Top 10 Best Books to Read in Theravada Buddhism - August 2021

Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Theravada Buddhism. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.

1. Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations to Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health, and Find Peace in the Everyday

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Theravada Buddhism - August 2021

Calm the mind and find peace with these simple mindfulness meditations Mindfulness is an evidence-based method for reducing stress, enhancing resilience, and maintaining mental well-being. Even short meditations can turn a bad day around, ground us in the present moment, and help us approach life with gratitude and kindness. Practicing Mindfulness was created by the founder of One Mind Dharma. He developed these 75 essential exercises to offer practical guidance for anyone who wants to realize the benefits of mindful meditation. This includes expert advice on dealing with distorted or wandering thoughts and how to handle mental blocks. Early meditations in Practicing Mindfulness take just 5 minutes and are highly accessible. As they progress, exercises grow with the reader, building on previous lessons to develop a transformative mindfulness practice. With meditations designed for specific situations or emotions, even experienced practitioners will have a continuing resource for mindfulness at every moment. Begin a journey of peace and patience today on the path to a calmer, more balanced life with Practicing Mindfulness .

  • Author: Matthew Sockolov
  • Publisher: Althea Press (September 11, 2018)
  • Genre: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Alternative Medicine
  • ISBN: 978-1641521710
  • Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.7 x 8.1 inches


2. What the Buddha Taught: Revised and Expanded Edition with Texts from Suttas and Dhammapada

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Theravada Buddhism - August 2021

“A terrific introduction to the Buddha’s teachings.” —Paul Blairon, California Literary Review   This indispensable volume is a lucid and faithful account of the Buddha’s teachings. “For years,” says the Journal of the Buddhist Society , “the newcomer to Buddhism has lacked a simple and reliable introduction to the complexities of the subject. Dr. Rahula’s What the Buddha Taught fills the need as only could be done by one having a firm grasp of the vast material to be sifted. It is a model of what a book should be that is addressed first of all to ‘the educated and intelligent reader.’ Authoritative and clear, logical and sober, this study is as comprehensive as it is masterly.”   This edition contains a selection of illustrative texts from the Suttas and the Dhammapada (specially translated by the author), sixteen illustrations, and a bibliography, glossary, and index.   “Rahula’s succinct, clear overview of Buddhist concepts has never been surpassed. It is the standard.” — Library Journal

  • Author: Walpola Rahula
  • Publisher: Grove Press; Revised ed. edition (December 1, 2007)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Religion & Spirituality


3. Mindfulness in Plain English

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Theravada Buddhism - August 2021

“A masterpiece.” —Jon Kabat-Zinn Mindfulness in Plain English  was first published in 1994, is one of the bestselling — and most influential — books in the field of mindfulness. It’s easy to see why. Author Bhante Gunaratana, a renowned meditation master, takes us  step by step through the myths, realities, and benefits of meditation and the practice of mindfulness.  The book showcases Bhante’s trademark clarity and wit as he explores the tool of meditation, what it does, and how to make it work.   This book is: A best-selling introduction to mindfulness Full of practical advice on developing a meditation practice Written in approachable, clear language Containing chapters on loving-kindness and concentration   The reader can gain deeper understanding, inner peace, and clarity through meditation practice with the thoughtful guidance of this classic book. Written for those without any meditation background, but also an essential handbook for established students, Mindfulness in Plain English is a must-have for anyone exploring the benefits of Buddhist meditation. This expanded edition includes the complete text of its predecessor along with a new chapter on cultivating loving kindness, an especially important topic in today’s world. For anyone who is new to meditation, this is a great resource for learning how to live a more productive and peaceful life. “The ‘you’ that goes in one side of the meditation experience is not the same ‘you’ that comes out the other side.” —Bhante Gunaratana in Mindfulness in Plain English

  • Author: Bhante Gunaratana
  • Genre: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Alternative Medicine


4. In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon (The Teachings of the Buddha)

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Theravada Buddhism - August 2021

