Suggested Reading

Books on Buddhism

We are so fortunate in the West to have so many great Buddhist books available for us to read. Over the years I have read many great books from all the three schools of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana (also known as Tibetan Buddhism). Of course there are many books I have yet to read, so I’m sure the list below is a work in progress.

Meanwhile I have composed this list of books based on ones I felt really stood out from the crowd. Most are Buddhist books, but a few are non-Buddhist which I found helped me to understand (and accept) some important Buddhist themes.

I have always found it is best to read intuitively – that the right book will come along at the right time. So here is a list of publications which I think are definitely worth a read and see what jumps out at you.



The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as Taught By S.N. Goenka
by William Hart

This is one of my favorite books to lend to people who are interested in Buddhism. It has wonderful and simple explanations on central Buddhist concepts such as karma, morality and meditation. Each chapter begins with an entertaining or insightful Buddhist story to accentuate the teachings of that chapter, and there are great Q and A’s with S.N.Goenka. I am so attached to this book I have two copies of it at home in case I lose one!

[You can get a copy of this from Amazon in paperback and Kindle]



What The Buddha Taught
by Walpola Rahula

This is one of the first Buddhist books I ever read. It may be a bit too scholarly for some people, especially with its inclusion of many Pali words and footnotes. However, this book is a classic and can answer many questions that people new to Buddhism are likely to have.



mindfulness in plain english

Mindfulness in Plain English
by Bhante Gunaratana

The practice of mindfulness and concentration go hand-in-hand when practising meditation, as one helps to strengthen the other. This book focuses solely on this important topic of mindfulness and clearly explains the difference between mindfulness and concentration. The book is one of the most highly recommended books on this particular subject. I particularly loved the metta meditation at the end (available in their updated and expanded edition). If you’re interested in learning more about the practice of mindfulness, you will find this book very helpful.


In the Buddha's Words

In The Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon
by Bhikkhu Bodhi

If you want to dive right into the Buddha’s teachings and read the actual sutras (discourses) that the Buddha taught to his followers, then you will probably enjoy this book. It is a very substantial book, being 512 pages in length! The sutras are presented in this book in logical order under their appropriate topics, e.g. The Human Condition, Mastering the Mind, etc. However, if you’re completely new to Buddhism, then you might want to read the book recommended above, What The Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula, before reading this one, as What The Buddha Taught reads more like a book than a compilation of sutras, and is therefore much easier to read and follow. I suggest taking a look at the first few pages of both books in Amazon and decide which style seems best for you.


the experience of insight

The Experience of Insight: A Simple and Direct Guide to Buddhist Meditation
by Joseph Goldstein

This is another great book for beginners. Joseph Goldstein leads month-long meditation retreats and this book is a compilation of some of the teachings given during his retreats. It covers the basics of practicing meditation and offers simple explanations and stories illustrating the truth and profundity of the Buddha’s teachings. When I first started learning Vipassana meditation I found this book a wonderful guide for establishing and inspiring my own meditation practice.


the tibetan book of living and dying

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
by Sogyal Rinpoche

This book is a bestseller and when you read it, it is easy to understand why. As the title suggests, this book deals heavily on the concept of death and all the themes relevant to death in the Buddhist sense, such as: karma, rebirth and how to live well to prepare for the inevitable. Sogyal Rinpoche presents this topic in a wonderful, non-threatening way. I particularly found fascinating the detailed descriptions on the post-death experiences. This book is really thought-provoking and enjoyable to read. It would be an indispensable guide for anyone experiencing death or sickness in their lives.


cave in the snow

Cave in the Snow: Tenzin Palmo’s Quest for Enlightenment
by Vicki Mackenzie

This book tells the amazing life story of Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, a Western Buddhist nun who spent 12 years meditating in a cave in the Himalayas. Along with describing her time in the cave, it also tells of her incredible journey in finding Buddhism, her guru and includes snippets of her teachings. This was a best-seller and for good reason – it’s an incredible book!


into the heart of life

Into the Heart of Life
by Tenzin Palmo

The teachings of Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo are direct, profound and practical. Taking some of the most central Buddhist themes of impermanence, karma, faith and renunciation, she shows us how to contemplate them and infuse them into our everyday experience so that we can make great spiritual progress. I cannot praise this book highly enough. If you want to understand what the practice of Buddhism is all about, this book shows the essence of it.


opening the door of your heart

Opening the Door of Your Heart
by Ajahn Brahm

Ajahn Brahm is a Theravadin monk and the abbot of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. He studied under the great meditation teacher, Ajahn Chah. This book is a collection of stories, mostly anecdotal tales from his life that are often extraordinarily funny and full of Buddhist wisdom. Everyone can take away some wisdom (and a sore stomach from laughing) from reading this book. Regardless whether they are Buddhist or not, every house should have a copy of this book! This is a book I especially recommend to people who are open to learning about Buddhist principles but might be cautious about reading anything with Buddhist terminology (hence, this is something I have lent to non-Buddhist, anti-religious friends of mine, and they loved it).


working with anger

Working with Anger
by Thubten Chodron

I knew this was a book I should read, but it took several years before I decided to buy it and then it sat on my shelf for months afterwards. I knew it was a good book – I was even buying it as a gift for others even though I hadn’t read it! When I finally started reading it, I was amazed at how multifaceted anger is (how there are so many different reasons that give rise to anger) and how Venerable Thubten Chodron has managed to single-handedly identify them all and their potential antidotes. This book is truly a must-read. From chapter 7: Coping with Criticism and onwards the words really spoke to me. I was enthralled and amazed. Everyone will see themselves somewhere in the pages of this book and with this book you will have an easy go-to book for practical antidotes for preventing or diminishing your anger in the future.


old path white clouds

Old Path White Clouds
by Thich Nhat Hanh

This book is a beautifully written account of the meetings and conversations the Buddha had with his followers and the people he met after his Enlightenment. It is basically a collection of the sutras told in story-book like fashion. It is written in a way to suit young and old readers alike. Everyone should read this book – it is beautiful!



peace is every step

Peace Is Every Step
by Thich Nhat Hanh

This is book is short and easy to read, but it is rich with profound, yet simple reminders for us to come back to the present moment. As I started to read this book, I noticeably felt more mindful, aware and calm. The first section of this book is literally a meditation in action. It captures the profound stillness and beauty of living mindfully in the present moment. The second part of the book explores the importance of knowing what seeds we are planting in our minds on a daily basis and how to deal with negative states like anger. While the third part looks at understanding our interconnectedness with each other and our environment, so that we understand our shared responsibility in promoting happiness in this world. This is definitely a very nice, gradual book for beginners to grasp the beauty of mindfulness and gain an appreciation of how it helps us in our daily lives. However, if you’re looking to learn about Buddhist theories and the foundations of Buddhist teachings, you might want to look at the above books already mentioned.


the wisdom of no escape

The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness
by Pema Chodron

Pema Chodron is a remarkable Western Buddhist nun who has a great gift of incorporating anecdotal stories into her teachings on Buddhism, and writes in a language that makes Buddhism very accessible and appealing to the masses. This is one of my favourite books of hers. Her teachings really touch one’s heart and show us how to understand the Buddhist teachings from a soft spot in our hearts. Through her gentle guidance, she shows us how we can overcome difficulties on the spiritual path.


start where you are

Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
by Pema Chodron

Instead of denying the painful aspects of ourselves and our lives, Pema Chodron shows us how to use these in a spiritual sense and cultivate compassion, wisdom and humour. Using the Buddhist teachings called lojong (“mind training”) as the basis for her commentary, she wonderfully shows us how to become more skilful, more compassionate and wise, and teaches us how to practice tonglen meditation as a way to reduce our own suffering, while bringing forth our compassionate heart.


dipa ma

Dipa Ma: The Life and Legacy of a Buddhist Master
by Amy Schmidt

This is an inspiring account of the life and teachings of a Dipa Ma, who went from being an ordinary housewife living in Calcutta, India, to an accomplished meditation master with significant spiritual abilities, as well as, a teacher to many of the great Western meditation teachers living in the West today.



buddhist offerings

Buddhist Offerings: 365 Days
by Olivier Follmi and Danielle Follmi

This book is a work of art. As the name suggests, the book contains 365 wonderful quotes from Buddhist teachers such as: Jack Kornfield, Pema Chödrön, the 14th Dalai Lama and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, to name only a few. These are accompanied by stunning photography capturing the beauty of the Himalayas. This book is perfect to pick up and open randomly for some daily inspiration. Although this book isn’t very portable (it’s really substantial in size; like a small brick!), it’s perfect to place in your living area or bedside table where you can revisit it daily.



The Words of My Perfect Teacher: A Complete Translation of a Classic Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism
by Patrul Rinpoche

This is the first book about Tibetan Buddhism that I ever read. It wonderfully covers the topics of refuge, bodhicitta, karma, and gives an explanation of the Ngondro practices (preliminaries) according to the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. There were some chapters that I found difficult to read due to them being of a more advanced nature and/or not being relevant to the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism (of which I study and practise). However, I still highly recommend this book as an introduction to the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism and would have gladly paid full price just for the first few chapters of this book alone.


three levels of spiritual perception

The Three Levels of Spiritual Perception: A Commentary on The Three Visions
by Deshung Rinpoche

Like the book, The Words of My Perfect Teacher, this is another excellent book that introduces the topics of refuge, bodhicitta and karma, but in some ways takes it to another level by covering these topics in greater depth. It notably has an inspiring biography of Deshung Rinpoche’s life at the beginning and it has sizeable portions devoted to explaining the practice of Calm Abiding meditation and the true nature of one’s mind.


guide to the bodhisattva's

A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life
by Shantideva, Translated by Stephen Batchelor

If you want to learn how to practice patience with your enemies, this book has the chapter for you! This is an indispensible book that teaches one how to be the perfect spiritual warrior and train in the six perfections of generosity, patience, morality, diligence, meditation and wisdom. Shantideva was a Buddhist monk studying at Nalanda University in Northern India in the eighth century. When chastised by the other monks for being lazy he gave these wonderful jaw-dropping teachings. His words are as applicable today as they were then. This text is studied extensively by both Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhist schools and should be read, re-read and studied whenever one has the opportunity to do so!


the life of milarepa

The Life of Milarepa
by Lobsang P. Lhalungpa (translator)

If you want to know what guru devotion looks like, you will find a remarkable example of it in this book. Set in the eleventh century, this classic and inspiring tale recounts the life of Milarepa who followed the instruction of his guru, Marpa, with utter devotion and ultimately reached the goal of perfect Enlightenment. Milarepa’s songs of devotion and realisation are what make this book a must-read.


the life of shakbar

The Life of Shabkar: The Autobiography of a Tibetan Yogin
by Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol, translated by Matthieu Ricard

Shabkar, like Milarepa, was another extraordinary meditation master who showed great devotion to his teachers and sung beautiful songs of realisation. Unlike the book, Milarepa, however, Shabkar’s songs of realisation and advice are written in such a way that you feel he is offering the advice directly to you. It is a powerful, compelling and inspirational book that will definitely boost your motivation to practice the preliminary practices (ngondro) of Vajrayana Buddhism (also known as Tibetan Buddhism). I really love Shabkar’s poetry. He sings songs of realisation as if a flower is teaching him something or if a bird is giving him Dharma advice. Shabkar’s writing is full of wit and playfulness and there is never a dull moment.


introduction to tibetan buddhism

Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism
by John Powers

This book focuses largely on the history of Tibetan Buddhism: how it came to be and the distinctions between the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Also, for those who are impatient to know more about the esoteric practices of Vajrayana Buddhism without first needing some initiation into the practices, this book gives some insight which may appease some of your curiosity.


sorrow mountain

Sorrow Mountain: The Journey of a Tibetan Warrior Nun
by Ani Pachen and Adelaide Donnelley

This is one of the most remarkable books I have ever read. It was conceived by the actor, Richard Gere, and is a story written by Adelaide Donnelley based on the life of Ani Pachen, a Tibetan Buddhist nun. This book tells of the life of Ani Pachen prior to becoming nun, when she was the daughter of a Tibetan chieftain who died leaving her to lead her people in the fight against the invading Chinese. Eventually captured and taken prisoner, she endured twenty-one years of torture and unimaginable hardships. Besides being an extremely moving tale, it is the faith and commitment to the Buddhist teachings of Ani Pachen and her people, and their ability to integrate the teachings in everyday life, which left a particular lasting impression on me. Her determination to practice the Buddhist practices even in the most pitiful of conditions is truly an inspiration. I highly recommend this book.


Lamdre: Dawn of Enlightenment by Lama Choedak Yuthok

This is an indispensable book for anyone considering attending the Lamdre teachings (the most esteemed teachings of the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism). It is a collection of introductory talks given by Rinpoche to help prepare aspiring Lamdre students. His talks on how a disciple moves from impure vision to vision of experience, and finally pure vision; gives clear demarcations on how we are progressing on our spiritual path and is extremely inspiring. Rinpoche has kindly made his book available as an ebook which can be viewed here. The paperback is also available for purchase from here.


settling back into the moment

Settling Back into the Moment
by Joseph Goldstein

This is a pocket-sized book that was created using quotes from Joseph Goldstein’s book, The Experience of Insight. It has wonderful cartoonish-like illustrations that really bring Goldstein’s teachings and instructions to life. This has got to be one of my favorite publications of all time! Since it is pocket sized I would take it everywhere with me and it served as an invaluable tool for continually inspiring me to practise. Although this book was for free distribution, only 3000 copies were made apparently, which makes it a rarity. My copy of it went missing after I loaned it, and it took me 3 years to finally recollect its title! (Pretty bad example for someone who was trying to practice mindfulness!) I finally managed to hunt it down on ebay and gladly paid the $30 USD for it. It’s worth every dollar in my opinion. Fortunately, it’s also available here as a pdf.



Delog: Journey to Realms beyond Death
by Delog Dawa Drolma

Delog Dawa Drolma was an accomplished meditation practitioner who was able to leave her physical body and visit other realms of existence. In this book she describes in vivid detail the pure realms as well as the hells that she visited. While her descriptions and experiences may be difficult to swallow for most Western minds, the main theme of the benefit of practising virtue and the demerit of harmful deeds is resoundingly clear and is likely to sink into the hearts of even the greatest of cynics. The advice that she is given by the Lord of Death and others who she meets is what I enjoyed most about this book and I found it quite inspirational.


Reincarnation the boy lama

Reincarnation: The Boy Lama
by Vicki Mackenzie

This book documents the life of Lama Osel, who was identified as the reincarnation of the much loved teacher, Lama Yeshe (one of the founders of the FPMT, a network of Buddhist centres focusing on the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism). Although Lama Osel is no longer a lama and is pursuing a more conventional life, this book is still a fascinating read and worth reading perhaps when you are simply looking for an interesting, but not life-changing, read.


living with kundalini

Living with Kundalini
by Gopi Krishna

Gopi Krishna was an ordinary Indian householder who was fond of his daily meditation. One day, at the age of thirty-four, he experienced an awakening of a spiritual energy within his body. This was to change his life forever. For more than a decade he experienced terrible symptoms of the physical body of which he had no control over. Eventually these passed and the glory of an awakened mind and its new found abilities were realised. (Although this is not a Buddhist book I thought it was a very interesting read and wanted to include it in this list).


Free Online Books

On there are two very good (free) ebooks if you’re completely new to Buddhism.

Good Question, Good Answer by Venerable S. Dhammika

The Eightfold Path for the Householder by Jack Kornfield (This is actually worth reading no matter whether you’re a beginner or not.)


Books on Rebirth

many lives many masters

Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives
by Brian L. Weiss M.D.

Rebirth is an important theme in Buddhism. If you are struggling with the concept of rebirth, or you wouldn’t mind reading some more ‘scientific proof’ of its existence, then this is the book for you. Brian Weiss is a psychiatrist who was an initial sceptic of multiple lives until one of his patients began recalling traumatic events that couldn’t be attributed to her current life, and which seemed to be the cause of her current life’s phobias and anxiety. This patient, who he called Catherine, was also able to remember a state in-between her lives where she would meet with highly spiritually evolved beings. When these beings were able to give her specific details about Brian Weiss’s father and deceased son, his scepticism was diminished. Warning: This book is hard to put down once you start reading. And you will want to read Messages from the Masters by Brian Weiss after this, as it documents many more accounts of people remembering their past lives, and again that is another enthralling read.


messages from the masters

Messages from the Masters: Tapping into the Power of Love
by Brian L. Weiss M.D.

As I mentioned above, this book is an enthralling read, whether you’re a believer in rebirth/reincarnation or not. I enjoyed this book even more than Many Lives, Many Masters simply because it has so many accounts of past life recollections, and each recollection seems even more remarkable than the previous one. It also has lovely excerpts of messages from the masters (hence the title) which give great spiritual wisdom and advice on topics such as love, forgiveness etc. I highly recommend reading this book, even if you don’t read Many Lives, Many Masters.


life before life

Life Before Life: Children’s Memories of Previous Lives
by Dr Jim Tucker

For many people, personal accounts of past life recollections wouldn’t be considered very conclusive evidence that we have multiple lives. However, some scientists have made it their life’s work to study cases of past life recall and look for evidence that can verify the person’s claims. Dr Jim Tucker’s book, Life Before Life, gives many detailed accounts of past life recollections that have significant evidence that can support the person’s claims. For those of us who are looking for a more scientific approach to the topic of rebirth, this book is definitely a very good read.


I hope you find this list a useful guide. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

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  1. Eduardo
    July 9, 2013 @ 8:16 pm

    Enjoyable collection! I read the Tao Te Ching, which I found very aligned to the Buddha’s teachings.


  2. Steve
    August 10, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

    Thank you for these recommendations, this site, and your wonderful videos. If I may, I would highly recommend “In The Buddha’s Words” -An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon by Bhikkhu Bodhi.
    A very good book for beginners and seasoned practioners alike. It combines many discourses from the pali canon.
    I have added your website to my favorites list!


