100 books like Hua-Yen Buddhism

By Francis H. Cook,

Here are 100 books that Hua-Yen Buddhism fans have personally recommended if you like Hua-Yen Buddhism. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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

Book cover of Indian Buddhist Philosophy

Graham Priest Author Of The Fifth Corner of Four: an Essay on Buddhist Metaphysics and the Catuṣkoṭi

From my list on learning about Buddhist philosophy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Initially trained as a mathematician, I have now been an academic philosopher for well over four decades—in the UK, Australia, and currently at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. About halfway through this time I was shocked to discover that I knew nothing of half of the world’s philosophy: that developed in the Eastern traditions. I set about educating myself—reading, travelling to India and Japan to teach and study, working with those who were specialists in the relevant areas. Nowadays in my philosophical writing and research I am able to draw on a much richer and deeper understanding of philosophy.

Graham's book list on learning about Buddhist philosophy

Graham Priest Why did Graham love this book?

Buddhism is a religion (or family of religions), but its underlying ideas—many of which are independent of the soteriology of Buddhism—have undergone a rich development in the two and a half thousand years since Siddhārtha Guatama (the historical Buddha) lived. Carpenter’s book introduces us to the philosophical development in India in the first 1,000 years of Buddhism. It concentrates on the ethical aspects, and explores, amongst other things, various relationships with ethical ideas from Ancient Greek philosophy.

By Amber Carpenter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Organised in broadly chronological terms, this book presents the philosophical arguments of the great Indian Buddhist philosophers of the fifth century BCE to the eighth century CE. Each chapter examines their core ethical, metaphysical and epistemological views as well as the distinctive area of Buddhist ethics that we call today moral psychology. Throughout, this book follows three key themes that both tie the tradition together and are the focus for most critical dialogue: the idea of anatman or no-self, the appearance/reality distinction and the moral aim, or ideal. Indian Buddhist philosophy is shown to be a remarkably rich tradition that…


Book cover of The Golden Age of Indian Buddhist Philosophy

Mark Siderits Author Of Buddhism as Philosophy

From my list on Indian Buddhist philosophy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began studying philosophy, both western and Asian, as a college freshman, and I never stopped. Much of my career in philosophy was devoted to building bridges between western and Buddhist traditions. The best philosophers try to make their ideas as clear as possible. But standards of clarity can differ across traditions, and this sometimes makes it difficult to present the theories and arguments of one philosophical tradition to those who think in terms of another. I have struggled with this in my own efforts at bridge-building, and I am always appreciative when I see other scholars of Buddhism achieve the sort of clarity I aim for.

Mark's book list on Indian Buddhist philosophy

Mark Siderits Why did Mark love this book?

This is simply the best available study of the Indian Buddhist philosophical tradition as a whole. It starts with the thought of the Buddha and ends with some 12th-century Buddhist thinkers who tried to synthesize the different strands that Buddhist philosophers had developed in the intervening 16 centuries. Westerhoff does a fine job of laying out all the major figures and schools in a way that makes clear how they supported their different views. His interpretations of the figures he discusses are fair and well supported. 

By Jan Westerhoff,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Golden Age of Indian Buddhist Philosophy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jan Westerhoff unfolds the story of one of the richest episodes in the history of Indian thought, the development of Buddhist philosophy in the first millennium CE. He starts from the composition of the Abhidharma works before the beginning of the common era and continues up to the time of Dharmakirti in the sixth century. This period was characterized by the development of a variety of philosophical schools and approaches that have shaped Buddhist thought up to the
present day: the scholasticism of the Abhidharma, the Madhyamaka's theory of emptiness, Yogacara idealism, and the logical and epistemological works of Dinnaga…


Book cover of Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations

Graham Priest Author Of The Fifth Corner of Four: an Essay on Buddhist Metaphysics and the Catuṣkoṭi

From my list on learning about Buddhist philosophy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Initially trained as a mathematician, I have now been an academic philosopher for well over four decades—in the UK, Australia, and currently at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. About halfway through this time I was shocked to discover that I knew nothing of half of the world’s philosophy: that developed in the Eastern traditions. I set about educating myself—reading, travelling to India and Japan to teach and study, working with those who were specialists in the relevant areas. Nowadays in my philosophical writing and research I am able to draw on a much richer and deeper understanding of philosophy.

