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This is time for a great 'first lesson'. The Buddha said,"Don't believe anything I say, listen to it, practice
mindfulness and see in your own experience if it is true for you" . I think it is more like Buddhist Theory.
Happy Reading see www.portlandinsight.org/library
It has everything from the introductory to the most subtle and exquisite read.
If you have questions on that perspective, I would be glad to help out in any way I can.
(Edited to add the bit-of-the-title that comes after the colon. What is that called, anyway? "Subtitle" doesn't seem to be quite right...)
It's an eBook avaialble at: http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/wordofbuddha.pdf
And some other books I'd recommend right now are:
"A Path with Heart : A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life" by Jack Kornfield
"A Gradual Awakening" by Stephen Levine
"Against The Stream: A Buddhist Manual for Spiritual Revolutionaries" by Noah Levine
"Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness" by Sharon Salzberg
Along with some of the books you have mentioned here, I've enjoyed reading works by Pema Chodronand find her method of leading meditation to be helpful.
Enjoyed reading Lama Surya Das - Awakening the Buddha Within
It is a bit quiet around here, but that is not surprising I guess!
That's because we're all off meditating, of course.
Or reading about meditating ;-)
Good to find you here, chamekke. Are you Buddhist??
Yes, I'm a Buddhist... been poking doubtfully at that meditation thang ever since 1982 or thereabouts.
For those interested in exploring the Pali Canon of the Theravadan tradition, I'd recommend the Thanissaro Bhikku translation of The Culavedalla Sutta.
This teaching summarised the Four Noble Truths, Eightfold Path and Dependent Origination very succinctly for me. Another interesting point is that the teaching is given by a Nun (Dhammadinna) to her ex-husband :-)
I am new too the topic myself and have found the following website very helpful: http://www.ashokaedu.net/
I hope you find it useful. Good luck to you.
I also found audio dharma from The Insight Meditation Center http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/ at Redwood City, CA to be very helpful as well.
I would also recommend What the Buddha Taught and depending on what you were seeking, would add a few more.
But to keep from getting lost in a lost list of titles, I will strongly suggest the first 2 volumes of Geshe Tashi Tsering's 6 volume set on The Foundation of Buddhist Thought - which are (in order) The Four Noble Truths; Relative Truth, Ultimate Truth.
I am interested in scholarly literature; not "pop" psychology books. I'd like a good history of Buddhism, overview, or analysis...
To which 'Chodron' do you refer? Ven. Thubten Chodron is certainly not pop-buddhism but trustworthy Tibetan steeped in tradition. I would recommend you peruse her site, which hosts a great deal of dharma.
To answer your question- I suppose it depends on what exactly you want and in which tradition?
Seeing how late I am to your question, I will see if you are still seeking responses.
Give: The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching- Thich Nhat Hanh
Have: This is tougher. Quite likely The Mind and the Way, Ajahn Sumedho.....but I do find Pure and Simple: The Extraordinary Teachings of a Thai Buddhist Laywoman by Upasika Kee Nanayon a very helpful book. This woman is like a piece of driftwood or a bare rock in her style - plain, simple and forceful.