Recommended Books

We encourage you to purchase books from your local independent bookstores. Kepler’s in Menlo Park offers 10% of your purchase price to IMC, whenever sangha members mention IMC at point of sale. To order online from Kepler’s, click here: Kepler’s

Support IMC/IRC when you order from Amazon; use any of the book links below, or click here: Amazon Search A small percentage will be contributed to IMC. Other non-book items you purchase through Amazon after you enter the site through these links will also contribute to IMC.  For even more additional benefit to IMC/IRC  you can also sign up with Amazon Smile.


Unhindered: A Mindful Path Through the Five Hindrances
By Gil Fronsdal

An engaging collection of essays, reflections and practices on the Five Hindrances, the primary obstacles to mindfulness and serenity in the teachings of the Buddha. With his characteristic clarity, born from decades of meditation practice and teaching, Gil Fronsdal demonstrates how to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones on the path of freedom.

book image A Monastery Within, Tales from the Buddhist Path
by Gil Fronsdal

Inspired by his years of Buddhist monastic life, Gil Fronsdal has written these warm-hearted stories as part of the tradition of teaching through storytelling. These are tales of transformation and spiritual growth. They delight and challenge as they express different facets of the Buddhist path to liberation in familiar, yet fresh and engaging, ways. Reflecting on the stories points to how each person can build an inner home for the awakened life.Also available for iPad/iPhone/iPod from: A Monastery Within: Tales on the Buddhist Path - Gil Fronsdal

book image The Issue at Hand: Essays on Buddhist Mindfulness Practice
by Gil Fronsdal

An inspiring and very accessible compilation of essays and edited talks on the Buddhist practice of mindfulness, by the founder and primary teacher of Insight Meditation Center, Gil Fronsdal. As Gil states, “the search for the issue at hand is the search for what is closest at hand, for what is directly seen, heard, smelt, tasted, felt, and cognized in the present.” Gil brings the practice of mindfulness not only to formal meditation but to all the varying aspects of every day life.

The Dhammapada: A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic
by Gil Fronsdal

The most widely read Buddhist scripture, recommended to new readers of the suttas. This classic text of teaching verses from the earliest period of Buddhism conveys the philosophical and practical foundations of the Buddhist tradition. The audio recording of the text is read by Jack Kornfield.

Steps to Liberation: The Buddha’s Eightfold Path
By Gil Fronsdal

The Eightfold Path is the Buddha’s most well-known teaching on the path of practice. These eight areas of practice are equally a holistic approach to personal transformation as they are for wise ways of living in community. This book contains the material for IMC’s Eightfold Path course, including reflections and practices for each of the Eightfold Steps. It is a great book for self-study and group discussion.

book image A Path With Heart
by Jack Kornfield

“This important guidebook shows in detail and with great humor and insight the way to practice the Buddha’s universal teachings here in the West. Jack Kornfield is a wonderful storyteller and a great teacher.” Thich Nhat Hanh

book image Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha’s Path
by Bhante Gunaratana

The Buddha’s Eightfold Path to freedom from suffering is skillfully delineated in accessible language with key points highlighted at the end of each chapter.

book image Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation
by Joseph Goldstein & Jack Kornfield

A thorough and practical overview of insight meditation-a rich source of Buddhist wisdom and practice. Both for beginners and those already established on the path. Useful exercises are included.

book image Breath By Breath
by Larry Rosenberg

Larry Rosenberg, a teacher at the Insight Meditation Center in Cambridge, MA, provides a clear description of meditative practice. The technique is based on the Anapanasati Sutta, the Buddha’s own instructions to meditators.

book image Being Dharma: The Essence of the Buddha’s Teachings
by Ajahn Chah

The teachings of Thai Buddhist master Ajahn Chah, a forest monk, who was a major influence on many Western teachers. His straightforward teachings and examples cross language barriers easily as he instructs us on the fundamentals of impermanence and non-attachment.

Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness
by Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg shows us how the Buddhist path of lovingkindness (metta) can help us discover the radiant joyful heart within each of us. The practice of lovingkindness can radically change our lives, helping us cultivate happiness in ourselves and compassion for others.

Living This Life Fully: Stories and Teachings of Munindra
Edited by Mirka Knaster

Anagarika Munindra (1915–2003) was a Bengali Buddhist master and scholar who became one of the most important Vipassana meditation teachers of the twentieth century.

Mindfulness Meditation Instruction

book image The Experience of Insight
by Joseph Goldstein

A simple and direct guide for the practice of Buddhist meditation. Practical instructions and clear discussion of basic Buddhist topics such as karma, the Four Noble Truths, the Factors of Enlightenment, and Dependent Origination.

A Gradual Awakening
by Stephen Levine

A simple and heart-felt book on how meditation can work and how we can become aware of ourselves.

The Heart of Buddhist Meditation by Nyanaponika Thera

A classic guide to the teachings of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness as the fundamental practice for training the mind and freeing it from greed, hatred and delusion.

Insight Meditation: A Step-by-Step Course on How to Meditate
by Sharon Salzberg & Joseph Goldstein

A step-by-step course by two highly respected teachers. Includes a workbook with mindfulness exercises, question-and-answer sections, photographs illustrating correct meditation postures, and two 70-minute CDs with guided meditations and study cards.

In This Very Life: The Liberation Teachings of the Buddha
by Sayadaw U Pandita

A precise and profound analysis of mind states and meditation practice, including both practical and theoretical aspects. Includes instruction through the stages of practice and emphasizes the view that, with the right effort, liberation from our suffering is possible in this very life.