Graham's book list on learning about Buddhist philosophy

Graham Priest Why did Graham love this book?

Mahāyāna Buddhism is a form of Buddhism that emerges in India around the turn of the Common Era, and is the form that spreads into East Asia. (Only one of the earlier forms of religious Buddhism is still extant, Theravāda, which can be found in South East Asia.) Williams’ book traces the development of Mahāyāna philosophy from its beginnings in India into China, where Buddhist thought is influenced by the indigenous philosophies, in particular, that of Daoism (道家).

By Paul Williams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Originating in India, Mahayana Buddhism spread across Asia, becoming the prevalent form of Buddhism in Tibet and East Asia. Over the last twenty-five years Western interest in Mahayana has increased considerably, reflected both in the quantity of scholarly material produced and in the attraction of Westerners towards Tibetan Buddhism and Zen.

Paul Williams' Mahayana Buddhism is widely regarded as the standard introduction to the field, used internationally for teaching and research and has been translated into several European and Asian languages. This new edition has been fully revised throughout in the light of the wealth of new studies and focuses…


Book cover of Zen Action Zen Person

Graham Priest Author Of The Fifth Corner of Four: an Essay on Buddhist Metaphysics and the Catuṣkoṭi

From my list on learning about Buddhist philosophy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Initially trained as a mathematician, I have now been an academic philosopher for well over four decades—in the UK, Australia, and currently at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. About halfway through this time I was shocked to discover that I knew nothing of half of the world’s philosophy: that developed in the Eastern traditions. I set about educating myself—reading, travelling to India and Japan to teach and study, working with those who were specialists in the relevant areas. Nowadays in my philosophical writing and research I am able to draw on a much richer and deeper understanding of philosophy.

Graham's book list on learning about Buddhist philosophy

Graham Priest Why did Graham love this book?

Perhaps the best-known form of Chinese Buddhism in the West is Chan (). This had a major impact on Buddhism in Japan, when it took off there around the 12th Century. (The Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese character is Zen.)  Zen is undoubtedly the most enigmatic form of Buddhism, and many “pop” books on it can be found in local bookstores, but good philosophical books are much harder to find. Kasulis’ book is one of the best. Certainly, you are going to get his take on matters, and there are others, but it’s hard to go past his book for a good philosophical introduction to Zen.

By Thomas P. Kasulis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Provides a clear and perceptive accounts of Zen. Kasulis locates the Zen understanding of the person in secular Japanese assumptions.


Book cover of Buddhist Moral Philosophy: An Introduction

Mark Siderits Author Of Buddhism as Philosophy

From my list on Indian Buddhist philosophy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began studying philosophy, both western and Asian, as a college freshman, and I never stopped. Much of my career in philosophy was devoted to building bridges between western and Buddhist traditions. The best philosophers try to make their ideas as clear as possible. But standards of clarity can differ across traditions, and this sometimes makes it difficult to present the theories and arguments of one philosophical tradition to those who think in terms of another. I have struggled with this in my own efforts at bridge-building, and I am always appreciative when I see other scholars of Buddhism achieve the sort of clarity I aim for.

Mark's book list on Indian Buddhist philosophy

Mark Siderits Why did Mark love this book?

Buddhist philosophers had much to say about how we should live our lives and how we should treat others. Modern scholars of Buddhist moral thinking have presented these ideas in a number of different ways. Gowans’ book is a fair and balanced discussion of what Indian Buddhist moral philosophers had to say about ethics and the different ways in which recent scholars have interpreted their claims.