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      August 10, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

      Thanks Steve! I initially recommended the book ‘In the Buddha’s Words’ as part of my post on the Tripitika and the First Buddhist Council. One of the reasons I had not included it as part of this list is because I usually prefer to recommend ‘What The Buddha Taught’ by Walpola Rahula to complete beginners as it reads more like a book (with lots of explanation, etc) than being mainly a compilation of sutras. But it is an excellent book for those wanting to deepen their understanding of and connection with the Buddha’s teachings, so it certainly has a place in this list. Thanks! I’ve added it now. 🙂

      P.S. You were wondering where your comment went – it had to be approved by me before it could be seen. I get too much spam to allow for automatic approval of comments, unfortunately.


      • Steve
        August 11, 2013 @ 1:06 am

        I understand, I originally missed that somehow but I don’t blame you for needing to see comments first. Nobody likes spam lol!
        I have a lot of books about buddhism and most of the pali canon but some of the ones you listed here I never knew about so I have greatly enjoyed spending time on your site.

        I hope it continues to grow thank you for sharing the dhamma with others!
        with metta


        • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
          August 11, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

          I’m so pleased to hear that you found some new books to read from my list. There certainly are some gems among them. Happy reading! 🙂 And thanks for the well wishes!


  3. shane
    August 13, 2013 @ 3:28 pm


    I love your recommendations. I’m currently reading “The Art of Disappearing: Buddha’s Path to Lasting Joy,” by Ajahn Brahm. I also enjoy watching his dharma talks on youtube.


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      August 13, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

      Thanks Shane! I’ll have to add that to my list of books to read. I love Ajahn Brahm’s work. And his YouTube channel is such a treat. 😉


  4. Nuno Castro
    August 19, 2013 @ 11:26 pm

    Hello Mindah,

    Great list! I’ve actually read most of the Theravada ones and along with “What The Buddha Taught” and “In The Buddha’s Words”, I’d suggest “The Life of the Buddha” by Ñanamoli Bhikkhu. It’s similar to Bhikkhu Bodhi’s one but the suttas are weaved into a vivid narrative of the Buddha’s life up until (and including) the first council. The book is structured in terms of ‘Voices’ (similar to a movie script) where the main narrator is voiced by the Pali commentaries and the main voices (suttas) are of Ananda and Upali.

    I would probably recommend reading it after “Good Question, Good Answer” and “What The Buddha Taught”.

    With metta!


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      August 19, 2013 @ 11:55 pm

      Thanks Nuno. It certainly does have the feel of a movie script. I’m a big fan of having sutras weaved into the retelling of Buddha’s life. Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂


  5. Erewhon
    August 29, 2013 @ 8:26 pm

    Hello Mindah. You recommended a book to me my Dipa Pa. I did not fimd it in your list of readings. I am interested. What is the title? You wrote that the writer had lost her husband too. Thank you.


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      August 29, 2013 @ 8:50 pm

      Here’s a direct link to the book:

      Actually, the full title of the book is Dipa Ma: The Life and Legacy of a Buddhist Master, and it’s written by Amy Schmidt. I think you will get a lot from this book. It certainly left a lasting impression on me.


  6. Amol Nirmala Waman
    June 18, 2014 @ 5:00 pm

    JaiBhim Mindah!

    There is one of the most popular books on Buddha and Buddhism – ‘The Buddha and His Dhamma’ by Modern Buddha Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar.

    It is the most read and followed in India. Publisher is Govt. of Maharashtra (India), titled ‘Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar – Writings and Speeches’ series of all books, speeches, articles of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.

    A soft copy is available at


  7. Amol Nirmala Waman
    June 18, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

    And the ‘Dhammapada’ to nurture our mind!


  8. Eric
    November 2, 2014 @ 5:42 am

    Hi Mindah!

    After a lifetime of having my nose in a book, the thought of embarking on a reading crusade about a new topic produces severe DUKKHA for me However, the extremely compelling Buddha quotes you have included in your two videos I have viewed means I will have to overcome my Dukkha about a new reading project and obtain the books.

    Because of my Dukkha about reading I have not obtained any of the books about Buddhism by Mark Epstein, M.D. a Harvard-educated psychiatrist and practicing Buddhist since his twenties. His books have intriguing titles – you can view them on Mark Epstein’s website (, or enter a book search under his name on, where you can also read “customer reviews” about each of his books – they are well received.

    I learned of Mark Epstein by his commentator appearances on the DVD entitled THE BUDDHA: THE STORY OF SIDDHARTHA (produced by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)), which I highly recommend, particularly for beginning beginners – ergo, neophyte novices – in Buddhism, like myself.

    You should consider adding DVDs to your list – for reading Dukkha sufferers like myself. You could include SEVEN WONDERS OF THE BUDDHIST WORLD, or the wonderful three disk set entitled JOURNEY INTO BUDDHISM.

    There is a 24 lecture (1/2 hr. each – total, 12 hours) series (on DVDs) in Buddhism by the “Great Courses” (, by a professor in Buddhism at Brown University here in the U.S., which I found to be turgid and, therefor, terminally boring (now Dukkha for me with DVDs!). I was so disappointed with this 24-lecture series that within the past six months, I actually phoned The Great Courses and informed a representative there that they need to find a new lecturer to produce a new DVD series in Buddhism – so when I saw your videos, I thought you are a perfect candidate to do this. Check out the 24 lecture topics in this course on The Great Courses website,

    Back to books: as a beginning beginner, I have found the entries on Buddhism in the Oxford Dictionary on World Religions to be cogent and extremely helpful.


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      November 3, 2014 @ 2:30 am

      I understand your dukkha with reading! I think I went through a similar phase, however, I think it was more because I wanted to invest more time in practice rather than reading.

      I love your idea of adding DVDs to the list, that’s a wonderful idea. 🙂


    • Eric
      November 10, 2014 @ 5:20 pm

      Mindah –

      Although I was critical of “star ratings” given by Amazon customers to certain DVDs about, e.g., Buddhism and yoga, “customer reviews” (contra “star ratings”) posted on Amazon can be exceedingly insightful and profound.

      The six (or so) top rated “customer reviews” for the DVD entitled SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINDER AND SPRING are easily (speaking of the group) the most profound and insightful customer reviews I have seen on Amazon.

      This film is an “art” film, consisting of layers of symbolism and allegory. One reviewer remarked, of the gate in the water on the shore of the lake in which the “floating” temple is located, that the “Gateless Gate” is the English translation of one of the great Zen treatise on the subject of contemplation.