This landmark collection is the definitive introduction to the Buddha's teachings - in his own words. The American scholar-monk Bhikkhu Bodhi, whose voluminous translations have won widespread acclaim, here presents selected discourses of the Buddha from the Pali Canon, the earliest record of what the Buddha taught. Divided into ten thematic chapters,  In the Buddha's Words  reveals the full scope of the Buddha's discourses, from family life and marriage to renunciation and the path of insight. A concise, informative introduction precedes each chapter, guiding the reader toward a deeper understanding of the texts that follow. This book contains: Clear translations of the Buddha’s original teachings Thoughtfully curated selections from the Pali Canon Chapters on the Buddha’s life, rebirth, suffering, liberation, and practice A foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama In the Buddha's Words  allows even readers unacquainted with Buddhism to grasp the significance of the Buddha's contributions to our world heritage. Taken as a whole, these texts bear eloquent testimony to the breadth and intelligence of the Buddha's teachings, and point the way to an ancient yet ever-vital path. Practitioners and scholars alike will find this systematic presentation indispensable. Dive into the world of the Buddha through these easy-to-read English translations of the Pali Canon. The Pali Canon is the literary, intellectual, and spiritual foundation of Theravada Buddhism. This volume, being organized in a progressive manner "from the simple to the difficult, from the elementary to the profound," makes it well-suited for those looking for an accessible introduction to the Theravadin scriptural corpus, as well as being a valuable resource for those familiar with the Pali Canon but wanting a more structured presentation of the materials.

  • Author: Bhikkhu Bodhi
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications; Fifth Printing edition (July 28, 2005)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, World Literature
  • ISBN: 978-0861714919
  • Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches


5. Practice After Stream Entry

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Theravada Buddhism - August 2021

Along the Buddhist path, there is a distinct transition called stream entry, at which point a practitioner is said to be assured of reaching full Awakening. Stream entry comes when a person has sufficient experiential understanding of the teachings to bring about an irreversible change of view. A stream-enterer has gained certain qualities of mind and abandoned certain incorrect ways of seeing. What does practice look like after stream entry? How does it differ from practice before this transition? Supported by many references to the Pāli Canon, this book describes the change called “entering the stream,” then draws out various means of walking the path to reach full Awakening. Kim Allen provides both a rigorous analysis and an inspired vision of practice after stream entry.

  • Author: Kim Allen
  • Publisher: Uncontrived Publications (July 2, 2021)
  • Genre: Religion & Spirituality, Buddhism
  • ISBN: 978-1737272007
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.12 x 8.5 inches


6. The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Theravada Buddhism - August 2021

This book offers a complete translation of the Majjhima Nikāya , or Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha , one of the major collections of texts in the Pāli Canon, the authorised scriptures of Theravada Buddhism. This collection - among the oldest records of the historical Buddha's original teachings - consists of 152 suttas or discourses of middle length, distinguished as such from the longer and shorter suttas of the other collections.  The Majjhima Nikaya might be concisely described as the Buddhist scripture that combines the richest variety of contextual settings with the deepest and most comprehensive assortment of teachings. These teachings, which range from basic ethics to instructions in meditation and liberating insight, unfold in a fascinating procession of scenarios that show the Buddha in living dialogue with people from many different strata of ancient Indian society: with kings and princes, priests and ascetics, simple villagers and erudite philosophers. Replete with drama, reasoned argument, and illuminating parable and simile, these discourses exhibit the Buddha in the full glory of his resplendent wisdom, majestic sublimity and compassionate humanity.  The translation is based on an original draft translation left by the English scholar-monk Bhikkhu Ñānamoli, which has been edited and revised by the American monk Bhikkhu Bodhi, who provides a long introduction and helpful explanatory notes. Combining lucidity of expression with accuracy, this translation enables the Buddha to speak across 25 centuries in language that addresses the most pressing concerns of the contemporary listener seeking clarification of the timeless issues of truth, value and the proper conduct of life. Winner of the 1995 Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Book Award and the Tricycle Prize for Excellence in Buddhist Publishing for Dharma Discourse.