By Christopher W. Gowans,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first book of its kind, Buddhist Moral Philosophy: An Introduction introduces the reader to contemporary philosophical interpretations and analyses of Buddhist ethics. It begins with a survey of traditional Buddhist ethical thought and practice, mainly in the Pali Canon and early Mahayana schools, and an account of the emergence of Buddhist moral philosophy as a distinct discipline in the modern world. It then examines recent debates about karma, rebirth and nirvana, well-being, normative ethics, moral objectivity, moral psychology, and the issue of freedom, responsibility and determinism. The book also introduces the reader to philosophical discussions of topics in socially…


Book cover of Illuminating the Mind: An Introduction to Buddhist Epistemology

Mark Siderits Author Of Buddhism as Philosophy

From my list on Indian Buddhist philosophy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began studying philosophy, both western and Asian, as a college freshman, and I never stopped. Much of my career in philosophy was devoted to building bridges between western and Buddhist traditions. The best philosophers try to make their ideas as clear as possible. But standards of clarity can differ across traditions, and this sometimes makes it difficult to present the theories and arguments of one philosophical tradition to those who think in terms of another. I have struggled with this in my own efforts at bridge-building, and I am always appreciative when I see other scholars of Buddhism achieve the sort of clarity I aim for.

Mark's book list on Indian Buddhist philosophy

Mark Siderits Why did Mark love this book?

Buddhist philosophers try to construct rational defenses of those claims about the nature of ourselves and the world that are central to the Buddhist project. So clarity about how we obtain knowledge is important to Buddhist thinkers. In this book Stoltz presents some of the fruits of their efforts, the epistemological theories of the tradition. What I most like about this book is the clarity with which Stoltz connects Buddhist theorizing about knowledge with trends in more recent western epistemology, bringing out both important overlaps and significant discontinuities. 

By Jonathan Stoltz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Illuminating the Mind puts the field of Buddhist epistemology in conversation with contemporary debates in philosophy. Jonathan Stoltz provides readers with an introduction to epistemology within the Buddhist intellectual tradition in a manner that is accessible to those whose primary background is in the "Western" tradition of philosophy. The book examines many of the most important topics in the field of epistemology, topics that are central
both to contemporary discussions of epistemology and to the classical Buddhist tradition of epistemology in India and Tibet. Among the topics discussed are Buddhist accounts of the nature of knowledge episodes, the defining conditions…


Book cover of Buddhist Perspectives on Free Will: Agentless Agency?

Mark Siderits Author Of Buddhism as Philosophy

From my list on Indian Buddhist philosophy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began studying philosophy, both western and Asian, as a college freshman, and I never stopped. Much of my career in philosophy was devoted to building bridges between western and Buddhist traditions. The best philosophers try to make their ideas as clear as possible. But standards of clarity can differ across traditions, and this sometimes makes it difficult to present the theories and arguments of one philosophical tradition to those who think in terms of another. I have struggled with this in my own efforts at bridge-building, and I am always appreciative when I see other scholars of Buddhism achieve the sort of clarity I aim for.

Mark's book list on Indian Buddhist philosophy

Mark Siderits Why did Mark love this book?

A key claim of Buddhist philosophy is that all the facts about persons are causally determined. This claim leads people to wonder where Buddhists stand on the so-called ‘free will’ problem: can someone whose actions are determined by earlier events be held responsible for what they do? This question never arose in Indian Buddhist philosophy, but modern scholars have had much to say about whether Buddhism’s causal determinism is compatible with the practice of praising or blaming people for what they do. This book collects some of the best attempts to answer the question.

By Rick Repetti,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Buddhist Perspectives on Free Will as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Throughout the history of Buddhism, little has been said prior to the Twentieth Century that explicitly raises the question whether we have free will, though the Buddha rejected fatalism and some Buddhists have addressed whether karma is fatalistic. Recently, however, Buddhist and Western philosophers have begun to explicitly discuss Buddhism and free will.

This book incorporates Buddhist philosophy more explicitly into the Western analytic philosophical discussion of free will, both in order to render more perspicuous Buddhist ideas that might shed light on the Western philosophical debate, and in order to render more perspicuous the many possible positions on the…


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

Bertrand Jouvenot Author Of Managing Softly

From my list on Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness.