      This film, remarkably, is a “silent” film, with virtually no dialogue. In this regard, one commentator said the film is like the Zen school of Buddhism, which traditionally does not rely on words for teaching purposes, but is based on “mind to mind” transmission.

      I wish there there would be a group of equally high-caliber “customer reviews” about the DVD entitled BRILLIANT MOON – at present, there is only one such customer review.

      On October 25, 2014, I posted my own lengthy customer review of this DVD, but I then deleted my customer review on November 4th. I was uncomfortable about how my review was worded, and how others might perceive my review. In my ignorance about Buddhism, I also wondered if this DVD somehow expressed Buddhist teachings in a manner I did not comprehend. In fact, this is the only customer review I have posted where I was basically seeking answers – hopefully in other Amazon customer reviews, rather than being buried in the customer “comment” section of another customer’s review.


  9. Eric
    November 7, 2014 @ 1:13 am

    CAVEAT: Do not post any DVDs unless you first view them yourself, for approval. There are a lot of DVDs offered on about Buddhism, yoga, etc., but they are an unknown quantity, and even the “star ratings” (5-star, 4-star, etc.) given to individual DVDs by Amazon customers are not to be trusted, on these particular subjects – customer ratings can usually be trusted in most other subjects.

    It’s because of the complete uncertainty about Buddhist- and, e.g., yoga-themed DVDs offered on that finding your videos on the Internet was such a catharsis for me – at last, a “known quality.” So far, your website is a gift that keeps on giving – I’m now on “no-self.”

    The two DVDs mentioned in my original post are excellent basic theoretical introductions to Buddhism, but they do not do what your videos do, which is to provide practical “nuts and bolts” explanations about practical applications of Buddhist ideas to life issues.

    As a Buddhist-themed fable, I enjoyed a Korean film entitled SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER, AND SPRING, available on DVD – which has received good and very instructive “customer reviews” on This film may seem trite at first, but stay with it to the end, and you may be rewarded.


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      November 7, 2014 @ 9:53 am

      Thanks Eric, I wouldn’t recommend something unless I’ve watched/read it or unless I already trusted the director/author etc. I know that there are a lot of questionable products out there. I’m glad you’re gaining something from watching my videos.

      Your idea of recommending DVDs has inspired me to write a post on recommended movies/documentaries. I watched that movie many moons ago. It didn’t have as much impact on me as other Buddhist-themed movies, but I can appreciate why people enjoy it. 🙂


  10. Eric
    November 7, 2014 @ 2:06 am

    Afterthought: I see on your website that you lead excursions to Buddhist pilgrimage sites (lucky you!). You might want to check out a DVD entitled WALK WITH THE MASTER: THE STORY OF THE SITES OF THE BUDDHA – you could reference this DVD to prospects for your prospective excursion to the Buddha’s sites.

    I published a brief “customer review” of the foregoing DVD on – on November 27, 2011 (three years ago). My reviewer name is NATHANAEL GREENE – Amazon told me to use an alias for my customer reviews.

    I also wrote a customer review, on Amazon, of, inter alia, the SEVEN WONDERS OF THE BUDDHIST WORLD DVD, and (as a result of recently looking up Buddhist terms) the DVD entitled THE OXFORD DICTIONARY OF WORLD RELIGIONS.

    I cannot believe that you have not seen this three DVD disc set (if you haven’t we can keep that a secret), but if you have not done so, the three disc set entitled JOURNEY INTO BUDDHISM is magnificent – the photography is drop-dead gorgeous! One of this set’s three discs is a 89 minute disc devoted to Tibet – you said you teach a course on Tibetan Buddhism.


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      November 7, 2014 @ 9:58 am

      I was fortunate to watch the last of Journey Into Buddhism at the cinemas when it was released. It is a stunning film and hence why I show that one to students at the end of my Tibetan Buddhism course.


  11. Suminda Dharmasena
    November 16, 2014 @ 9:45 am

    Some time back you shared a reference of Sutta and text translation project. I am wondering what that is as I have forgotten the site.


  12. Eric
    December 6, 2014 @ 12:03 am

    Mindah –

    You might want to check out THE NECTAR OF MANJUSHRI’S SPEECH: A DETAILED COMMENTARY ON SHANTIDEVA’S WAY OF THE BODHISATTVA, by Kunzang Pelden. Published Shambhala, translated by the Padmakara Translation Group (which I feel is second to none, in translators), 500+ pages, 2007.

    On this book’s dust jacket there is this quote by the Dalai Lama: “If I have any understanding of compassion and the practice of the bodhisattva path, it is entirely on the basis of this text [THE WAY OF THE BODHISATTVA] that I posses it.”

    This suggestion is based on my experience that it seems that every time I turn around, I see a new quote by the Dalai Lama, praising THE WAY OF THE BODHISATTVA to the sky. The Dalai Lama has great credibility with me.


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      December 6, 2014 @ 5:18 am

      The Bodhisattva’s Way of Life is definitely one of the greatest works in Mahayana Buddhism, no doubt. I’m not surprised the Dalai Lama praises it so highly. I imagine that any commentary on it would only be a good read, if not just to revise the beautiful verses of the text again. 🙂


  13. Chris Herdman
    January 11, 2015 @ 2:59 am

    Wow! What a great book collection! After reading a bit of some of these I know they will be read with much joy and interest.
    Thank you very much,


  14. Connie alvarado
    January 16, 2015 @ 2:02 pm

    I have read the book Now the power of Now a guide to spiritual


  15. Rémy
    February 26, 2015 @ 9:12 pm

    Your website is amazing. I discoverd buddhism with Thich Nhat Hanh’s books, started practicing Vipassana and Hatha yoga about a year ago, but just found out guided meditations, including your own Metta meditation on Youtube. This felt like a blessing. I enjoy your conceptual videos, too.

    Now I’ll practice Vipassana and Metta everyday, and read Pema Chödrön’s Wisdom of No Escape.

    Thank you!


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      February 26, 2015 @ 11:53 pm

      Thanks Rémy, I’m glad you enjoy my work. I feel like the metta meditation is a blessing every time I do it. 😉


  16. Jason
    March 14, 2015 @ 6:45 pm

    Hello Mindah-Lee, my name is Jason.

