There are so many good Buddhist books to read. The list that follows contains just a sampling of those that have been enjoyed by many at Kunzang Palchen Ling.
Books to get started with
Living in Compassion by Bardor Tulku Rinpoche. Besides offering relevant and practical advice on marriage and relationships, Rinpoche gives a complete commentary on The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva, a core mahayana text. Also included: a section on the six perfections, the multifaceted, all-encompassing practices that make up the mahayana path.
This Precious Life: Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on the Path to Enlightenment by Khandro Rinpoche. Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche is one of the premier Buddhist teachers at this time. Her presentation of dharma is always very clear and inspiring. In this book she explains why we must make the most of this precious opportunity, our human life endowed with wonderful freedoms and resources.
The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness by Mingyur Rinpoche. Very accessible and fun to read, Mingyur Rinpoche relates his personal story along with research findings on the benefits of meditation. This serves as an excellent guide to getting started with sitting practice.
The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out by Ogyen Trinley Dorje Karmapa (His Holiness the 17th Karmapa). This book simply teaches one how to be a good human being. It’s perfect for students of any age who want to make this world a better place.
Books that delve deeper into the Tibetan tradition
The Words of My Perfect Teacher: A Complete Translation of a Classic Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by Patrul Rinpoche. If one could take only one book to a deserted island, this should be it. From the beginning of the path up to the apex, this book serves as a comprehensive guide to all stages of the Buddhist path. Filled with engaging stories, The Words of My Perfect Teacher is one of the best-loved books by any serious practitioner.
The Way of the Bodhisattva: (Bodhicaryavatara), Revised Edition (Shambhala Classics) by Shantideva. This is the definitive work on how to become a bodhisattva. This particular translation is very moving in its use of poetic language.
The Life of Milarepa (Penguin Classics) by Tsangnyon Heruka. Translated by Andrew Quintman. From murderer to saint, every practitioner in the Tibetan tradition draws inspiration from the life story of Milarepa. A must-read that relates the keys to authentic spiritual progress: guru devotion and hard work.
Not for Happiness: A Guide to the So-Called Preliminary Practices by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse. An indispensable introduction to the preliminary practices (ngondro). This book gives practical advice and pulls no punches.
The Lotus-Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava by Yeshe Tsogyal. Translated by Erik Pema Kunsang. Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) plays prime spiritual importance to students at Kunzang Palchen Ling. This book is provides a good place to start when wanting to cultivate devotion for Guru Rinpoche as it relates many of his extraordinary deeds and accomplishments.
Books that have special significance for students at Kunzang Palchen Ling
Precious Essence: The Inner Autobiography of Terchen Barway Dorje translated by Yeshe Gyamtso. The life story of Terchen Barway Dorje, the first Bardor Rinpoche. This book relates Terchen Barway Dorje’s experiences and visions. A candid look into the life of a treasure revealer.
Treasury of Eloquence: The Songs of Barway Dorje by Barway Dorje. Translated by Yeshe Gyamtso. This book is filled with profound songs of instruction for students at all levels.
Blazing Splendor: The Memoirs of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. Tulku Urgyen relates stories as told to him by his grandmother and others about life and practice in nineteenth-century eastern Tibet. Much of the book centers around the activity of Jamgon Kongtrul, Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa, and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, all key figures in the type of Buddhism prevalent in Kham and closely connected to Terchen Barway Dorje.
White Lotus: An Explanation of the Seven-line Prayer to Guru Padmasambhava by Jamgon Mipham. Translated by the Padmakara Translation Group. This is a power-packed commentary on one of the best-known prayers of the Tibetan tradition: the Seven-Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche. This short prayer to Guru Rinpoche is the essence of all guru yoga practices. This commentary by Jamgon Mipham explains the outer, inner, secret, and most-secret levels of meaning.
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