Books to Support Your Practice

Books to Support Your Practice

A member of our weekly meditation group asked for book recommendations to support her practice, so I compiled a list of some of my favorite books on Buddhism, meditation, and contemplative practice. Here it is:

Books by monastic scholar-practitioners:

Books by Western lay teachers:

  • My abiding favorite book on meditation is Jack Kornfield‘s A Path With Heart. Its broad scope and accessible wisdom make is appropriate for practitioners at all phases of practice. Jack is a rare bird, my most influential teacher, and his books are a gift.
  • Gil Fronsdal, a remarkable teacher with a background in both Zen and Theravada, wrote a lovely little volume of essays covering various aspects of mindfulness practice called The Issue at Hand
  • Phillip Moffitt‘s Dancing With Life is a thoughtful and nuanced contemporary treatment of the four noble truths, the one teaching central to all sects of Buddhism.
  • Joseph Goldstein‘s Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening is an incredible book — an extended commentary on the Satipatthana Sutta inspired by his close reading of Analayo’s Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization (see above).
  • My new favorite is by Culadasa, a neuroscientist and meditation teacher with a long history of both Tibetan and Theravadin practice. His book The Mind Illuminated describes meditation in ten classical stages, with wonderfully lucid explanations of how the mind works.

Next on my list: