Books by Gil Fronsdal

Books by Gil Fronsdal

The Issue At Hand

This book, a collection of poignant and meaningful essays on mindfulness meditation and Buddhist practice, was written by Gil Fronsdal as a gift to the community.

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The Issue at Hand is freely offered and available in the following languages:

Purchase: For convenience and for international orders, the book is available for sale through Amazon here.

To order a free copy in English or Spanish (U.S. only), contact and include your name and address. Allow up to four weeks for delivery.  Donations are not required, but always welcome.


The Dhammapada is the most widely read Buddhist scripture. This classic text of teaching verses from the earliest period of Buddhism conveys the philosophical and practical foundations of the Buddhist tradition. In 2006 Gil Fronsdal published a new translation.



Chapter 1 [Download]


The Buddha before Buddhism: Wisdom from the Early Teachings

In the tradition of the best-selling Dhammapada: Gil Fronsdal’s translation with commentary of one of the earliest of the surviving Buddhist texts, the Atthakavagga or “Books of Eights,” reveals the teachings to be remarkably simple and free of religious trappings.

  • Purchase from Amazon here; or from the publisher Shambhala here.
  • Listen to a recording of Gil’s book-reading event for publication of this book here.

Everything is Practice: A Guide for Insight Meditation Retreats

Based on Gil Fronsdal’s extensive experience in both practicing on silent meditation retreats and guiding others in retreat practice, Everything is Practice describes how to practice with the many facets of retreats including preparing for and leaving a retreat, Dharma talks, practice discussions, sleep, pain, meals, silence, and mindful attitudes. This book is a detailed and practical guide to understanding what to expect while on retreat, from a perspective of mindfulness.

  • Available for purchase from Amazon here.

A Monastery Within: Tales from the Buddhist Path

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.

  • Available for purchase here.
  • A recording of Gil’s book-reading event for publication of this book can be listened to here.


This book is 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.

  • It is available for purchase here.

Steps to Liberation: The Buddha’s Eightfold Path

The Buddha’s teachings point to a path to liberation that we can all walk. It is a path to find our way through and beyond any suffering. The Buddha’s most well known teaching on the steps to liberation are his instructions on the Noble Eightfold Path. The eight sets of practices making up the Eightfold Path are equally a holistic path for personal transformation as well as a roadmap for wise involvement with our communities.In this book, Gil Fronsdal provides a practical introduction to the steps in the Eightfold Path

  • The book can be purchased through Amazon here.

Dawn of the Bodhisattva Path: The Early Perfection of Wisdom

Based on Gil’s Ph.D. dissertation.

The early history of the Mahāyāna movement has drawn a great deal of attention from scholars over the last half century. Among the various suggestions made about its origins are that it was initially a lay movement, a path of greater stringency for monastics, a stūpa cult, a practice of forest recluses, or even the result of influences from outside the Buddhist tradition. In this study Gil Fronsdal examines the Daoxing jing, a second-century Chinese translation of the Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines.   Available here.