    I recently started researching Buddhism and I found your video’s of The Four Noble Truth’s and The Eightfold Path. Very enjoyable btw and informative! Thank you. I am currently reading a book called The Noble Eightfold Path by Bhikkhu Bodhi and would like to begin advancing my studies.

    On finding your site I decided to check out your reading list. I was looking to know can you recommend any books that cover The Four Noble Truths in an understandable yet complete way.

    Any help would be appreciated.


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      March 16, 2015 @ 9:58 am

      Hi Jason, I’m not sure if this article will be enough, but I thought it was a great read:

      This is a nice compilation of sutras where the Buddha refers to these truths:

      Some more of Bhikkhu Bodhi:

      Most Dharma books don’t tend to spend a lot of time exploring the truths. I think this may be out of fear of the first two truths seeming too negative. 😉


      • Jason
        March 18, 2015 @ 6:04 pm

        Ok I will give those a read for sure. Thank you very much. You certainly live up to your websites name lol (y)

        I will subscribe to your YouTube channel so I can learn more about Buddhism.

        It’ all quite new to me so finding out where to begin is challenging. Thanks again.


        • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
          March 18, 2015 @ 9:26 pm

          Also check out this reading list if you haven’t already:

          The first two books are great for beginners. My videos should hopefully complement these, as I try to go into more detail and explore the practical application of the teachings as well.


          • Jason
            March 19, 2015 @ 9:00 am

            The 2nd and 3rd book on that list appeal to me. In the Buddha’s Words looks like it could be a good book for contemplation.

            I think practicing without a teacher could be achieved as long I support my practice with some of the central Buddhist books. I do think less is more though.

            However, I do consider some sort of support group to be essential. That’s something I will have to look into in due time.

            Thanks for your help Mindah-Lee.

            How do you support your practice?

          • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
            March 19, 2015 @ 10:30 am

            Yes, it is possible to practice using the books as a guide, although a teacher can accelerate your understanding and practice. I think support is extremely beneficial in many ways, hence why the Buddha developed a sangha. I am fortunate to have access to a sangha close to where I live. If you tell me what area you live in I might be able to recommend some centers nearby.

  17. Jason
    March 19, 2015 @ 3:19 pm

    I live in Northern Ireland (NI) in the UK. There is a Buddhist centre about 30 miles from where I live in Belfast City and I recently read they are working towards building the first temple in NI.

    They do lots of daily mediations, but I would be interested in travelling down for guidance and to meet some like minded individuals.

    Another question… If you could only choose one or two books and no others (let say you wanted to travel the world and could only bring one or two books)to support your practice what would they be? 😀


  18. Abbey
    May 10, 2015 @ 7:37 am

    Hi Mindah-Lee. I’ve read the Art of Living that you suggested and will be attending a 10 day mediation retreat by the end of the year. Is there a book that helps with transferring these teachings into everyday western life? The life of the Buddha and his environment is completely to the life I have in this present day!

    Your website has been so helpful. I’ve been living in China for the past 8 months teaching and naturally I wanted to find out more about Buddhist temples, teachings and ways of life etc. I’ve visited many temples from famous ones in Beijing/Shanghai to ones in the mountains. I do wonder though if it’d person for a lay person to reach true enlightenment how the Buddha taught? We all have to earn a living and be financially practical. What are your thoughts?


    • Abbey
      May 10, 2015 @ 7:40 am

      *if it’s possible for a lay person


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      May 10, 2015 @ 11:00 pm

      Hi Abbey, different Buddhist schools have different thoughts about the possibility of becoming enlightened (realizing no-self) in one lifetime. Since Buddhism is all about purifying our mind, then it is definitely something everyone can do irrespective of their occupation, lifestyle, family conditions. Basically it’s our defilements of craving, aversion and ignorance that need to be removed. Having a solid meditation practice is important to help us eradicate these defilements and culminates in wisdom, so it’s about making time for it as much as possible and trying to maintain our mindfulness throughout the day. If we were to practice loving-kindness, there is great merit in that and would surely boost our spiritual practice. It really comes down to the individual and what they choose to do with their mind on a daily basis. 🙂


      • Abbey
        May 11, 2015 @ 1:54 pm

        Thanks Mindah-Lee, really helpful advice. I’ve been reading and watching lots of videos. I think I just need to start practicing meditating and to tame my monkey mind! Although i’m living on a school campus at the moment so it’s hard to get peace and quiet!

        I’ve got one more dilemma. It’s starting to get warmer which means the mosquitoes are making an appearance. I would normally kill the ones in my bedroom. I try my best to keep them out and burn a mozzy in-scent stick. I now don’t want to kill them. How do you deal with them if there are a few buzzing around when you’re trying to get to sleep?


        • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
          May 12, 2015 @ 12:01 pm

          I used a mosquito net when I was living in India. And there were plenty of times when I would catch them with a glass or bottle and take them outside (that is a practice of patience in itself!) 😉


  19. Michael Mark
    July 5, 2015 @ 3:19 pm

    Mindah –
    you are helping. Thank you.


  20. Mona El Gammall
    August 7, 2015 @ 5:25 pm

    Excuse me please. Why do you believe in Karma? How do you prove there is something like justice in nature, that if you do good, you will be served good. I saw many people who break other people’s hearts and do a lot of harm to others which is apparent to all those around them, but still they have good lives and they are loved by many,.. Etc. Others may be really harmless and loving, yet they are served a lot of misfortune. What do you say of that?


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      August 8, 2015 @ 5:21 am

      Thanks for your question Mona. Perhaps these quotes from the Dalai Lama might explain a little more about how karma works.

