I am curious to know if there are many permies who are assiduously following the buddhist path.
I've only just discovered it myself and love it. That said, i leave all the supernatural claptrap aside and stick to the practical down to earth guidance.
I am finding the benefits immediate and multiple even at a micro level. Creative solutions pop up easily out of the blue. I feel more at ease. I am finding it easy to sit down and meditate at least once a day though i am trying to do it two or three - though i probalby have more time to do it than many others.
I am ordering a list of great books from amazon. If anyone is interested in titles let me know. Also let me know what ones you have found excellent.
So far the best book on mindfulness and meditation i have come across is called
Mindfulness in Plain English. Its hard to imagine a better book on the subject. I"ve just about come to the end of this one. I got it from the library and am buying my own copy. Its the sort of book you can easily read over adn over again.
Buddha by Karen Armtrong is an excellent introductory biography for beginners. Though there seem to be a lot of good ones out there. I think i am buying some more. One other i found really helpful since it went into some aspects more deeply than Armstrong was The End of Suffering: The Buddha in the World by Pankaj Mishra.
Anyway these are the three books so far that have really made me take it up seriously though others i have been reading are all adding to my knowledge and understanding. Some of those too i will be getting my own copies of.
For modern buddhists, i found this really really helpful to get an overview of buddhist traditions and modern buddhism. It paints the big picture very well. Its called The New Buddhism by James William Coleman. Probably the most interesting part of this book (though i didn't think so when i was reading it) is the part where buddhism came to the west and all sorts of troubles and scandals occurred because of the huge cultural gaps between say america and Tibet or Japan. This is still relevant since the teacher student issue will always be a weak a point for women in the west. Another interesting point was the role of women in buddhism but i think this is getting sorted now for the most part. If somewhat gradually.