Buddhism Reference Material

Guy Armstrong is a teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center (http://www.spiritrock.org) and I received this list while attending a meditation class in 2009. Please see Spirit Rock for information on Guy.

Guy Armstrong's Dharma Readings

Insight Meditation (Vipasana)

  • The Experience of Insight* by Joseph Goldstein
  • A Path with Heart* Jack Kornfield
  • Lovingkindness* by Sharon Salzberg
  • Faith* by Sharon Salzberg
  • One Dharma* by Joseph Goldstein
  • Insight Meditation* by Joseph Goldstein
  • A Heart as Wide as the World* by Sharon Salzberg
  • Insight Meditation correspondence course* by Salzberg and Goldstein ($198, soundstrue.com)
  • The Mind and the Way* by Ajahn Sumedho
  • An Awakened Life* by Christopher Titmuss
  • What the Buddha Taught* by Walpola Rahula (good reference for basics and "the lists"
  • Dipa Ma* by Amy Schmidt
  • It's Easier than You Think* by Sylvia Boorstein (introduction for non-Buddhists)
  • Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana
  • The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu
  • The Heart of Buddhist Meditation by Nyanponika Thera
  • Buddhist Dictionary by Nyanatiloka Thera (excellent reference for terminology from Pariyatti)
  • Dependent Origination by P.A. Payutto (on the Web, search by title and Payutto)
  • Good, Evil, and Beyond: Kamma in the Buddha's Teachings by P.A. Payutto (on the Web)

Buddhist Texts

  • The Life of the Buddha* by Bhikkhu Ñanamoli (from Pariyatti Book Service)
  • In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Cannon* by trans. Bhikkhu Bodhi
  • The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya by translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi; in 2 volumes, Wisdom Publications, $125 (suggested suttas: 1:1, 23, 27; 2:18, 26; 3:8, 25; 4:5; 5:10; 6:1, 2, 15; 7:2, 11, 12; 8:5; 12:1, 2, 15, 16, 17, 23, 65; 15:1, 3, 14; 16:8, 12; 17:2; 20:7; 21:2; 22:1, 3, 33, 43, 51, 55, 59, 79, 80, 85, 86, 93, 94, 95, 101; 35:23, 24, 28, 80, 82, 85, 94, 97, 116, 248; 36:6, 21; 41:1; 43:12-44; 44:10; 45:2; 46:51, 53; 47:6, 19, 20; 48:41, 42; 55:7, 21, 37; 56:11, 31, 34, 35, 38)
  • Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: An Anthology of Suttas from the Anguttara Nikaya by translated by Nyanaponika Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi, AltaMira Press
  • Dhammapada by translated by Gil Fronsdal
  • Teachings of The Buddha by edited by Jack Kornfield


  • Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind* by Shunryu Suzuki
  • The Zen Teaching of Huang Po by tr. John Blofeld


  • Awakening the Mind, Lightening the Heart* by H.H. Dalai Lama
  • Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
  • The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
  • Indestructable Truth by Reginald Ray
  • A Gesture of Balance by Tarthang Tulku

Practicing Non-Harming Other Beings

  • The Great Compassion: Buddhism and Animal Rights by Norm Phelps (Lantern Books)
  • To Cherish All Life - A Buddhist Case for Becoming Vegetarian by Philip Kapleau (Harper and Row)


  • Carefree Dignity* by Tsoknyi Rinpoche
  • The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche (ch. 10)
  • Natural Great Perfection by Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
  • Rainbow Painting by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
  • As It Is, vol 2 by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
  • The Flight of the Garuda by translated by Keith Dowman
  • Self-Liberation through Seeing with Naked Awareness by translated by John M. Reynolds

Buddhist Philosophy

  • The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way* by Jay L. Garfield (translation of Nagarjuna)
  • Verses from the Center* by Stephen Batchelor (poetic rendition of Nagarjuna)
  • Mother of the Buddhas by Lex Hixon (rendition of selections from Prajñaparamita Sutra)
  • Time, Space, and Knowledge by Tarthang Tulku
  • A Flash of Lightening in the Dark of Night by H.H. Dalai Lama (commentary on Shantideva)

Other Dharma

  • I Am That* by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • Lessons from the Dying by Rodney Smith
  • Commentaries on Living, vols. 1 and 2 by J. Krishnamurti
  • The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharishi by pub. Shambala
  • The Essential Rumi by trans. Coleman Barks
  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Dharma and Psychology

  • Emotional Alchemy* by Tara Bennet-Goleman
  • Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
  • Soul without Shame by Byron Brown (on working with self-judgement)

Family Practice

  • Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting* by Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinn
  • Dharma Family Treasures by ed. Sandy Eastoak
  • Prince Siddhartha by Johnathan Landaw (life of the Buddha for children)
  • A Treasury of Wise Action (Jakata tales)

Access to Insight is an excellent Web site with suttas and Theravadin readings: www.actioninsight.org

Mail Order Sources

  • Amazon.com
  • Pariyatti Book Service, P.O. Box 15926, Seattle, WA 98115; (800) 829-2748
  • Wisdom Publications, 199 Elm Street, Sommerville, MA 02144; (800)272-4050, www.wisdompubs.org; a non-profit publisher of Dharma books
  • www.bookfinder.com is a good site to locate out-of-print books
  • Bodhi Tree Books, 8585 Melrose Avenue, W. Hollywood, CA 90069; (800)825-9798. Their used book department is sometimes also good for out-of-print books.