      “Sometimes we face certain situations where, although we have done something good for others, we may not be able to reap the consequences within this lifetime. When we are talking about the law of causality, we are not limiting its operation to the confines of this life alone, but rather are taking into account both this lifetime and the future. Occasionally people who do not have a proper knowledge of karmic law say that such and such a person is very kind and religious and so forth, but he always has problems, whereas so and so is very deceptive and negative, frequently indulging in negative actions, but always seems very successful. Such people may think that there is no karmic law at all. There are others who go to the other extreme and become superstitious, thinking that when someone experiences illness, it is all due to harmful spirits…. It is also possible for very negative people to experience their positive karma ripening immaturely due to the very strong force of negative actions, and thus to exhaust the potentials of their virtuous actions. They experience a relative success in this life, while others who are very serious practitioners, as a result of the force of their practices, bring upon this lifetime the consequences of karmic actions which might have otherwise thrown them into rebirth in lower realms of existence in the future. As a result, they experience more problems and illnesses in this life.

      Just resolving not to indulge in a negative action is not enough. It should be accompanied by the understanding that it is for your own benefit and sake that you must live with awareness of the law of karma: if you have accumulated the causes, you will have to face the consequences; if you desire a particular effect, you can work to produce its causes; and if you do not desire a certain consequence, you can avoid engaging in actions that will bring it about. You should reflect upon the law of causality as follows: that there is a definite relation between causes and effects; that actions not committed will never produce an effect; and that once committed, actions will never lose their potentiality simply through the passage of time. So, if you wish to enjoy desirable fruits, you should work for the accumulation of the appropriate causes, and if you want to avoid undesirable consequences, you should not accumulate their causes…. [Karma] is a natural law like any other natural law.”
      His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from ‘Path to Bliss: A Practical Guide to Stages of Meditation’

      “Countless rebirths lie ahead, both good and bad. The effects of karma (actions) are inevitable, and in previous lifetimes we have accumulated negative karma which will inevitably have its fruition in this or future lives. Just as someone witnessed by police in a criminal act will eventually be caught and punished, so we too must face the consequences of faulty actions we have committed in the past, there is no way to be at ease; those actions are irreversible; we must eventually undergo their effects.”
      His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from ‘Kindness, Clarity and Insight’


  21. Gaia Buratti
    August 11, 2015 @ 3:29 pm

    I looked throughout the list and I found some interesting reading, but I am still looking for a book that summarizes the different school of thoughts of Buddhism. I know that there are many but I think the main are 4, I would understand the differences among them. Do you have some suggestion?


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      August 12, 2015 @ 10:56 am


      • Gaia Buratti
        August 12, 2015 @ 1:01 pm

        Thank you for the link, it looks very interesting, but it’s not really what I was looking for.
        I know that there are different kind of Buddhism, like the Chinese Zen, the Tibetan one etc… and I wanted to understand the characteristic of each one. My concerning is to find the one that best suites me.



        • Gaia Buratti
          August 12, 2015 @ 1:05 pm

          Sorry, I think before it opened the wrong link, now I see that it should be what I am looking for. Don’t consider my previous reply please.

          Thank you


          • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
            August 13, 2015 @ 4:04 am

            It might not explain the unique characteristics of each school (Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana etc), but it will possibly provide an explanation of the different understandings of emptiness (selflessness of self and phenomena).

  22. Kei J
    October 9, 2015 @ 4:58 am

    Hello Mindah-Lee! Firstly, I wanted to say that your videos are very well made, understandable, and approachable. I used to study Buddhist teachings several years ago before letting it go but I truly admire how you explain the Dharma positively and i plain English, without so much ancient jargon. Sort of like Thich Nhat Hanh!

    I especially appreciate the video “How to Change your Thinking” because it’s so practical and gives me some basic tools for cultivating positive mental states, which is important in my own spiritual path now (Zoroastrian), but challenging when I feel angered by negative events in the world or bad experiences.

    First question: I always wondered, what is the place of prayer in the Buddha Dharma? Is it another form of meditation or mental cultivation, not supplication? How does it work in the Buddhist context?

    Second question: What is a good way to understand Nirvana, especially what it means after an enlightened person dies?

    Third: What are the main differences between Theravada and Mahayana schools? I tend to think that Ch’an is not so different from Theravada, while Nichiren and Pure Land are very different from the meditation-centered sects.

    Fourth: is “Dharmakaya” (from the Trikaya doctrine) something like God or Brahman in Vedanta teachings?

    Have a GREAT weekend and best wishes to you! May you always be happy, encouraging toward others, wise and positive.


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      October 11, 2015 @ 9:29 pm

      Hi Kei,

      Thanks for your questions. To answer briefly:

      Prayer has a way of helping us cultivate wholesome mental propensities: just the aspiration to become more patient can help us remember to practice it more when the appropriate conditions arise. Prayer also encourages faith and devotion which are very pure, meritorious states of mind. It can also cultivate humility as well.

      Nirvana is really a state of mind that is free from the defilements. Our bodies might die, but the mind continues and one that is free of the defilements experiences only freedom, bliss and happiness, even post-death.

      Mahayana takes the attitude of Bodhicitta (wishing that all beings might become enlightened) and a Mahayana practitioner practices with the hope of becoming a fully enlightened Buddha, like Buddha Shakyamuni, in the hope of helping liberate others.

      Dharmakaya in simple terms is the realized mind of understanding emptiness (of self and phenomena). It is the wisdom aspect of an enlightened being’s mind.

      Best wishes.


      • Kei
        October 19, 2015 @ 5:56 pm

        Thank you Ms. Kumar!! I will be sure to continue following your videos and keep in touch. I’m very glad that you share the Dharma the way that you do and have time to keep in touch with all those who benefit from your teaching work 🙂 May you have blessed day and feel your best!


  23. manoj
    November 8, 2015 @ 9:56 am

    thank you for sharing good books.wish you healthy and serene life forever.