  • Author: Bhikkhu Ñānamoli
  • Genre: Religion & Spirituality, Buddhism, Zen, Spirituality


7. Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Theravada Buddhism - August 2021

Throughout our lives we long to love ourselves more deeply and find a greater sense of connection with others. Our fear of intimacy—both with others and with ourselves—creates feelings of pain and longing. But these feelings can awaken in us the desire for freedom and the willingness to take up the spiritual path. In this inspiring book, Sharon Salzberg, one of America's leading spiritual teachers, shows us how the Buddhist path of lovingkindness can help us discover the radiant, joyful heart within each of us. This practice of lovingkindness is revolutionary because it has the power to radically change our lives, helping us cultivate true happiness in ourselves and genuine compassion for others. The author draws on simple Buddhist teachings, wisdom stories from various traditions, guided meditation practices, and her own experience from twenty-five years of practice and teaching to illustrate how each one of us can cultivate love, compassion, joy, and equanimity.

  • Author: Sharon Salzberg
  • Publisher: Shambhala (February 4, 2020)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Religion & Spirituality


8. The Experience of Insight: A Simple and Direct Guide to Buddhist Meditation

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Theravada Buddhism - August 2021

This modern spiritual classic, presented as a 30-day meditation retreat taught by Joseph Goldstein, offers timeless practical instructions and real-world advice for practicing meditation - whether walking or sitting in formal practice or engaging in everyday life.  Goldstein - a beloved and respected meditation teacher who studied for many years under the guidance of eminent Buddhist teachers from India, Tibet, and Burma - uses the retreat format to explain various basic Buddhist teachings including karma, selflessness, and the four noble truths, while also drawing connections to many different spiritual traditions.  With a new preface reflecting on how the conversation around meditation has changed over the last 40 years, this book is the perfect companion for both experienced practitioners and those looking to get into meditation for the first time.

  • Author: Joseph Goldstein
  • Genre: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Alternative Medicine, Meditation


9. Modern Buddhism: Buddha's Ancient Teachings For The Modern Person

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Theravada Buddhism - August 2021

To understand the words of the Buddha, they must be explained by one who has experienced his path. From the very first chapter, we begin to dispel the misunderstandings that have surrounded the words of the Buddha. We come to understand the origins of unhappiness that have taken root in the body. Freeing ourselves from these roots, we are able to find peace. Although the words on the Buddha are easily mistaken, Devean gives us an extraordinary explanation for the modern person. The essence of the Buddha's path to enlightenment suited for the plights of the modern world. Modern Buddhism is unlike other Buddhist books. While others theorize and argue over the meaning of the words academically, Devean provides you with the meaning behind the words.

  • Author: Devean Chase
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Religion & Spirituality


10. The Buddhist Cleanse: The 1-Day Spiritual Detox

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Theravada Buddhism - August 2021

"Detox Your Life Like a Monk in 24 Hours" As a Buddhist monk and psychotherapist with over 10 years of experience in the mental health field, Nick Keomahavong has packaged ancient wisdom into a simple, relatable, and—above all—practical guide to shift your life in 24 hours. Whether you are looking to deepen your existing spiritual practice, break out of the monotony of a stale, daily routine, or undergo a full-on life-reset, the Buddhist Cleanse will help you instigate the change you seek. Flush your old patterns. Slow down for 24 hours. Discover balance. Make space for the life you want to live but can’t find time for. Based on a Buddhist framework that remains as relevant and effective today as it was when it was first practiced 2,500+ years ago, the 1-Day Spiritual Detox will walk you through the steps to jumpstart the process of change in your life. But don't take our word for it, come try it and see for yourself.

  • Author: Nick Keomahavong
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Religion & Spirituality