Book recommendations

A list of books recommended by Siddhartha’s Intent instructors appears below, together with the reasons for their recommendations in their own words.

A bibliography for the “Introduction to the Middle Way” may be found here.

Most highly recommended for new Buddhists

Chögyam Trungpa “Cutting through spiritual materialism”
“I couldn’t put it down. It’s amazing. I read it every day for a couple of years”
“This is a great book for people who are already drawn to spirituality”
“It brilliantly cuts through, like a modern version of Madhyamaka. He talks about how we think and cuts through it, revealing the core inauthenticity that we all have at our core. At my core, I don’t even know if I’m a fake or not”

Thich Nhat Hanh “Old path, white clouds”
“It’s so inspiring to read stories of how the Buddha lived and how the teachings came about”
“His books are really easy, for people who want a version of Buddhism they can easily connect with”
“I like how he presents the story of the Buddha. He makes it so vivid, you can taste it, he brings you there. You laugh, you cry, you feel the entire thing, the details, how the river was flowing, the appearance of this guy, how the Buddha felt himself. It’s very vivid, alive, inspiring”

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse “What makes you not a Buddhist”
“It cuts through the dogma. It’s so clear about what Buddhism is really about vs what’s dressing”

Walpola Rahula “What the Buddha taught”
“A very basic and clear foundation of Buddhism, and the common practices shared by all buddhists”


Dilgo Khyentse “The 37 practices of the bodhisattva”
“You understand that suffering is the human condition, it’s not just you, it’s not that there’s something wrong with you.”

Robert Wright “Why Buddhism is true”

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse “八万四千问” (Eighty-four thousand questions)
“It’s only available in Chinese. A lot of Chinese people resonate with it”

Pema Chödrön “When things fall apart”
“Her books are really good. She talks about matters of the heart, that we’re working with a covered-up heart and how to uncover it”
“A more psychological approach. I recommend this book to a lot of my therapist friends”

Yongey Mingyur “The joy of living”
“I had a neighbour who was smart and into science. I gave him this book and he liked it”

Yongey Mingyur “In love with the world”
“I liked how he talks about dying and how he struggles with his own judgment. It made it very human to me. Even though he’s an outstanding master, I really liked that”

Sogyal Rinpoche “The Tibetan book of living and dying”
“This book shocked me out of my comfort zone. Death is such a simple fact, but we don’t accept it. Why aren’t we prepared?”

Chögyam Trungpa “Journey without goal”

Chögyam Trungpa “The myth of freedom”

Keith Dowman “Sky Dancer: The Secret Life and Songs of the Lady Yeshe Tsogyel”
“I love biographies, and as a woman you’re looking for role models”


Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse “Not for happiness”
“This is really useful for people practising ngöndro”


Longchenpa “Treasury of the basic space of phenomena”
“His words are so beautiful, like poetry”

Page last updated August 15, 2023