Info and reading

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Info and reading

Postby Ducky » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:19 pm

Im new to buddhism.

I need some books to read:

instructions on how to meditate.
8 fold path
4 noble truths

And other info on starting buddhism.

Can anyone recommend any beginner type books.?
I have an introduction to buddhism.
I dont need one on the life of buddha as ive read up on that.

Cheers
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Re: Info and reading

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:34 pm

I imagine that in places it's doctrinally controversial to some. but Thich Nat Han's The Heart of The Buddha's Teaching is a pretty good explanation of the "basics" of Mahayana Buddhism. I find alot of his terminology and kind of flowery translations of things don't really jive with my style, but I have to say that some of his analogies and explanations are really excellent.

If I was going to buy a book for someone I knew that wanted a "serious", reasonably involved book on Buddhism that is still very easy to read I would recommend this book.

For how to meditate I would actually find a teacher/look for a sangha if you can..beyond that you can find all kinds of instructions for shamatha and vipassana online.
"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits
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Re: Info and reading

Postby Ducky » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:44 pm

Thankyou.
Ill check that book out.

Where do i find a sangha or teacher?

Cheers
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Re: Info and reading

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:49 pm

Lots of places, but here's a start:

http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/
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Re: Info and reading

Postby gordtheseeker » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:04 pm

Thanks Johnny Dangerous for that book recommendation. Saddened to see that it isn't available on Kindle or iBooks. Will have to order it. Is there any other recommendations for 'beginner' books? Thanks again. :namaste:
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Re: Info and reading

Postby ocean_waves » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:14 pm

gordtheseeker wrote:Thanks Johnny Dangerous for that book recommendation. Saddened to see that it isn't available on Kindle or iBooks. Will have to order it. Is there any other recommendations for 'beginner' books? Thanks again. :namaste:


Along with Johnny Dangerous's recommendation I would add Rebel Buddha by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.
"True seeing is called transcendence;
False seeing is worldliness:
Set aside both right and wrong,
And the nature of enlightenment is clear."
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Re: Info and reading

Postby gordtheseeker » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:26 pm

ocean_waves wrote:
gordtheseeker wrote:Thanks Johnny Dangerous for that book recommendation. Saddened to see that it isn't available on Kindle or iBooks. Will have to order it. Is there any other recommendations for 'beginner' books? Thanks again. :namaste:


Along with Johnny Dangerous's recommendation I would add Rebel Buddha by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.


Excellent. Thank you very much. It's on Kindle too. :thanks:
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Re: Info and reading

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:31 pm

I think it really depends on what you are like, there are alot of different ways to read about Dharma.

The book that did it for me is Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Trungpa Rinpoche, while it is not a structured book on Buddhist teaching exactly, for me it really got to the heart of things, and I feel like reading it gave me a perspective by which I could judge the appropriateness of other material for myself, and eventually pick out a Sangha etc., for me it really helped frame and clarify the entire question of what I was interested in Buddhism in the first place. Meditation in Action is also wonderful and deals if I recall with a bit more structure in terms of what Buddhist concepts it covers.

So that's a my pick on a personal level, but really I think they are not great picks for many new people. Truly the TNH book covers all the "basics" in a plain-language way, with some really excellent analogies I haven't seen before, which is not what Cutting Through does at all really..so it depends on what kind of message appeals to someone. I am a loud weirdo coming from a certain point of view, I am more attracted to "crazy wisdom" than I am to the quieter, more stoic-seeming flavor of Buddhist expression.. so what speaks to me may not be what speaks to others, I also tend towards "big picture" stuff rather than well-organized discourses.

Honestly for introductory stuff there is also alot of good material available online if you are willing to search, Buddhanet's e-library for instance has a bunch of PDF's that are great.

http://www.buddhanet.net/ebooks.htm

I've also heard great things about DPR's book, though haven't read it myself.
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Re: Info and reading

Postby Nosta » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:36 pm

The link provided by Johny Dangerous is very useful. There you can find the following ebooks:
a) Noble EightFold Path and the 4 Noble Truths:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/noble8path6.pdf
That ebook is very good and explains in a precise way the NobleEightFold Path

b) Some ebooks on meditation:
A question-answer ebook:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/livngmed.pdf

An ebook on compassion meditation. Without compassion, all the practice is useless.
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/allmetta.pdf

Two ebook with basic exercises:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/mahasit1.pdf
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/breathmind.pdf

A very complete ebook about Vipassana Meditation, very useful:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/essentials.pdf
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Re: Info and reading

Postby gordtheseeker » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:44 pm

Excellent stuff guys. Thank you.

I am just finishing up Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. It was a wonderful intro for me into Buddhist thought. I don't know if it's a beginner's book. Either way I enjoyed it. :)

Rebel Buddha sounds great and I will eventually grab the TNH book too.

:thanks:
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Re: Info and reading

Postby mandala » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:59 pm

The book that started my journey into Buddhism was HH Dalai Lama's "The Art of Happiness" - it's a great book for beginners, I'd recommend it to anyone!
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Re: Info and reading

Postby Konchog1 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:59 pm

What Makes You Not a Buddhist
What the Buddha Taught
How To Practice: The Way To A Meaningful Life

Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand for Tibetan Buddhism
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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