This is the book to get when you are ready to start reading suttas. Bhikkhu Bodhi has done an excellent job of selecting suttas, grouping them by topics and providing a very helpful introduction for each topic - recommended.
*Digha Nikaya, translated by Maurice Walshe, Wisdom Publications, 1995, ISBN: 0861711033
The biography of the Buddha extracted from the Discourses - recommended.
Books that quote extensively from the discourses
~ Darryl Bailey extracts the core teachings from the Discourses
This booklet may be small (60 pages) but it is highly recommended.
*A Swift Pair of Messengers: Calm with Insight from The Buddha's Lips
~ Bhikkhu Sujato, Inward Path Publications, P.O. Box 1034, Penang, Malaysia
Tel/FAX: 04-659-6696, email@example.com or InwardPath@hotmail.com
Excellent discussion of the importance of the Jhanas in the Buddha's discourses
An anthology of the Buddha's teachings on Nibbana with many sutta excerpts as well as informative writings by various modern teachers such as Ajahn Chah, Ajan Mun, Ajahn Buddhadasa, H.H. the Dali Lama, etc - recommended.
Paticcasamuppada: Practical Dependent Origination, Buddhadasa Bhikkhu;
c/o Suan Mokkhabalarama, Chaiya, Suratthani 84110, Thailand
(send a nice donation to cover the cost of the book plus shipping - occasionally this shows up online, search for it)
How the human faculty of speech is inseparable from some other human particulars, most notably religion and culture. Particularly notice how the "wordless" view is the same as the "absolute" view and the "wordy" view is the "relative."
A rudimentary psychological theory centered on motivation and highlighting the role of absorption in dealing with craving.
Concept and Reality in Early Buddhist Thought ~ Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñānananda, BPS, 1971, ISBN 955-24-0136-4
An Essay on Papañca and Papañca-Saññā-Sankhā that sheds new light on a perennial problem of philosophy, indicated in the title, Concept and Reality.
Read this little book to gain an understanding of what the Buddha really meant when he talked of "unborn -- unbecome -- unmade -- unfabricated."
(Note the linked PDF file has a couple of pages missing, but the jist of the book is certainly all there.)
A look at the suttas of the Pali Canon focusing on how we cannot understand the Buddha's teachings without understanding that he is debating other religious traditions of his time plus focusing on the Buddha's use of metaphor & allegory (and examining the resulting literalism of later interpretations).
Continuing the in depth study found in How Buddhism Began, Gombrich points to the primacy of ethics, karma, the use of the fire metaphor and more as he show how the Buddha was one of the most brilliant and original thinkers of all time.
Buddhism today in the West comes in many forms - from the traditional 3 schools to Vipassana to Mindfulness Based Therapies. Since Buddhism doesn't seem to require being embedded is any religious institution, it can be practiced on a secular level. Stephen Batchelor explores this Secular Buddhism.
An historical novel set in the time of the Buddha, a real page-turner. I really enjoyed reading this book. It transports one back 2500 years to another time and another place - a setting that students of Buddhism will recognize but find so much richer than they ever encountered before.
Buddhist philosophy is full of contradictions. Now modern logic is learning why that might be a good thing. This 3700 word essay looks at the the logic of teachings of the Buddha and Nagarjuna showing that modern mathematics is now proposing very similar ideas.
An anthology and a guide. Twenty-four folktales from around the world reveal the many ways that cultures teach generosity. Introductory notes decribe the process for starting a story-circle, and each story is followed by questions and prompts to spark readers' and listeners' own stories.
This map of human consciousness is a comprehensive guide to the types of psychologies and therapies available from Eastern & Western sources and clearly answers the question "Why do I need a healthy self if Buddhism teaches not-self?"
Superb explanation of consciousness from a scientific perspective - but not an easy read. This book gives real insight into not only consciousness but also into how perception (sañña) and concepts (sankharas) evolved first and the role they play in generating consciousness.
Extremely interesting brain science, very readable; questionable philosophical conclusions, somewhat controversial.
See Abstract from 29 Jan '01 Newsweek magazine.
My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey ~ Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD, Penguin Group 2008, ISBN-13: 9780670020744
Dr. Taylor relates what it was like to have her left brain shut down as the result of a stroke - and the insights that brings into the nature of consciousness. She also tells of her 8 year recovery from this very serious stroke. Remarkable!