The sangha’s board members are recommending books they’ve found helpful in their practice, and have come up with a range of diverse choices, from books helpful to beginners on the path to deeper teachings by both classic and contemporary teachers and authors. We will feature books chosen by BSBC board members almost every week throughout the autumn.
Our second round of books are three choices by Dave Clark. He is recommending
- The Everything Buddhism Book: Learn the Ancient Traditions and Apply Them to Modern Life, by Jacky Sach,
- Loving-Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, by Sharon Salzberg
- Dancing With Life: Buddhist Insights For Finding Meaning in Joy in the Face of Suffering, by Phillip Moffitt.
About The Everything Buddhism Book, Dave writes: “This book series is actually very accessible, and unlike the “Dummies” counterpart, the title doesn’t belittle the reader. It’s very comprehensive and gives a very good overview of complicated Buddhist concepts, the life of the Buddha, and an introduction to all of the traditions and lineages. It’s not an intimidating tome, and yet extremely resourceful and informative. I’d recommend this to anyone who was brand new to Buddhism.”
About Loving-Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, he writes: “I’m certain that it will come to no surprise that this book is on my list. This has to be one of the most influential books of my entire life. It has changed the way I see the world, and the way I see myself. This book saved my life. Through it I have cultivated great compassion for all sentient beings, and most importantly improved my own sense of self-compassion.”
And about Dancing With Life: Buddhist Insights For Finding Meaning in Joy in the Face of Suffering, he writes: “This book surprised me immensely. It was part a book designated by our reading group, and I’m grateful for the introduction. I plan to read this once every year. It delves into the Four Noble Truths through the Twelve Insights, and it eloquently explains parts of my practice that I felt but previously could not explain. It has everything. There are detailed explanations of what it means to penetrate suffering through it’s cessation. It explains the Noble Eight Fold Path, and The Four Foundations of Mindfulness. It’s a brilliant book and it can be read again, and again, and again.”
Dancing With Life was also one of Janet’s choices. About it, she writes: “Dancing With Life is an excellent introduction to the Four Noble Truths. The author points out that they are often referenced and quickly passed over, as if they can be readily understood. He goes back to the original teachings to lift up the twelve insights that are part of the teaching, three for each of the Fourth Truths. The book presents clear information and more importantly, it explains the ways in which we need to come to terms with what the truth reveals through meditation and contemplation. Without deeper understanding, ability to repeat the words will not open the teachings and provide the freedom the Four Noble Truths have to offer.”
THESE BOOKS ARE NOW IN CIRCULATION IN OUR LIBRARY. We’ll feature more books next week, and look forward to including more than 20 others before we’re done. So please remember to visit the sangha’s library shelves—it’s wonderful when we can talk to each other about the books we’ve read!