The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby Jikan » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:45 pm

Many of us got to know Buddhism through books first. This is common for people who were not born into Buddhist families. I'd like to know which book may have been the one that inspired you to practice Buddhism, to get out there and find others to practice with.

For myself, I had been aware of Buddhism from my family (my late uncle was the first Buddhist in my family, and my mom had lived in Okinawa...), and I had read some Buddhist materials in classes and at the library, but I didn't really get a fire in me for practice until I'd read Lama Surya Das' book on the eightfold path, Awakening the Buddha Within, in maybe 1997 or so. Reading that book made me want to go out and learn some more, and to practice. I'll always be thankful for it.

(parenthetically I think it's strange that Surya Das comes up so infrequently in discussion here at DW, given how popular his books have been over the years.)

How about you?
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4285
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby Matt J » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:17 pm

Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana. Specifically, the free version online. In addition, "In Search of the Miraculous" by PD Ouspensky.

Through a series of synchronous events, I later took refuge and the lay precepts from Bhante G.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

http://zenanddao.blogspot.com/
User avatar
Matt J
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:29 am

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby justsit » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:24 pm

Oh, easy one. When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. My husband of 17 years had walked out, as a result I'd lost my home and moved where I knew no one, my dog died. I was depressed and desperate. That book saved my life.
User avatar
justsit
 
Posts: 641
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby Motova » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:58 pm

Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism by Lama Anagarika Govinda
Motova
 
Posts: 182
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby padma norbu » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:59 pm

I remember Buddhism Plain & Simple by Steve Hagen presented it in such a sensible way that I became more seriously interested and thus bought more books, so maybe that one.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
User avatar
padma norbu
 
Posts: 2000
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 1:10 am

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:27 pm

Byron's Dhammapada
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
User avatar
Konchog1
 
Posts: 1225
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:30 am

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:30 pm

The book that first got me interested in Buddhism and then Theravada was What the Buddha Taught by Dr. Walpola Rahula (1959):
http://vinaire.files.wordpress.com/2012 ... taught.pdf

And the book that got me interested in Zen and Mahayana was The Three Pillars of Zen by Roshi Kapleau (1965)

I became a Buddhist in 1984. :)
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1608
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:23 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:39 pm

For me the first book about Buddhism was Kapleau's Three Pillars of Zen.

My first book about Vajrayana was Lama Govindas Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism.
"Forget about being clever, and simply remain." Guru Rinpoche, Treasures from Juniper Ridge
ReasonAndRhyme
 
Posts: 246
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 8:33 pm

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:19 pm

Turning The Wheel of Dharma ..whatever translation is in Goddard's A Buddhist Bible, that and Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism pretty much signed me up. Read them many years apart, I picked up A Buddhist Bible at 17 or something, and spent years just reading and rereading that Sutta over and over, it was the one that really spoke to me in the beginning, simple as it is. Years later I read Cutting Through as an adult, and it kind of put two and two together for me in some way.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2144
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:39 pm

The Life of Milarepa.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
JKhedrup
Former staff member
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby WuMing » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:15 pm

The books by Lama Anagarika Govinda.
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai 弘法大師 in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
new translation: Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______________________
Our life is very simple, very direct, very beautiful, very vast and very terrifying, but it is not at all convenient.
- Anzan Hoshin Roshi
User avatar
WuMing
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:13 pm

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby seeker242 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:00 am

First buddhist book was Tibetan Book of the Dead. The Three Pillars of Zen "sealed the deal" so to speak. :smile:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 645
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby Lindama » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:02 am

Introduction to Tantra, Lama Yeshe was the first buddhist book that I ever read. I had it on my nightstand for quite a while before I read it... when I did, he had already spoken to me in dreams tho I didn't know it til I read the book. I have no idea how I came by it, but I never do.
Lindama
 
Posts: 370
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:26 pm

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby Sherab » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:12 am

"The Wisdom of Buddhism" edited by Christmas Humphries.
User avatar
Sherab
 
Posts: 695
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:28 am

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby tomamundsen » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:14 am

Be Here Now by Ram Dass.
User avatar
tomamundsen
 
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:50 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby jeeprs » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:00 am

The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation through Knowing the One Mind ed. W Y Evanz-Wentz, followed soon after by Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind and Way of Zen.
Last edited by jeeprs on Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
He that knows it, knows it not.
User avatar
jeeprs
 
Posts: 1411
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby Karma Dorje » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:01 am

Be Here Now. Later it was Dowman's Sky Dancer and Crystal and the Way of Light by ChNNR.
Karma Dorje
 
Posts: 731
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:35 pm

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby oushi » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:55 am

I got hooked by an article about anatta. In response I went online to buy a book about Buddhism. As I had no idea where to start, I bought a book that appeared at the pot of a search. It was Mumonkan - The Gateless Gate. :tongue:
When I received it, I thought: "so thin..., I will finish it today..."
User avatar
oushi
 
Posts: 1362
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 am
Location: Chrząszczyrzewoszyce

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby Simon E. » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:00 am

I am slightly embarrassed to admit it now :emb: ...and in mitigation it swiftly led to other books and to flesh and blood contacts..but what started me off was Kerouac's 'The Dharma Bums'.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2135
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: The Book that Got You Hooked on Dharma

Postby KonchokZoepa » Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:24 pm

mine was Karma Chagme's mountain dharma vol 1 or Lama Zopa Rinpoche's how to practice Dharma - teaching on the eight worldly dharmas.
KonchokZoepa
 
Posts: 1267
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm

Next

Return to Book Reviews

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

>