Suggested Reading List
and a Word of Caution from Leslie

We are fortunate that many books on mindfulness and the Buddha’s teachings are available. We must be careful not to get caught up in intellectual study or attached to the teachings as dogma. The Buddha offered his teachings to show us how to live an awakened life, not as an object of purely intellectual study. We must make the teachings and practices come alive in our daily lives to see whether they are true and fulfill their purpose — to heal and transform suffering. To do this, we have to use our intellectual study and our practice like two wings of a bird, allowing us to be balanced and free. 

Books are wonderful tools and many of us read to enrich our daily practice. We must be careful not to confuse study with practice. To simply read and not practice the teachings is like buying the best garden tools and hanging them over the fireplace to admire their beauty and craftsmanship. Even with the best intentions and hopes, we are unlikely to grow many vegetables or flowers this way.

Please use written resources to support and develop your practice, but do not confuse knowledge and wisdom. Breathe! Your in-breath and out-breath hold as much truth as volumes of writings. With this approach, we offer the following suggested readings from our tradition to support your practice. Most titles are available in the local library or bookstores. The descriptions come largely from the Thây's publisher’s website, www.parallax.org. Many of these and other relevant books, as well as recordings can also be found on the Parallax Press or Amazon websites.

It is difficult to choose what to include in this list and we welcome suggestions for other books in our tradition. We will update this page from time to time, so please check back occasionally for new suggestions.

Also, if you would like to listen to Dharma talks at no charge and have Itunes on your computer, go to the Itunes store and sign up for the free Deer Park podcast. You will hear Dharma talks by Thich Nhat Hanh as well as lay and monastic Dharma teachers.

-Dharmacharya Leslie Rawls, Chan Giâc Xú


The Miracle of Mindfulness: A Manual on Meditation, Thich Nhat Hanh.
A classic introductory manual on meditation, concentration, and relaxation.

For a Future to Be Possible: Buddhist Ethics for Everyday Life, Thich Nhat Hanh
Commentary on the Five Mindfulness Trainings; How ethical behavior can heal our lives and society.

Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh
The joyful heart at the center of the Gospels.

The Energy of Prayer: How to deepen your spiritual practice, Thich Nhat Hanh
A celebration of spirituality, re-envisioning prayer as an inclusive, accessible practice that transcends any particular religious or spiritual tradition, and demonstrates the power of prayer in our daily lives

The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology, Thich Nhat Hanh
A clear vision of how to engage with our world for individual and collective survival.

Buddha Mind, Buddha Body: Walking Towards Enlightenment, Thich Nhat Hanh.

Details key physical and mental practices to strengthen and reconnect with our whole being.

Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, Thich Nhat Hanh.
Commentaries, meditations, personal anecdotes, and stories.

Being Peace, Thich Nhat Hanh.
The classic introduction to Thich Nhat Hanh's most important teachings. This eloquent meditation on "being peace in order to make peace" is more relevant than ever.

Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living, Thich Nhat Hanh.
A compelling vision for rebuilding society.

Learning True Love: Practicing Buddhism in a Time of War, Sister Chan Khong
A gripping autobiography that tells the story of a woman who not only lived but made history.

Love's Garden : A Guide to Mindful Relationships, Peggy Rowe-Ward and Larry Ward

A collection of stories, with commentary and guided exercises for couples ranging in age and experience.