Since mid-2011, I really began to become more earnest in reading about Buddhism and meditation, though I had been curious about it and occasionally dipped a toe in here or there a handful of times before. As with psychology, I had spent many years resisting and rejecting it because of early negative experiences.
Regardless, I found my way there, first through one of Sharon Salzberg’s books, A Heart as Wide as the World. Though I am still very much at the beginning of what I think will be a much longer journey with Buddhism, I thought I’d write down some of the books that I’ve been reading and have kept off my main reading list, by and large.
I joke with my friends that I often have to go through an intense research phase whenever I take on a new project, a new stage of life, or a new anything. So my somewhat voracious appetite for books on this subject is reflected in this list, given that I’ve been exploring this for such a relatively short period of time. I’m still reading a handful of these as I type this.
• Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, Pema Chödrön (This is the one I’ll likely keep on my nightstand for a long time.)
• A Beginner’s Guide to Tibetan Buddhism: Notes from a Practitioner’s Journey, Bruce Newman (Bought this after skimming it on a break during a workshop at Tibet House in New York.)
• A Heart as Wide as the World, Sharon Salzberg (The first book that helped, after a lot of dabbling, begin to sink into the idea of this practice.)
• Buddha, Karen Armstrong
• Faith, Sharon Salzberg
• Insight Meditation, Joseph Goldstein
• Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, Sharon Salzberg
• Meditation in Action, Chogyam Trungpa (I have the pocket edition of this and I love it.)
• Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha, Tara Brach (Sometimes hers claims of epiphanies and success seem a little overzealous, but the meditations and the ideas themselves were really great, I found.)
• Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation, Sharon Salzberg
• Teachings of the Buddha, edited by Jack Kornfield
• True Love, Thich Nhat Hanh