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Dhamma Reading

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Traditional Authors

BurmaSagain Steven (96) copy

The Word of the Buddha Author:  Venerable Nyanatiloka Mahathera
The first strictly systematic exposition of all the main tenets of Buddhism as found in the Sutta Pitaka.

The Great Discourse on the Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma
Author:  Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw
Mahasi Sayadaw’s global treatise on some of the main teachings of the Buddha.

In This Very Life
Author:  Venerable Sayadaw U Pandita
Sayadaw U Pandita’s teachings on achieving enlightenment in the present life.

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness
Author:  Venerable Sayadaw U Silananda
A discussion of the four foci of mindfulness.


The Dhammapada
Author:  translated by Venerable Balangoda Ananda Maitreya
Often considered the most representative example of the Buddha’s teachings, and a key to the fundamentals of early Buddhist philosophy.

In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon
Author:  Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi
The American scholar-monk Bhikkhu Bodhi here presents selected discourses of the Buddha from the Pali Canon, the earliest record of what the Buddha taught. A concise, informative introduction precedes each chapter, guiding the reader toward a deeper understanding of the texts that follow.


Contemporary Authors


The Issue at Hand Author:
Gil Fronsdal A very approachable book of short essays on various aspects of practice.

A Heart Full of Peace
Author:  Joseph Goldstein

Insight Meditation- The Practice of Freedom
Author:  Joseph Goldstein

Living Meditation, Living Insight
Author:  Dr. Thynn Thynn
Discusses mindfulness in daily life; very useful for life “off the cushion.”

Mindfulness in Plain English
Author:  Venerable Henepola Gunaratana
A very practical exposition on the practice of Buddhist Meditation.


The Best Buddhist Writing
An annual collection on a variety of subjects by authors ranging from Thich Nhat Hanh to Natalie Goldberg.

How Can I Help
Author:  Ram Dass and Paul Gorman
Deals with practical aspects related to service.

Knee Deep in Grace: The Extraordinary Life and Teaching of Dipa Ma
Author:  Amy Schmidt
Wonderfully inspiring book for us ordinary people who want to practice within the householder/home life.


Online Resources



Dictionary of Buddhism
Author:  Damian Keown
Scholarly dictionary of Buddhist terminology.

A Pali English Glossary of Buddhist Technical Terms
Author:  Compiled by Venerable Bhikkhu Nanamoli
A dictionary of translation from Pali to English; it does not cover English to Pali.

On the Lighter Side

Buddhism for Dummies
Author:  Joseph Landaw and Stephan Bodian
Good, quick, cursory snapshots.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Mindfulness
Author:  Anne Ihnen and Carolyn Flynn