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Buddhism 101: Best Reads for Beginners

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Warm greetings from the Lotus Templar Inc Buddhist Church!

Are you feeling drawn to the teachings of Buddhism and keen to explore its profound wisdom? Embarking on a spiritual journey through reading is a venerable tradition, and fortunately, countless books have been written on Buddhism. Whether you're a novice seeking clarity or a curious soul thirsting for spiritual insight, our curated list of beginner-friendly books will guide you through the foundational principles of Buddhism.

An enduring classic, this book offers a concise yet comprehensive overview of Buddhist doctrine. Rahula eloquently dives into the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, and other essential teachings, providing readers with a solid understanding of Theravada Buddhism.

Renowned Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh presents the core teachings of Buddhism with simplicity and depth. By blending personal anecdotes with foundational concepts, he makes the intricate aspects of Buddhism accessible and relevant to contemporary readers.

As the title suggests, this book is tailor-made for newcomers to Buddhism. Thubten Chodron addresses commonly asked questions, dispelling myths and providing clear answers. It's an engaging read that demystifies complex concepts.

For those interested in delving into the original scriptures, this anthology is an invaluable resource. Bhikkhu Bodhi, a respected monk and scholar, has carefully selected and organized teachings from the Pali Canon, making it easier for beginners to engage with authentic Buddhist discourses.

A heartwarming blend of Eastern wisdom and Western perspectives, this book explores the concept of happiness through the lens of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama, in conversation with psychiatrist Howard Cutler, offers insights into how we can lead fulfilling, joyous lives.

While rooted in Zen Buddhism, this book's teachings resonate universally. Shunryu Suzuki emphasizes the importance of maintaining a "beginner's mind"—an open, eager, and unprejudiced mind—making this a perfect read for those new to Buddhism.

If you're seeking a straightforward introduction to the principles of Buddhism, Steve Hagen's book delivers. With clear language and relatable examples, Hagen breaks down the essence of Buddhism, making it digestible for all readers.


Embracing the path of Buddhism is akin to embarking on an enlightening journey of self-discovery. These books, with their blend of profound wisdom and accessibility, serve as faithful companions for those at the beginning of their spiritual voyage.

At Lotus Templar Inc Buddhist Church, we celebrate the spirit of inquiry and wish you an enlightening reading journey. May these books illuminate your path, nurturing seeds of wisdom and compassion within. 🌸

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