadFish Cosmic Vagabond

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    I suppose Zen Mind Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki would be good too . It even has the word "beginner" in it, and we all know that novices are like beginners :D So it must be appropriate :)
     
  11. Magog

    Magog Well-Known Member

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    Might I suggest Turning the Wheel of Truth: Commentary on the Buddha's First Teaching by Ajahn Succito. It is a very clear and straight forward book on the Four Noble Truths.
     
  12. dyanaprajna2011

    dyanaprajna2011 Dharmapala

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    Heart of the Buddha's Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh is good too.
     
  13. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    That actually was my very first book on Buddhism that I read. That was 17 years ago. :yes:
     
  14. wmjbyatt

    wmjbyatt Lunatic from birth

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    Having just finished it yesterday, I second the recommendation for Shunryu Suzuki's Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.

    If a Zen education is what you seek, I also recommend Hardcore Zen by Brad Warner, and any of the old Zen classics. I read a very excellent edition of The Gateless Gate by Mumon that had a master's commentary following each koan. It was quite edifying. The Blue Cliff Record is another very important koan collection, and Shobogenzo by Dogen is in many ways the founding document of Soto Zen. I have not read it, but every Soto writer I have read (including Warner and Suzuki) think very highly of it.
     
  15. EndlessArising

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    Have you guys read the book What Makes You Not a Buddhist? It's very good.
     
  16. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    Just instruction on how to do meditation/sitting firstmost is recommended. Shunryu Suzuki, Brad Warner, and Alan Watts all have written books easily digested for the novice unfamiliar to Buddhism and introduces sitting techniques early on.

    Online Buddhist Studies at Buddhanet provides a good literary overview that crosses disciplines.

    Here:
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...yvyXBA&usg=AFQjCNGdg5eQsxZZ--bGB_VuMvRnJ69jXw
     
  17. EndlessArising

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    Wouldn't really recommend Alan Watts. I found him interesting early on in my studies, but it's clear that he's more Hindu than Buddhist. As for Suzuki, he's notoriously a bad translator. There are modern Zen teachers like Steve Hagen which are much better
     
  18. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    Watt's formal Zen training under Sokei-an Sigetsu Sasaki Roshi legitimises my own personal recommendation. Watt's by contrast has been known to have stated himself that he's not even a Zen Buddhist which IMO, makes him even more recommended then before. Wonders be had us, it seems some Sanatan Dharma practitioners are less Hindu than they are Buddhists.

    Also guess Shunryu Suzuki barely translated something right enough to convey beginners mind as one that is less constricted and more free than the "experts". Right at the beginning of his book to boot.

    Time for a good Suzuki yodel in the mountain range. :)
     
  19. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    What NOT to recommend for a novice?

    The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Yikes.

    ;)
     
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