Welcome to Wellington City Libraries' page of resources on Buddhism. Here you'll find a cross-section of what the library holds on Buddhism, some quick links into our online databases and the library's catalogue, and links to websites on Buddhism selected by our subject librarians. The Dewey Decimal call number for Buddhism as a subject is 294.3. (A comprehensive list of Dewey numbers for other religions can be found on the Beliefs homepage.)
Page last updated 27 February 2013.
"This stylish and wonderfully written guide to the so-called Preliminary Practises is not only very much written for and easily chewable by a western audience but also and most importantly is extremely profound and clear, all the way widening limited views and removing tons of misconceptions and misunderstandings about the Vajrayana path and Dharma practice in general. It is full of pith instructions suitable and fitting for this time and age Dharma practitioners. Every single Dharma practitioner interested in seriously engaging in the Vajrayana path should definitely take a good look at this timely masterwork by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche." (Amazon customer review)
Wisdom of compassion: stories of remarkable encounters and timeless insights
"An attendee at His Holiness the Dalai Lama's meetings all over the world and coauthor with him (The Wisdom of Forgiveness), Chan provides an insider's account of the spiritual master's teachings at venues large and small. "This is the Dalai Lama in context," he writes, "live, unscripted, and at his most charismatic." Encounters are arranged by theme: "Overcoming Adversity," "Educating the Heart," and "Compassion in Action." ... These inspiring dialogues communicate His Holiness's worldwide appeal and essential commitment to compassion. (drawn from Publisher Weekly, courtesy of Syndetics)
Faces of compassion : classic Bodhisattva archetypes and their modern expression : an introduction to Mahayana Buddhism, by Taigen Dan Leighton ; foreword by Joan Halifax.
"This wonderful book could also be artly titled 'An Introduction to Mahayana Buddhism.' From Ali to Gandhi, Dylan to Thoreau, and from Gertrude Stein to Mother Theresa, Faces of Compassion introduces us to enlightened beings, the bodhisattvas of Buddhist lore. They're not otherworldly gods with superhuman qualities, but shining examples of our own highest potential. Zen teacher and scholar Taigen Dan Leighton takes us through the ages to meet the people who have shaped history and society with their compassion and wisdom. Faces of Compassion emphasizes the universality of spiritual ideals, and the power each of us has to change our world" -- www.amazon.com
Selfless insight : Zen and the meditative transformations of consciousness, by James H. Austin.
When neurology researcher James Austin began Zen training, he found that his medical education was inadequate. During the past three decades, he has been at the cutting edge of both Zen and neuroscience, constantly discovering new examples of how these two large fields each illuminate the other. Now, in Selfless Insight, Austin arrives at a fresh synthesis, one that invokes the latest brain research to explain the basis for meditative states and clarifies what Zen awakening implies for our understanding of consciousness. ... His quest has spanned an era of unprecedented progress in brain research and has helped define the exciting new field of contemplative neuroscience.
The magic of awareness, by Anam Thubten ; edited by Sharon Roe.The Magic of Awareness
"A core theme is that enlightenment is always available, even in this very ordinary moment. It is something extraordinary that ordinary people can witness here and now, whenever we are ready. No matter where we are, no matter what we are doing, we always have an immediate access to that inner stillness. Known for his startling insight, unflinching honesty and great sense of humor, Anam Thubten cuts to the essence, the heart of the matter, drawing from his personal experience of walking the spiritual path and clarifies subtle, complex points directly, in easily understood language" (drawn from publisher's description)
To dispel the misery of the world : whispered teachings of the bodhisattvas / Ga Rabjampa Kanga Yesha ; foreword by Khenpo Appey ; translated by Rigpa Translations.
To Dispel the Misery of the World is among the best translations of early Tibetan texts in English. Fluid and accessible, with informative notes and an introduction to the little-known fifteenth-century author, this wellspring of Dharma will delight readers of any tradition or of no tradition. Translated under the guidance of Sogyal Rinpoche by Rigpa Translations, this work was recommended by the late Khenpo Appey Rinpoche, who believed its simple yet powerful instructions were exactly what was needed by people in the world today.