Why am I passionate about this?

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. 

Bertrand's book list on Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness

Bertrand Jouvenot Why did Bertrand 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…


Book cover of Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory: The Dharma of Natural Systems

Yuha Jung Author Of Transforming Museum Management: Evidence-Based Change through Open Systems Theory

From my list on encouraging readers to question the status quo.

Why am I passionate about this?

My areas of expertise are museum management and arts administration. More specifically, I study structures of arts organizations and how they are connected or disconnected to their communities and larger societies using the systems theory and concept of mutual causality. In the process, I point out where the systems (i.e., museums) become stagnant and find a leverage point to address that stagnation by bringing in new input and different ways of thinking about the culture and structure of the organization. In most of my research, I try to find blindspots of following or doing “what was just there (i.e., status quo)” instead of evaluating what it did and how it can be improved. 

Yuha's book list on encouraging readers to question the status quo

Yuha Jung Why did Yuha love this book?

This book spoke to me as a scholar of systems theory and due to my upbringing in Buddhist culture. Macy discusses how core teachings of interdependence in Buddhism and the mutual causation concept of general systems theory are similar. This book emphasizes the interdependent relationships among different people, things, societies, and ecosystems as mutually affecting and not unidirectional, leading to and encouraging collective action toward mutual benefits. I also love this book because it can introduce readers to philosophical thoughts that are other than Western, which we tend to be bombarded with in academic publications and education in the US. 

By Joanna Macy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book brings important new dimensions to the interface between contemporary Western science and ancient Eastern wisdom. Here for the first time the concepts and insights of general systems theory are presented in tandem with those of the Buddha. Remarkable convergences appear between core Buddhist teachings and the systems view of reality, arising in our century from biology and extending into the social and cognitive sciences. Giving a cogent introduction to both bodies of thought, and a fresh interpretation of the Buddha’s core teaching of dependent co-arising, this book shows how their common perspective on causality can inform our lives.…


Book cover of Siddhartha

Marc Lesser Author Of Finding Clarity: How Compassionate Accountability Builds Vibrant Relationships, Thriving Workplaces and Meaningful Lives

From my list on helping you live a meaningful and successful life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I sometimes describe myself as a stealth Zen teacher working in the business world. I've founded and been CEO of three companies, including the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, a company I helped create and launch inside of Google's headquarters. I'm an executive coach and consultant to CEOs and leaders in the corporate and non-profit worlds. Prior to my business career I was a resident of the San Francisco Zen Center for 10 years. I'm the author of 5 books.

Marc's book list on helping you live a meaningful and successful life

Marc Lesser Why did Marc love this book?

Siddhartha is a profound exploration of spirituality, self-discovery, and the pursuit of meaning in life.

It encourages readers to seek their own paths, embrace the present moment, and develop a deep sense of interconnectedness with the world around them. The books protagonist Siddhartha encounters various forms of suffering throughout his journey, and he comes to recognize the necessity and inevitability of pain and hardship in life.

The novel teaches that true wisdom and growth can arise from embracing and accepting suffering rather than trying to escape or avoid it.

By Hermann Hesse,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Siddhartha as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Here the spirituality of the East and the West have met in a novel that enfigures deep human wisdom with a rich and colorful imagination.

Written in a prose of almost biblical simplicity and beauty, it is the story of a soul's long quest in search of he ultimate answer to the enigma of man's role on this earth. As a youth, the young Indian Siddhartha meets the Buddha but cannot be content with a disciple's role: he must work out his own destiny and solve his own doubt-a tortuous road that carries him through the sensuality of a love…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Buddhism, Buddhist philosophy, and philosophy?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Buddhism, Buddhist philosophy, and philosophy.

Buddhism Explore 278 books about Buddhism
Buddhist Philosophy Explore 19 books about Buddhist philosophy
Philosophy Explore 1,644 books about philosophy