Mindfulness in Plain English
by Bhante Gunaratana

The nuts and bolts of basic mindfulness meditation, the how, what, where, when, and why, including common problems and how to deal with them. His years of teaching Western students give it the clarity and straightforwardness that has made it so popular.PDF/HTML/EPUB available for free at Urban Dharma

The Beginner’s Guide to Insight Meditation
by Arinna Weisman & Jean Smith

A clear and simple book for beginning Buddhist practice including straightforward explanations of the Buddha’s teachings on freedom and happiness, and the authors’ personal stories highlighting some of the challenges and insights of practice.

Mindfulness With Breathing: A Manual for Serious Beginners
by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu Ajahn Buddhadasa was one of the most influential Buddhist teachers in Thai history. Teaching in a straight-forward style suited to Westerners, he describes how to become free of worry and stress through the simple act of sitting quietly and breathing, as taught by the Buddha in the Anapanasati Sutta.


The Experience of Samadhi: An In-depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation
by Richard Shankman
Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity
by Shaila Catherine
Path The Path of Serenity and Insight: An Explanation of the Buddhist Jhanas
by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English: An Introductory guide to Deeper States of Meditation
by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Suttas & Commentaries

The Buddha before Buddhism: Wisdom from the Early Teachings
By Gil Fronsdal

The Aṭṭhakavagga, or “Book of Eights,” is believed by scholars to be among the earliest of written Buddhist texts, and in it we find the Buddha’s teaching pared down to its most uncomplicated essence. Gil Fronsdal’s translation and commentary reveals the text’s central concern to be the joy that comes from recognizing and letting go of attachment to the illusory views that create suffering. It’s simple medicine that works for us today as well as it did for the Buddha’s first listeners.

book image In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon
by Bhikkhu Bodhi

eveals the full scope of the Buddha’s discourses, from family life to renunciation and the path of insight. A concise, informative introduction precedes each chapter.

book image Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization
by Analayo

A detailed study of the Satipatthana Sutta, the foundational Buddhist discourse on meditation practice.

book image The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Majjhima Nikayaby Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi

A collection of 152 discourses of the Buddha and his chief disciples, constituting a comprehensive text concerning all aspects of the Buddha’s teachings.

book image The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya
by Bhikkhu Bodhi

A translation of 2889 discourses of the Buddha, collected into different themes, addressing the heart of the Buddha’s teachings.

book image The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: An Anthology of Suttas from the Anguttara Nikaya
translated and edited by Nyanaponika Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi

Short and easy to understand, recommended to new readers of the suttas. The discourses vary broadly from basic ethical observances for the busy worldly person to the more rigorous instructions on mental training.

book image The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Digha Nikaya
by Maurice Walshe

A collection of 34 “long” discourses of the teachings of the Buddha, introduced with an account of the Buddha’s life and times.

book image The Sutta Nipata
translated by H. Saddhatissa

One of the oldest collections of Buddhist discourses. In a mixture of prose, verse and dialogs, it presents the heart of the Buddha’s teachings on ethical conduct and the end of suffering through freeing the mind of craving and ill-will.

book image The Life of the Buddha
translated by Bhikkhu Nanamoli

A biography of the Buddha’s life and teachings drawn from the oldest written record, the Pali Canon. A unique biography and invaluable resource.

Illness and Pain

book image How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers
by Toni Bernhard
book image When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
by Pema Chodron

A guide to help readers face the difficulties in life, including fear, pain, despair, rage and the feeling that we are not in control of our lives.

book image Break Through Pain: A Step-by-Step Mindfulness Meditation Program for Transforming Chronic and Acute Pain
by Shinzen Young

A practical and indispensable guide for anyone dealing with pain issues. Comes with guided meditations on an audio CD.

book image Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness
by Jon Kabat-Zinn

The program of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Mass. Medical Center; a secular book with practical meditation instruction to help patients deal with illness

Teens & Young Adults

Wide Awake: A Buddhist Guide for Teens
by Diana Winston

Teens today have a lot of pressure to compete and consume. This book talks about this and finding peace amid the ups and downs of life; accepting ourselves; working with difficult emotions; learning how to meditate; and using the fundamental tenets of Buddhism.

Blue Jean Buddha: Voices of Young Buddhists
by Sumi D. Loundon and Jack Kornfield28 college-aged, self-identifying Buddhists, wrote essays about how Buddhism has affected their lives, self-transformation and means of livelihood.
Dharma Punx
by Noah Levine

Noah’s search for meaning led him to punk rock, drugs, and drinking; but after seeing the uselessness of that approach, he looked for positive ways to channel his rebellion. He delved into Buddhism and instead of rejecting the punk scene, he integrated the two worlds as a catalyst for transformation.


Zen Shorts
by Jon J. Muth

A lovely, quiet book with beautiful illustrations. Stillwater, a giant panda who happens to be a Zen master, offers three parables for children to contemplate-a simple meditation in itself, even for adults. (Ages 4-8)

by Demi

Clearly and eloquently tells the story of the Buddha’s birth, childhood, enlightenment and death, and introduces some of his basic teachings. The delicate, detailed pictures are meant to evoke ancient Indian miniatures. (Ages 8-12)

IMC Community

Passing It On

A collection of writing and art by lay practitioners connected with the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California. It shows that helpful teaching can be found in the ordinary lives of lay practitioners.