Buddha standard time : awakening to the infinite possibilities of now, by Surya Das.
"We're all given the same twenty-four hours a day.We can spend our time feeling hurried and harried, overwhelmed by chores and demands, distracted and burned out . . . or we can awaken to Buddha Standard Time, the realm of timelessness where every choice, every action, and every breath can be one of renewal and infinite possibilities. ... Drawing on Tibetan Buddhism and other great wisdom traditions, as well as on neuroscience and holistic traditions, renowned teacher and national bestselling author Lama Surya Das shares real world examples, practical exercises, and essential techniques. " (Syndetics summary)
Into the heart of life : Buddhist teachings on wisdom and compassion, by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo.
"The real test of our Buddhist practice happens not on the cushion or in the protected space of retreat but moment-to-moment in daily life, particularly when we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations. How do we respond? In this book, one of the most respected Western figures of contemporary Buddhism, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, offers insights gleaned from more than forty years of engagement with Buddhist practice. Her perspective is vast, with a well-grounded understanding of how the timeless Buddhist teachings apply to the demands and challenges of modern life." (publisher's description)
How to practice Shamatha meditation : the cultivation of meditative quiescence, by Gen Lamrimpa (Lobsang Jampal Tenzin) ; translated by B. Alan Wallace ; edited by Hart Sprager.
"In 1988, Gen Lamrimpa, a Tibetan monk and contemplative, led a one-year retreat in the Pacific Northwest, during which a group of Western meditators devoted themselves to the practice of meditative quiescence (shamatha). This book is a record of the oral teachings he gave to this group at the outset of the retreat. The teachings are brought to life by Gen Lamrimpa's warmth, humor, and extensive personal experience as a contemplative recluse. An invaluable, practical guide for those seeking to develop greater attentional stability and clarity..." (publisher's description).
Tell me something about Buddhism : questions and answers for the curious beginner, by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel. (2011)
"Tell Me Something about Buddhism does just that in easy-to-understand terms that outline the basics of Buddhist practice. For the curious or for beginners, this slim book is a wonderful guide. The author's roots, which are African American Christian, make her personal narrative of coming to Buddhist practice compelling. In telling her story, Manuel offers touching examples of her heart opening with forgiveness and self-acceptance, and her charcoal drawings warmly illustrate the informative question-and-answer format. This is both practical as a handy manual for those wanting convenient reference and captivating for anyone interested in Buddhism." (drawn from Booklist, courtesy of Syndetics)
China's holy mountain : an illustrated journey into the heart of Buddhism, by Christoph Baumer. (2011)
Rising from Shanxi Province like a three-dimensional mandala, the soaring peaks of Wutai Shan ("Five-terrace Mountain") have inspired pilgrims and travelers for almost two millennia. ... Christoph Baumer has traveled extensively in the Wutai Shan region, and here offers the first comprehensive account of the cradle of Chinese Buddhism. 300 luminous photographs capture the unique spirituality of the 60 monasteries which straddle the complex, charting festivals, rituals, pilgrimages, and the daily life of the monks, abbots, and abbesses... It will be an indispensable resource for students of Asian religion and philosophy, with further appeal to general readers.
