The best books on Buddhist philosophy, meditation, and mindfulness

Who am I?

Bertrand Jouvenot is a French marketing influencer and prominent writer on business, management, marketing, branding, and digital. He has spent over twenty years in a variety of senior marketing roles. He now teaches at several business and fashion schools for Chinese and European students as well as consulting to various businesses. Bertrand lives in Paris, France, and writes for Le Monde, The Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Mediapart, Stratégies, le Journal du Net, Les Echos, and Influencia, the prestigious French quarterly print magazine spotting trends in marketing, communication, and creation. 

I wrote...

Managing Softly

By Bertrand Jouvenot,

Book cover of Managing Softly

What is my book about?

Looking at the history of the world, the violence principle emerges as a key driver. It’s all the same in the economic world: companies run to win market shares, employees jockey to gain better positions, CEO struggle to convince Wall Street that their strategic orientations are the best, and so on. But a closer look at the history of the world reveals three exceptional men who have been involved in immense battles and have been winning amazing victories using the Non-Violence Principle. The purpose of the book is to draw the lesson from those three exceptional men and to establish Non-Violence Principle as a key success factor for tomorrow’s management.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission

The books I picked & why

Book cover of Dhammapada: The Sayings of the Buddha

Why did I love this book?

Start with the beginning. The Dhammapada is the Buddhism inaugural book. In it are the words of the Buddha himself, teaching that all suffering stems from desire and that the way to attain freedom is to purify the heart and follow the way of truth. Very accessible, the words used in this ancient book capture the Buddha's original intuitions, thoughts, and teachings with great simplicity.

By Thomas Byrom,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dhammapada as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Dhammapada is one of the most popular and accessible books in all of Buddhist literature. In it are the words of the Buddha, teaching that all suffering stems from desire and that the way to attain freedom is to purify the heart and follow the way of truth. Thomas Byrom's verse rendering of the Dhammapada uniquely captures the Buddha's original teachings with simplicity and lyricism.

The Diamond Sutra

By Red Pine,

Book cover of The Diamond Sutra

Why did I love this book?

This book is told to be the offering of no mind, born of compassion for all suffering beings. The diamond Sūtra takes the form of a dialogue between the Buddha and his disciple Subhūti. The central theme of emptiness is a pillar in Buddhism. It relates to the non-existence of the bodhisattva's self (buddha‘s self), the merits, stages of spiritual progression, marks, and characteristics of a Buddha in the perspective of universal emptiness. It plays a particularly important role in meditative currents such as Zen.

By Red Pine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Diamond Sutra as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Zen Buddhism is often said to be a practice of mind-to-mind transmission without reliance on texts --in fact, some great teachers forbid their students to read or write. But Buddhism has also inspired some of the greatest philosophical writings of any religion, and two such works lie at the center of Zen: The Heart Sutra, which monks recite all over the world, and The Diamond Sutra, said to contain answers to all questions of delusion and dualism. This is the Buddhist teaching on the perfection of wisdom and cuts through all obstacles on the path of practice. As Red Pine…

Book cover of Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happines

Why did I love this book?

Using simple exercises that are perfectly adapted to our pace of life, it teaches us to meditate in mindfulness and to reap all the benefits: relaxation, sharpened concentration, development of creativity and empathy, building healthy and fruitful relationships. This book is an invaluable guide to reach our best potential in our professional and personal lives. And, best of all this author has a great sense of humor.

By Chade-Meng Tan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Search Inside Yourself as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng Tan, one of Google’s earliest engineers and personal growth pioneer, offers a proven method for enhancing mindfulness and emotional intelligence in life and work.

Meng’s job is to teach Google’s best and brightest how to apply mindfulness techniques in the office and beyond; now, readers everywhere can get insider access to one of the most sought after classes in the country, a course in health, happiness and creativity that is improving the livelihood and productivity of those responsible for one of the most successful businesses in the world.

With forewords by Daniel Goleman, author of…

Book cover of The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness

Why did I love this book?

The author is a world-renowned Buddhist teacher. Using the basic meditation practices the author provides, the reader can discover paths through his problems, transforming obstacles into opportunities to recognize the unlimited potential of his own minds. The monk invites us to join him in unlocking the secrets to finding joy and contentment in the everyday life. The book offers an illuminating perspective on the art of meditation and is a handbook for transforming our minds, bodies, and lives.

By Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Joy of Living as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For millennia, Buddhists have enjoyed the limitless benefits of meditation. But how does it work? And why? The principles behind this ancient practice have long eluded some of the best minds in modern science. Until now.

This groundbreaking work, with a foreword by bestselling author Daniel Goleman, invites us to join in unlocking the secrets behind the practice of meditation. Working with neuroscientists, the author provides clear insights into modern research, which indicates that systematic training in meditation can enhance activity in areas of the brain associated with happiness and compassion.

With an infectious joy and insatiable curiosity, Yongey Mingyur…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Buddhism, Buddhist philosophy, and creativity?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Buddhism, Buddhist philosophy, and creativity.

Buddhism Explore 245 books about Buddhism
Buddhist Philosophy Explore 16 books about Buddhist philosophy
Creativity Explore 115 books about creativity

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Lands of Lost Borders, Endurance, and Presence if you like this list.