Favorite Dharma reading as recommended by members of our Sangha
If you have a favourite Dharma read that you would like to recommend please send a pic and a few words using this link. firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Sailing the Worldly Winds’ by Vajragupta
recommended by Wendie Alexander
This small, novella sized book gives the impression it’s just a quick and easy read but it actually has real depth and insight into the Dharma, the teachings of the Buddha.
The sheer density of information packed into this little read provides a real framework for Dharmic practice, giving us a chance to reflect on our lives in a kind and compassionate way. The book reveals to us how we can recognise the worldly winds in our daily life. Guidance on how to distinguish between control and influence, and find awareness of the narratives we tell ourselves. How to use the worldly winds as opportunities called Dharma doors.
This publication also provides chapters on Western consumerism, the inner work of meditation and deepening our perspective when our world changes, which it inevitably will. The reader is given guidance on how to sidestep the coerciveness of Western culture and help to move away from thinking that we need more than we really do.
This little pocket-sized companion is a real boon to anyone’s Dharma study and many of the chapters provide instruction on reflection, providing ways to really further our spiritual life and aid self-development.
Sailing the Worldly Winds from Windhorse publications
‘The Myth of Meditation’ by Paramananda
recommended by Liz Farthing
Restoring imaginal ground through embodied Buddhist Practice
In his latest book The Myth of Meditation, Paramananda grounds us in the felt sense, connecting us to the earth through meditation. He encourages us to turn towards our experience with kindly awareness and leads us to see through to a new way of understanding and being in the world.
If you are interested in exploring your inner world this amazing book leads you into a flow of experience with a poetic approach to practise. I found it deeply engaging and empowering. Paramananda puts us in touch with ourselves in an exciting and dynamic way which offers us the opportunity for evolving and positive change.
The Myth of Meditation by Paramananda from Windhorse publications
‘Challenging Times’ by Vishvapani
recommended by Barbara
A selection of moving accounts of life experiences in which ‘ordinary’ people find support from their Buddhist practice.
Facing illness or chronic pain, meditating at Auschwitz, coming to terms with Alzheimer’s, forgiving a sister’s murderer: these powerful stories of courage and hard-earned wisdom show the rewards of opening our hearts when things get really tough.
Ordinary people from all walks of life and experienced teachers share what happened when they followed the Buddha’s advice to turn towards their experience instead of running away from it. These intimate accounts of personal transformation show how we can find joy, forgiveness, and compassion in extreme circumstances and in the struggles of daily life.
‘Dipa Ma’ by Amy Schmidt
recommended by Lisa
This is a biography of a remarkable woman known as Dipa Ma. In her lifetime she was seen as a great spiritual master and someone who reached profound levels of meditation, practice and insight. The biography goes into her early life, the hardships she encountered and tragedies that befell her but despite these setbacks she had an absolute determination to learn the dharma and to practice. Not only that but she achieved all this in the midst of raising a family on her own, encountering hardships, ill health and all sorts of setbacks.
This book has had a quite an effect on me since I read it, I often think of it and it inspires my practice to this day. Dipa Ma had an uncompromising approach to practice and she shows us that even in the midst of less than favourable conditions we just need to do it, to practice and to keep going. I find her story hugely inspiring and motivating. The biography is a collection of reminiscences from her students and those that knew her and from them one gets a sense of this amazing being.
Dhammapada ‘The Way of the Truth’ translated by Sangharakshita
Recommended by Eric
It was Luke, (who helped me along the Dharma path), who gave me my copy of this classic Buddhist text. I am not a great reader and often find the reading required for Dharma study a bit of a chore as well as a delight. The beauty of the Dhammapada is in its simplicity and in its brevity. Whole teachings are captured in single paragraphs which stand alone or combine with others in each chapter to provide source for reflection, guidance and insight.
If you are ever in need of inspiration, try turning to this book.
The Essential Sangharakshita
recommended by Andy
There is such a vast array of Buddhist Teachings I often wonder where to start? How do I make sense of it all?
Sangharakshita, our movement’s founder clearly understood these questions when he founded what was to become the Triratna Buddhist Order and began presenting the traditional teachings of Dharma to his largely western and secular students.This Essential Sangharakshita for me captures the core of those teachings and his style of explaining the traditional, mythical, emotional and sometimes magical into our modern, rational and secular understandings and cultures.
This book has unquestionably improved my Mitra study as well as my general goal of deepening my practice and self development. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to learn about the Dharma.
The Windhorse Colouring Book
recommended by Ruth
“If you ever wished that you could colour your way to Enlightenment, this is the book for you!” The Windhorse Colouring Book contains a series of line drawings by artist Aloka with the accompanying words by local Dharmacharini Dhammapattiya.
Whether you opt for felt tip pens, pencils or crayons, this book is a great way to creatively explore the mythical aspect of Buddhism while learning about the symbolism associated with these archetypal figures. For me, it has opened up the imaginal realm and given me an opportunity to learn about the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas while also being a great way to relax and destress after a busy day at work!”
The Breath by Vessantara
Recommended by Sheena
Vessantara is one of my favourite Triratna authors. His relaxed writing style is very easy to read.
The Breath is a short introduction to the Mindfulness of Breathing.
Vessantara begins with exercises exploring the breath, before introducing the four stages of the Mindfulness practice.
Having covered the basics, he then goes on to explore setting up a regular meditation practice, how to work with some common issues that arise such as working with energy and maintaining interest in our practice, and encourages us to take “awareness mini-breaks”. He finishes with a look at some of the wider benefits of a regular mediation practice.
Although basically a beginner’s book, I still find it helpful at those times when I struggle with my meditation.
And if you find The Breath helpful, you may interested in The Body, Vessantara’s book on the Metta Bhavana.
You will find The Breath in the IBC Bookshop or from Windhorse Publications