Gautama Buddha, by Vishvapani Blomfield. (2011)
While there is much we cannot say for certain about the historical Gautama, this persuasive new biography provides the fullest and most plausible account yet. Weaving ancient sources and modern understanding into a compelling narrative, Gautama Buddha places his birth around 484 BCE, his Enlightenment in 449 BCE and his death in 404 BCE, a century later than the traditional dates. Vishvapani Blomfield examines Gautama's words and impact to shed fresh light on his culture, his spiritual search and the experiences and teachings that led his followers to call him 'The Awakened One'. ... Gautama Buddha is a gripping account of one of history's most powerful personalities. (drawn from Syndetics book summary)
A profound mind : cultivating wisdom in everyday life, by The Dalai Lama ; edited by Nicholas Vreeland ; afterword by Richard Gere. (2011)
"The Dalai Lama is one of the most respected spiritual leaders and popular authors of our time. His industry - and the industry of those around him who place his ideas and writings before the reading public - is admirable, to say the least. This volume contains carefully edited versions of several talks the Dalai Lama gave between 2003 and 2007 on the Buddhist doctrine of selflessness, especially as seen in several ancient texts. These addresses are fascinating but not for the beginner - the Dalai Lama speaks as a Buddhist to other Buddhists. (drawn from Library Journal, courtesy of Syndetics)
Awake in the world : teachings from yoga & Buddhism for living an engaged life, by Michael Stone. Stone continues with the notions that informed his earlier book, uniting the insights of Buddhism with the merits of the practice of yoga. Stone's particular brief is that we be aware of the importance of participation in communities in ways that further justice and minimize harm to all human beings. ...Summary : Elegantly stated "sermons" from a born leader in Buddhism and yoga; perfect for explorers of Eastern traditions. (drawn from Library Journal, courtesy of Syndetics)
Heavenly Himalayas : the murals of Mangyu and other discoveries in Ladakh, by Peter van Ham. (2011)
"This volume presents for the first time in book form important and largely unknown treasures of Indo-Kashmiri Buddhism. ... This volume takes readers on a journey through these remote sites, focusing especially on the amazing temple complex of Mangyu. The chapels, shrines, and dazzling murals presented here not only reveal much about late Mahayana Buddhism in India-its art, culture, and history-but also help fill a gap in our knowledge of the development of early Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. (drawn from the publisher's description)
Mahamudra and related instructions : core teachings of the Kagyu school, translated by Peter Alan Roberts. (2011)
"The Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism began in the 11th century with such renowned figures as Marpa and Milarepa, and it continues today with the Karmapa and several best-selling authors, including Pema Chodron and Chogyam Trungpa. Mahamudra, the "Great Seal," is a central teaching of the Kagyu school, along with the so-called six dharmas of Naropa. Formulated as a systematic practice by Gampopa (1079-1153), the mahamudra teachings trace their source to earlier Indian materials and focus on the cultivation of profound insight into the nature of the mind." (Syndetics summary)
The four immeasurables : practices to open the heart, by B. Alan Wallace ; edited by Zara Houshmand. (2010)
The Four Immeasurables-the cultivation of loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity-is a rich suite of practices that open the heart, counter the distortions in our relationships to ourselves, and deepen our relationships to others. In this book, Alan Wallace presents a unique interweaving of teachings on the Four Immeasurables with instruction on meditative quiescence, or shamatha practice, to empower the mind. This book includes both guided meditations and lively discussions on the implications of these teachings for daily life. (Drawn from Syndetics summary)
What the Buddha thought, by Richard Gombrich. (2010)
Gombrich shows the ways the Buddha thought with his contemporaries in order to propose his own theory that karma is not ritualized action to achieve purity (Upanishadic thinkers) or liberation (Jain thinkers) but ethical, intentional action that transcends the boundaries of gender, caste, and society. Karma is a universalized ethic of intention that distinguishes good from bad actions and fruits of action and thus opens the path to Nirvana through wisdom, kindness, compassion, empathic joy, and equanimity. ... Remarkable for its clarity and depth, .... Summing Up: Highly recommended.. (Drawn from Choice, courtesy of Syndetics)
Land of beautiful vision : making a Buddhist sacred place in New Zealand, by Sally McAra. (2007)
"Land of Beautiful Vision is the first book-length ethnography to address the role of material culture in contemporary adaptations of Buddhism and the first to focus on convert Buddhists in New Zealand. Sally McAra takes as her subject a fascinating instance of an ongoing creative process whereby a global religion is made locally meaningful through the construction of a Buddhist sacred place. She uses an in-depth case study of a small religious structure, a stupa, in rural New Zealand to explore larger issues related to the contemporary surge in interest in Buddhism and religious globalization. ...book jacket. (courtesy of Syndetics)
Downloadable Audio Books
Overdrive Audio is a free service which allows you to download and listen to audiobooks, and includes some Buddhism-related audio books. Some can be saved onto CD for future listening, after the due date.
