paulbear wrote:I wanted to say hello to everyone and introduce myself. My name is Paul and I'm an American now living in Italy. I've been searching and longing to have inner peace for most of my life. I've filled my life with "stuff" and more stuff. I've recently met a woman a few days ago at a holiday gathering and instantly I saw a peace and kindness in this woman that I've rarely seen. After talking with this woman I've decided to ask her the significance of her necklace (om) which later we've discussed her commitment to Buddhism. I know this is a first step but I thought I would reach out and ask how I can speak with a teacher or recommendations on good beginner books. Thank you for any information Peace Paul
get yourself this book "the heart of buddhist meditation" by nyanaponika thera
and this one "focused and fearless: a meditators guide to states of deep calm, joy and clarity" by shaila catherine
you can get both for under twenty dollars total if used ones are okay. the first covers mindfulness, the second jhana meditation. also really familiarize yourself with the eightfold path, each step is crucial! learn it inside and out. all of buddhist practice can fit within it. this book covers that "eight mindful steps to happiness" by bhante gunaratana
and this book "in the buddha's words" translation and notation by bhikkhu bodhi
. it is a collection of suttas (a pali word more commonly seen in sanskrit as "sutras") on core buddhist ideas with introductions and notes by a very well respected bhikkhu (pali word for "monk") named bhikkhu bodhi.
and/or this one "the life of the buddha: according to the pali canon" by bhikkhu nanamoli
. this is a collection of suttas that tell the life story of the buddha chronologically. you won't find this elsewhere easily as the suttas in the pali canon (the name for the collection of theravada texts, or "tipitaka") are arranged by length as opposed to chronology and even if they were arranged in order like that there are thousands of suttas so you would have to sift through them and only read ones that detail life events of the buddha to get a biographical story. his life story is not necessary to know, just really cool! this book also has a wonderful section on his teachings.
for an instant fix and a really good clear cut summary of the dhamma see "buddhism in a nutshell" by narada mahathera
. that's a free article from an amazing site called accesstoinsight
. thousands of suttas and articles all for freeeeee!
oh and welcome to dhammawheel!!!