Sup /lit/, I'm in the mood for reading something buddhist.
I was looking for something contemporary and simple, but not too washed out. Have any of you read Dalai Lama's books? What about Dzongsar Rinpoche? Any other good literature by monks?
There are so many and the titles are just so vague I don't know where to start.
I'm initiated in buddhism though, so literature that would dwelve more deeply into the precepts and the history of buddhism would be nice.
Otherwise, general buddhist literature thread, talk about your favourite sutras and so on.
Zen Flesh, Zen Bones is an amazing collection if you're interested in the Zen aspect of Buddhism.
I've read one of Dalai Lama's books and was not very impressed. It struck me as one of those spiritual self-help books that middle aged women read.
The Dhammapada is essential obviously, and actually a good read at that. The Heart Sutra and the Diamond Sutra are fantastic as well.
Taranatha is the key source of Indian Buddhist history from within Buddhism itself and is the historical authority within Tibetan Buddhism. I have not read much of this text but I am more or less aware of it and its general importance to Buddhist history.
I find the essays published by Bhikkhu Bodhi on the access to insight website to be quite insightful as his writings are a good balance between being philosophically engaging without abandoning the fundamental religious message that Buddhism seeks to convey. His essay on the Buddha, Arhat and Bodhisattva is quite interesting to read as well as his essay on Transcendental Dependent arising.
I will link you to his page on the website as I find that they are very enjoyable to read and easily accessible. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/
If you are more interested in the Philosophical aspect of Buddhism I suggest Nagarjuna's Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way by translated by Jay Garfield as his commentary is written with a student of philosophy in mind but is by no means a watering down of the text.
If you enjoy Tibetan Buddhism John Powers Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism is a fantastic text that covers the entirety of Tibetan Historical and Religious development beginning with the Buddhism in India.
These are just some broad suggestions for texts that I have found enjoyable and insightful in the past.
My favourite sutra is the Vimalakirti Sutra.
>I find the essays published by Bhikkhu Bodhi on the access to insight website to be quite insightful as his writings are a good balance between being philosophically engaging without abandoning the fundamental religious message that Buddhism seeks to convey. His essay on the Buddha, Arhat and Bodhisattva is quite interesting to read as well as his essay on Transcendental Dependent arising.
I read, "In the Buddha's Words" and I would highly recommend it.
Thanks for all your recommendations, I'm looking into that website right now. I've read a bit of Nagarjuna's book translated by Garfield before and it was fantastiic. While the whole thing was very interesting I feel that I'm missing more basic buddhist stuff before I continue reading it, not because I don't comprehend it, but because I feel I can take so much more off of it.