Under the label "Browse Audiobook Nonfiction" choose the Religion and spirituality heading to find books by :
Joseph Goldstein, Pema Chodron, Jack Kornfield, Matthieu Ricard, and Adyashanti as well as classic titles such as Mindfulness for beginners, or Tibetan wisdom for living and dying.
Downloading instructions are included step by step. Downloadable audiobooks are issued for 3 weeks, and titles can be reserved if they are already on loan.
Many customers download to their PC, but if you want to try out an MP3 player first before buying one, the library will download a title of your choice. This service is available from the Sound & Vision Centre at the Central Library.
Online databases & articles
This dictionary features broad-ranging entries on the history and doctrines of the major Buddhist schools, information on the spread of Buddhism in Asia and the West, and coverage of issues of contemporary concern. (Contains 2,000 entries).
Wellington City Libraries subscribe to a number of different online databases that provide news and periodical articles on a wide range of topics. Below you'll find some links to recent articles on Buddhism, selected by our librarians.
If you have signed on to EBSCO (one of our magazine vendors) in the last month, the article links below will take you straight in to the database to view the article. Otherwise, you will need to login to EBSCO first in another window, entering your library card number and surname details, then return to this page. If you'd like to discover what our databases have to offer on topics other than Buddhism, visit our online databases section, www.mygateway.info.
- Theory and Comparison in the discussion of Buddhist Ethics, by Michael G. Barnhart, in Philosophy East & West, Jan 2012, Vol. 62 Issue 1, p1-28.
The author addresses three crucial questions : 1. What do we mean by Buddhism, and who represents Buddhist ethics? 2. Do Western ethical theories illuminate the Buddhist traditions and thinkers as well as their proponents argue? 3. Is there anything that we learn about what Buddhist ethics is from the ways in which ethical theories fail to stick?
- The heart of Helambu, by Tom O'Neill, in Critical Arts: A South-North Journal of Cultural & Media Studies 2012, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p192-207.
The author describes his experiences after enquiring about a simple Buddhist chorten (a dome-shaped Buddhist reliquary), seen outside a window while conducting an interview in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Other online articles:
Tricycle is a Buddhist bi-monthly review established in 1991 and published out of New York City.
- Resources for the study of Buddhism
Large portal, maintained by San Francisco State University. Includes links to online collections of Buddhist texts.
- Sacred texts of Buddhism
As well as books considered part of the canonical Scripture, it includes Jataka fables and more modern public domain books and journal articles.
- Access to Insight - Readings in Theravada Buddhism
Modern translations of more than 1,000 important suttas from the Pali canon, together with other sources, news and utilities e.g. iphone app.
- Essentials of buddhism
Lists of Noble truths, Boundless states, Fetters of Existence etc.
The searchable Buddhist Information Network features a BuddhaZine, guided meditation and other audio files, downloadable e-books and articles (Adobe Acrobat Reader required), information on Meditation Techniques, an online guide for studying Buddhism, information on Buddhist history and culture, a World Buddhist Directory, and a browsable collection of related links.
- Bodhinyanarama (Wellington, NZ)
Bodhinyanarama, or the Garden of Enlightened Knowing, founded in 1985, is a monastic residence of the Theravada tradition of Buddhism. This Web Site contains Dhamma talks and teachings and information on other New Zealand Buddhist groups, and Links.
- Wellington Buddhist Centre
The Wellington Buddhist Centre is part of a world-wide Buddhist movement called the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO).
Interested in finding out more about what the library holds on beliefs? Found a topical online resource you'd like to share? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you!