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Here I’ll build a reading list for beginners to Buddhism, based in the convert Theravāda lineage known as Insight Meditation. [Entries are placeholders for now, and we’ll format them into a proper reading list asap.]
Jack Kornfield, The Wise Heart
— Bringing Home the Dharma
Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance
Phillip Moffitt, Dancing with Life
Gil Fronsdal, The Issue at Hand
Sharon Salzburg, Loving-Kindness
Christina Feldman, Boundless Heart
Shaila Catherine, Focused and Fearless
Bhante Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English
Larry Rosenberg, Breath by Breath
B. Alan Wallace, The Attention Revolution
Ajahn Brahm, Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond
Thich Nhat Hanh, Old Path, White Clouds
Sherab Chodzin Kohn, A Life of the Buddha
Paul Williams & Anthony Tribe, Buddhist Thought
Bhikkhu Bodhi, In the Buddha’s Words
Larry Yang, Awakening Together
Ruth King, Mindful of Race
Angel Kyodo Williams & Lama Rod Owens, Radical Dharma
Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, The Way of Tenderness
Charles Johnson, Taming the Ox
Joanna Macy, Coming Back to Life
Sulak Sivaraksa, Conflict, Culture, Change
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At one time the Buddha was staying near Kosambī in a rosewood forest. Then the Buddha picked up a few rosewood leaves in his hand and addressed the mendicants: “What do you think, mendicants? Which is more: the few leaves in my hand, or those in the forest above me?” “Sir, the few leaves in your hand are a tiny amount. There are far more leaves in the forest above.” “In the same way, there is much more that I have directly known but have not explained to you. What I have explained is a tiny amount. And why haven’t I explained it? Because it’s not beneficial or relevant to the fundamentals of the spiritual life. It doesn’t lead to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment. That’s why I haven’t explained it.
And what have I explained? I have explained: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’.
And why have I explained this? Because it’s beneficial and relevant to the fundamentals of the spiritual life. It leads to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment. That’s why I’ve explained it.