  24. Connie
    May 9, 2016 @ 1:34 pm

    Hello Mindah, Its been amazing watching your videos! I love how you talk so confident and knowledgeable. I have learned a lot from you. Recently, I went for a hunt of Buddhist books and I found two that are really worth it and special to me . One is ”Unlimiting Mind” by Andrew Olendzki and the other one is: ” The Heart of Sutra” by His holiness the Dalai Lama. The texts are very helpful to me and easy to understand… I tried to find some of your recomendations but for me is a bit difficult to find them because currently, I am living in china and almost every book comes in chinese.:( Anyway, I have been very curious about your thoughts on the Dalai Lama due to the absence of him on this website and it is known that he is a Buddhist leader. (sorry to ask but I am new on the study about Buddhism ) It is confusing the different branches of Buddhism and I would like to know more about it. The other thing I want to share is: I am feeling that Buddhist teachings are helping me a lot in my life and I realise that these beautiful teachings can help my kids too (I have a 2 years old girl and a 9 years old boy) but I don´t know how… I found on pinterest a recomendation “Buddhist for mothers” by Sarah Napthali I don´t have it yet but, have you thought about to make videos about it? Can kids do meditation? just wondering… Thank you so much for all you do! we are here to support you with your new member´s site. 🙂
    Sincerely, Connie Pedraza


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      May 9, 2016 @ 9:45 pm

      Hi Connie, it’s great to hear that you’ve found some wonderful books to enjoy. It certainly will be challenging finding good ones in China, and especially ones by the Dalai Lama, given their political stance against him. The Dalai Lama is the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism, and I revere him as one of my teachers. It sounds like a great book by Sarah Napthali. Children certainly can practice meditation; you just need to use slightly different techniques to train them. I’m still learning about different techniques myself, so a video from me might be a while away yet. But thanks for the reminder, it’s an important video for me to make. Thanks so much for your support. 🙂 Best wishes.


  25. Yin Yin
    June 3, 2016 @ 5:58 am

    Hi Mindah

    I am from Myanmar. I am so happy to find your website when I was searching the good and suitable books in English for my children, 14 and 13 now. We learn and practice Theravada Buddhism. As I was going through your book list and comments, I think it is the best to let them read “Good Questions, Good Answers” first, then “The Life of Buddha”. I also like “Jataka – a voluminous body of folklore-like literature concerning the previous births of the Buddha. Volume 1 and Volume 2” if these are available in book type. They might love to read these, won’t find boring, I think.

    I want to let them know more about Buddha and Buddhism, to study from the basic like five precepts, 38 blessings in life etc.. Gradually, they shall learn about four noble truth, eightfold path and practice meditation to attain Nirvana ultimately.

    Would you kindly advise a few good, basic but well explained books for them to start reading with?

    Thank you very much!
    I added your site in my favorite folder. 🙂


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      June 6, 2016 @ 10:15 pm

      Hi Yin Yin,

      I have some recommended books on this list:

      In particular, I think your children would love Ajahn Bhram’s book, Opening The Door of Your Heart. The first book on the list, The Art of Living, focuses on the fundamentals of Buddhism, so you might not want to introduce them to this yet. But it would be a great one for the future.


      • Yin Yin
        July 1, 2016 @ 2:18 pm

        Hi Mindah

        This is very helpful.
        Thanks a lot!

        Yin Yin


  26. Pedro
    June 10, 2016 @ 1:58 am

    Hello, Mindah!
    I’m Pedro, from Rio de Janeiro.

    The reason I’m writing this message is to thank you.
    You’re always so kind and patient to explain and simplify Buddhism to anyone who is interested.

    About a month ago, my interest for Buddhism become very strong and I searched on Youtube for ‘Buddhism’ – that’s when I found your videos.
    I have watched them all by now and I’m deeply thankful for your work.
    I also have read the first book on your suggested reading list – “The Art Of Living” by William Hart and it was great!

    Simplifying my thoughts, you basically have been my only teacher and I’d like to sincerely show my gratitude. Meditation and mindfulness, despite the very short time I’ve been practising them, I already can feel a huge difference from a month ago.

    I’m looking forward to your member’s site.

    Mindah, may you be well, happy and free from suffering.

    My sincere gratitude,



    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      June 11, 2016 @ 12:10 am

      Thanks so much for your lovely message Pedro. It makes all the effort worthwhile when I know that I’m touching other people’s lives. I’m so glad you’re benefiting from the Buddha’s teachings; they have definitely helped me in mine. As you’re just beginning your journey, I’m excited for you and the changes that will come.
      I look forward to sharing the Members’ Site with you once it’s up and running. 🙂
      Best wishes.


  27. Klay Strand
    July 8, 2016 @ 11:57 pm

    Thank you very much for your work and effort. I was given a book called “The teachings of buddha ” by the society for buddhist understanding and so far i really enjoy it, i look forward to reading books from your list.


  28. Kimberlee K. Sutherin
    August 16, 2016 @ 2:07 pm

    Over the past five years or more, Buddhism has come into my life. In those five years, I have not had a ‘live’ teacher other than many books and the audio online, you tube, numerous web offerings… all taught by wise people like Bhikkho Bhodi, Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, Gil Fronsdal and many others, some of which are on your list and mentioned by others ( and that I can not afford to travel to, to be in their physical presence). I travel year round, so going to a temple or joining a local group is not possible. I have developed a routine meditation practice….so much progress is being made….my life has transformed and continues to transform for the betterment of myself and those around me. However, I wonder….do you believe it is necessary to deepen practice by having an ‘in person’ teacher?


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      August 20, 2016 @ 9:55 pm

      Hi Kimberlee,
      There are certainly advantages to having access to a local teacher, e.g. to clear up misunderstandings, receive more personal instructions, etc. But at the same time, you can make plenty of progress without one. It sounds like you have great self-discipline to be meditating regularly, and that is something that has to come from yourself, not from a teacher. So there are certain qualities we need to arouse ourselves. The challenge comes usually when our practice brings us experiences that are unusual and confusing, or we start to doubt whether we’re doing things correctly. I know for myself, I needed the one-on-one time with a teacher to talk through my meditation practice, just for clarification and reassurance. I also had copious questions about Buddhism that I needed answered. But we all have different ways of learning. So to answer your question, I think a teacher can certainly help accelerate our understanding about Buddhism and its practices, but I think we can also make a lot of progress without one as well, so I wouldn’t be too concerned if you can’t have a regular teacher; it might be that you don’t need one right now. 🙂
      Best wishes.


  29. Timothy Steadman
    November 9, 2016 @ 4:23 pm

    Thanks for your Book Recommendations. I read the book The Art of Living: As Taught by S.N.G. That led me to go to a 10 day vipassana course which was transformative. Thank you so much! 🙂


    • Mindah-Lee Kumar Mindah-Lee Kumar
      November 9, 2016 @ 8:49 pm

      Lovely to hear Timothy! Retreats are always transformative. 🙂


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