Many books have been written about meditation and Buddhism. On this page we occasionally place Buddhist books that we think are worth reading.
A requirement is that the work is available in pdf-format and that the author shares the work free of rights. If you have a nice addition, please contact us!
Are you looking for a reading guide? Then read our 16 Recommended Books on Buddhism and Meditation.
The Dhammapada – Buddharakkhita Thera
The Dhammapada is the best known and most widely esteemed text in the Pali Tipitaka, the sacred scriptures of Theravada Buddhism. The work is included in the Khuddaka Nikaya (“Minor Collection”) of the Sutta Pitaka, but its popularity has raised it far above the single niche it occupies in the scriptures to the ranks of […]
Cetasika – Nina van Gorkum
In this book Nina van Gorkum gives an extensive explanation of the cetasika, mental factors, as they are described in the Abhidhamma. As always, Nina van Gorkum writes in a clear style, and her overview of the Abhidhamma comes to the fore.
What The Buddha Taught – Bhante Walpola Rahula
This is one of the most famous books about Buddhism. In this work the reverend Walpola Rahula gives an overview of Buddhism by using quotes from the Buddhist canon. It is an extremely sober, clear and authentic exposition, clearly written by someone with a great overview and insight into the matter.
Fundamentals of Buddhism – Peter Santina
At the request of the Srilankaramaya Buddhist Temple Dr. Santina gave a series of lectures in which the foundation of Buddhism was given. These lectures have been made into a book with the hope that they can contribute to an understanding of the actual teaching of the Buddha.
The Practice Which Leads to Nibbana – Pa Auk Sayadaw
As you can read in the introduction, this book is not intended for the beginning meditation practitioner. It is based on the meditation methods found in the Commentary on the Visuddhimagga. This includes a detailed analysis of mental processes and matter according to the categories of the Abhidhamma. It is therefore advised to first learn […]
On Meditation – Ajahn Chah
In this short work there are some Dhamma talks by Ajahn Chah about meditation. Ajahn Chah talks about buddho, samādhi (concentration) and wisdom. It’s a good start to get a feeling for his way of teaching, which is close to Ahba’s teachings. The book should not be confused with the more extensive work Meditation published […]
Abhidhamma in Daily Life – Nina van Gorkum
This book is a beautiful study book for anyone who wants to delve further into the Abhidhamma. It really is a study book, complete with questions at the end of each chapter to check if you have understood its contents. Still, it is not a dry textbook, but a beautifully written work that tries to […]
Clarity of Insight – Ajahn Chah
Two lessons on meditation given by Ajahn Chah. The first lesson is about meditating on buddho, the meditation method that Ajahn Chah frequently taught. Ajah Chah teaches how to make the mind pure and clear through meditation on buddho and the development of samādhi (concentration). By training the mind with samatha meditation, clear insight (vipassanā) […]
Stillness Flowing: The Life and Teachings of Ajahn Chah
A biography about Ajahn Chah, one of the greatest meditation teachers within Theravāda Buddhism of the last century. Ajahn Chah steadily practiced the path of morality, concentration and wisdom to the highest point, the complete liberation, Nibbāna (Nirvana). His teachings on meditation and Buddhist philosophy are simple, full of humour but at the same time […]
Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization – Bhikkhu Analayo
This book is perhaps the best starting point for anyone wishing to learn more about the practice of sati, often translated as mindfulness. Bhikkhu Analayo combines his own doctoral research and experience with mindfulness meditation and places it in the context of Theravāda Buddhism. It is a very detailed account of a difficult subject. The […]
Mind Overcoming its Cankers – Acharya Buddharakkhita
Mind Overcoming its Cankers by Acharya Buddharakkhita is one of our most recommended books. It is a profound exposition of the āsavas, the mental pollutions that maintain samsāra, the endless wandering around, and thus the endless unsatisfactoriness. Acharya Buddharakkhita does this by means of the Sabbasava Sutta, the second sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya (the […]
Venerable Acariya Mun Buridatta Thera
Tan Ajahn Mun is one of the most respected and well-known meditation masters of the Thai forest tradition of the last century. This biography, written by the also highly esteemed Ajahn Maha Boowa, gives a valuable glimpse into his life and practice. It is a fierce work that shows how much effort is needed to […]
Walking Meditation – Ajahn Nyanadhammo
Walking meditation is often used in vipassanā meditation, especially during retreats. In this book Ajahn Nyanadhammo explains various techniques of walking meditation. If you practice samatha meditation on buddho, walking meditation is not directly part of the meditationsystem itself. Ahba teaches that it is extremely difficult to achieve very high concentration while walking and having […]
The Vision of Dhamma – Nyanaponika Thera
This book is a collection of long and short essays by Nyanaponika Thera. Nyanaponika Thera has been president of the Buddhist Publishing Society in Sri Lanka for many years and has practiced meditation intensively himself. His best-known work is ‘The Heart of Buddhist Meditation‘ in which he combines his experience with his extensive knowledge of […]
The Life of the Buddha – Bhikkhu Nanamoli
This book on the life of the Buddha, written by Bhikkhu Nanamoli, is perhaps the best ‘biography’ within Theravāda Buddhism. Bhikkhu Nanamoli relies almost exclusively on the Pali Canon (the ancient Buddhist scriptures). The result is refreshing and undistorted. Here you will not find the legend you hear so often, or sweet and sappy stories […]
The Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah
Read a story out of this book every now and then and think about it. It will benefit your well-being and happiness! Ajahn Chah knows how to convey the Dhamma from personal experience with simple but direct examples, be it on moral behavior, meditation or wisdom. The way Ajahn Chah speaks always reminds us of […]
The Noble Eightfold Path – Bhikkhu Bodhi
Bhikkhu Bodhi is one of our favorite Theravāda buddhist writers. His work is always reliable, his knowledge and overview of the Pali Canon (the ancient Buddhist scriptures) admirable. This work on the eightfold path, the path leading to liberation from suffering, is no exception. Bhikkhu Bodhi discusses each of the eight path factors extensively, with […]
Abhidhamma studies – Nyanaponika Thera
Abhidhamma Studies is one of those books that you can reread every few years to find new depth. In this work Nyanaponika Thera displays great insight into the many layers of knowledge that can be found within the first beneficial citta mentioned in the Abhidhamma Piṭaka. And if you don’t want to read the whole […]
The Requisits of Enlightenment – Ledi Sayadaw
Ledi Sayadaw is one of the great Theravāda-buddhist monks of the last century, praised for his knowledge of the Abhidhamma but also for his emphasis on the practice of meditation. He got his name from the intensive meditation he practiced in the Ledi forest where he later also taught meditation. Ledi Sayadaw is seen as […]
A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma – Bhikkhu Bodhi
The venerable Anuruddha’s Abdhidhammattha Sangaha is a masterpiece. It is one of the most important and influential works within Theravāda Buddhism and together with the Visuddhimagga, written by the venerable Buddhagosa, it is one of the standard works for anyone who wants to delve into the ancient Buddhist teachings. In nine short chapters the complete […]
Visuddhimagga (The Path of Purification)
The Visuddhimagga – translated as Path to Purity – is one of the crown jewels of Theravāda Buddhism. It is a summary of the entire Buddhist teaching, a detailed exposition of the path to liberation in three parts: morality (sīla), concentration (samādhi) and wisdom (paññā), written in the fifth century by the venerable Buddhagosa. In […]