Silas Day’s Booklist

This is an incomplete list of books for people of any skill level. I have found these handy in expanding my horizons both philosophically and in meditation practice.

Keep an eye out for book reviews that will dig deeper into individual books.

Beginner

  • Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
  • The Book by Alan Watts
  • Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
  • Way of Zen by Alan Watts
  • Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana
  • Direct Pointing To Reality by Anne Bancroft
  • Buddhism Plain & Simple by Steve Hagen
  • Zen For Americans by D.T. Suzuki
  • Zen Bridge by Keido Fukushima
  • Effortless Living by Jason Gregory
  • Advice Not Given by Mark Epstein
  • The Art of Happiness by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  • The Noble Eightfold Path by Bhikku Bodhi
  • Living Buddha Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Dhammapada
  • Huston Smith’s: The World’s Religions
  • You Are Here by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Being Nobody, Going Nowhere by Ayya Khema
  • 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson
  • Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris
  • Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Diamond Mind and the Psychology of Meditation by Rob Nairn
  • Seeds by Thomas Merton
  • What is Zen? by Norman Fischer
  • True Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Grist for the Mill by Ram Dass
  • Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
  • Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff
  • Psychotherapy East and West by Alan Watts
  • Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts
  • A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield
  • Practical Insight Meditation by Mahasi Sayadaw
  • Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa
  • Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom by Joseph Goldstein
  • The Path Is the Goal: A Basic Handbook of Buddhist Meditation by Chogyam Trungpa
  • The Path of Serenity and Insight by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
  • Teachings of Ramana Maharshi

Adept

  • The Essential Dogen: Writings of the Great Zen Master
  • Being-Time: A Guide to Shobogenzo by Shinshu Roberts
  • The Middle Way by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  • What is Sangha? by Sangharakshita
  • Stilling the Mind by Alan Wallace
  • Fathoming the Mind by Alan Wallace
  • The Life of Milarepa
  • The Science of Self Realization by A. C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
  • Upanishads
  • Bhagavadgita
  • Narrow Road to the Interior by Matsuo Bashō
  • The Tantra Tradition by Agehananda Bharati
  • The Ramayana
  • The Gospel According to Zen
  • Hoofprints of the Ox by Sheng Yen
  • Buddhist Wisdom Books: Containing the Diamond and the Heart Sutra
  • Garden Chrysanthemums and First Mountain Snow by Ian Haight
  • The Tibetan Yoga of Dreams and Sleep by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
  • A Flower Does Not Talk by Zenkei Shibayam
  • Mudra by Chogam Trungpa
  • The Art of Living Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S.N. Goenka by William Hart
  • The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Tibetan Book of the Dead translated by Robert A.F. Thurman
  • Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
  • Ponder On This by Alice Bailey
  • The Mind Illuminated by John Yates
  • Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha: An Unusually Hardcore Dharma Book by Daniel Ingram
  • After the Ecstasy, the Laundry by Jack Kornfield
  • In This Very Life by Sayadaw U. Pandita
  • Indestructible Truth by Reginald A. Ray
  • Secret of the Vajra World by Reginald A. Ray
  • Living Dharma edited by Jack Kornfield
  • The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha translated by Bikkhu Nanamoli and Bikkhu Bodhi
  • Path to Deliverance by Nyanatiloka
  • The Path of Serenity and Insight by Henepola Gunaratana
  • Insight Meditation: Practical Steps to Ultimate Truth by Achan Sobin S. Namto
  • A Still Forest Pool: The Insight Meditation of Achaan Chah compiled and edited by Jack Kornfield and Paul Breiter
  • The Progress of Insight by Mahasi Sayadaw
  • Psychology and Alchemy: the Collected Works of C.G. Jung
  • Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition by Frances A. Yates
  • Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightenment by Pabongka Rinpoche
  • Clarifying the Natural State: A Principal Guidance Manual for Mahamudra by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal
  • Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness (Shambhala Library) by Chogyam Trungpa
  • Natural Liberation: Padmasambhava’s Teachings on the Six Bardos by Padmasambhava
  • Right Concentration: A Practical Guide to the Jhanas by Leigh Brasington
  • Avadhuta Gita

Advanced

  • The Land Of Bliss/Sukhavativyuha Sutra
  • The Platform Sutra
  • Shobogenzo by Dogen
  • Mumonkan
  • The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way/Mulamadhyamakakarika by Nagarjuna
  • The Vajra Essence by Dudjom Lingpa
  • The Lotus Sutra by Gene Reeves
  • Naked Awareness by Gyatrul Rinpoche
  • Practical Ethics and Profound Emptiness by Khensur Jampa Tegchok and Thubten Chodron
  • Bodhicaryavatara Shantideva
  • In the Light of Self: Adi Shankara and the Yoga of Non-Dualism
  • The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali translated by Chip Hartranft
  • Zen Comments on Mumonkan by Zenkei Shibayama
  • Zen and the Brain by James H. Austin
  • Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana by Shaila Catherine
  • The Path of Purification (Visuddhimagga) translated by Bhikkhu Ñanamoli
  • The Path of Freedom (Vimuttimagga) translated by Rev. N.R.M. Ehara, Soma Thera and Kheminda Thera
  • Buddhist Meditation in Theory and Practice by Paravahera Vajirana Mahathera
  • Moon In a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen
  • Light of Wisdom, Vol. 1 by Padmasambhava
  • Light of Wisdom, Volume II: A Collection of Padmasambhava’s Advice to the Dakini Yeshe Togyal and Other Close Disciples
  • Light of Wisdom, Volume III: Teachings on the Secret Empowerment by Padmasambhava
  • Finding Rest in the Nature of the Mind: Trilogy of Rest, Volume 1-3 by Longchenpa
  • Buddhahood without Meditation (Dudjom Lingpa’s Visions of the Great Perfection) by Dudjom Lingpa
  • Heart of the Great Perfection: Dudjom Lingpa’s Visions of the Great Perfection
  • A Spacious Path to Freedom: Practical Instructions on the Union of Mahamudra and Atiyoga by Karma Chagme

Join the Conversation

14 Comments

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  2. Good morning Silas. My name is Victoria, I have begun your 30 days course on insight timer. I am currently on day 9 and have found that despite listening to each day twice, I am not absorbing the four noble truths nor the eight fold path to my satisfaction. So I am trying to find the best book the read in conjunction with your wonderful course. Your beginners book list is long, would you be able to direct me to one or two that delve into these essential lessons? I appreciate any direction you may offer. Victoria

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  5. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!|

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