100 books like The Dalai Lama

By The Dalai Lama,

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

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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…


Book cover of The Crystal and the Way of Light: Sutra, Tantra, and Dzogchen

Alejandro Chaoul Author Of Tibetan Yoga: Magical Movements of Body, Breath, and Mind

From my list on the Tibetan Bon-Buddhist yogic path.

Why am I passionate about this?

Maybe reincarnation, maybe early interest, but since elementary school I had a call that I didn’t quite understand. It became clearer as I moved through high school, college, and grad school. Traveling to India and Nepal from 1989-1990 for 9 months was the gestation period for my interest in this Tibetan yogic path. I was fortunate to continue training at Ligmincha International as well as in Menri Monastery in India, Tritan Norbutse in Nepal, and visit Tibet. From teaching in the US, Latin America, and Europe, my greatest privilege was the 20 years at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, connecting with people at a deep human level.

Alejandro's book list on the Tibetan Bon-Buddhist yogic path

Alejandro Chaoul Why did Alejandro love this book?

If you want a clear explanation of Tibetan spirituality, and gain a deeper understanding of sutra, tantra, and Dzogchen, this is your book! Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche’s direct and clear style of teaching is vibrant in this book. And like its title, this book is the crystal that with one’s awareness or rigpa, can bring light into your practice and everyday life.

By Chogyal Namkhai Norbu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Crystal and the Way of Light as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A contemporary exploration of, and personal meditation on, the Buddhist tradition of Dzogchen and its many teachings for modern life—by an esteemed Tibetan master

In The Crystal and the Way of Light, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu examines the spiritual path from the viewpoint of Dzogchen. He discusses the base path and fruit of Dzogchen practice, and describes his education and how he met his principal master who showed him the real meaning of direct introduction to Dzogchen.

By interweaving his life story with the teachings, he both sets Dzogchen in its traditional context and reveals its powerful contemporary relevance. The book…


Book cover of Wonders of the Natural Mind: The Essense of Dzogchen in the Native Bon Tradition of Tibet

Alejandro Chaoul Author Of Tibetan Yoga: Magical Movements of Body, Breath, and Mind

From my list on the Tibetan Bon-Buddhist yogic path.

Why am I passionate about this?

Maybe reincarnation, maybe early interest, but since elementary school I had a call that I didn’t quite understand. It became clearer as I moved through high school, college, and grad school. Traveling to India and Nepal from 1989-1990 for 9 months was the gestation period for my interest in this Tibetan yogic path. I was fortunate to continue training at Ligmincha International as well as in Menri Monastery in India, Tritan Norbutse in Nepal, and visit Tibet. From teaching in the US, Latin America, and Europe, my greatest privilege was the 20 years at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, connecting with people at a deep human level.

Alejandro's book list on the Tibetan Bon-Buddhist yogic path

Alejandro Chaoul Why did Alejandro love this book?

This is Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche’s first book in English. And what I love about this book is that he puts it all out, no withholding. He talks about his life as a child entering the monastic life, at the monastery not too far from his house, and relates how he visited his mom, and the mantras he would recite if he was scared at night coming back to the monastery.

He describes his powerful dreams and the practice of dark retreat, where he stayed for the traditional 49 days when he was only fifteen years old. And the wonderful experiences, visions, and connections to the higher dzogchen practices of cutting through discursive throughs (trekchod) and leaps of visions (thogyal).

By Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Although the Dzogchen teachings are principally familiar to Westerners through the teachings of the Nyingma school, they also survive in the ancient Bön Religion of Tibet. Wonders of the Natural Mind presents Dzogchen as taught in the Zhang Zhung Nyan Gyud, the fundamental Bön text. The book summarizes the main points of Dzogchen and its relation to the various systems of Bön teaching. In offering these teachings, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche provides the reader with a vivid and engaging portrait of Bön culture as he interweaves the teachings with his personal story and reflections on the practice of Dzogchen in the…


Book cover of The Little Luminous Boy

Alejandro Chaoul Author Of Tibetan Yoga: Magical Movements of Body, Breath, and Mind

From my list on the Tibetan Bon-Buddhist yogic path.

Why am I passionate about this?

Maybe reincarnation, maybe early interest, but since elementary school I had a call that I didn’t quite understand. It became clearer as I moved through high school, college, and grad school. Traveling to India and Nepal from 1989-1990 for 9 months was the gestation period for my interest in this Tibetan yogic path. I was fortunate to continue training at Ligmincha International as well as in Menri Monastery in India, Tritan Norbutse in Nepal, and visit Tibet. From teaching in the US, Latin America, and Europe, my greatest privilege was the 20 years at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, connecting with people at a deep human level.

Alejandro's book list on the Tibetan Bon-Buddhist yogic path

Alejandro Chaoul Why did Alejandro love this book?

The Little Luminous Boy is both a 7th c. Tibetan master who acquired the light body, Tapihritsa, as well as the potential that we all have in our search for enlightenment. Samten Karmay relates Tapihritsa’s life story in the context of the lineage of masters before and after him. It is a story of the transmission of knowledge and wisdom, of the precious Zhang Zhung lineage passed from mind to mind, by signs, orally, and finally put into writing. The Masters are shown through beautiful tsakli or cards that allow us to enter into their world through those images. Some of which are specifically related to Tibetan yoga, and I have incorporated them in my book as well.

By Samten G. Karmay,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A detailed exposition of the Bon secret oral tradition from Zhang-Zhung in western Tibet, and its transmission by recognized masters up till the present. Richly illustrated with exquisite details from two thangka paintings.


Book cover of The Seed of Compassion: Lessons from the Life and Teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Mimi Chao Author Of Let's Go Explore

From my list on picture books to inspire mindful curiosity in kids (and adults).

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe that creativity and mindfulness are critical qualities for a well-lived life. This is something I learned through personal experience as a former lawyer who returned to my childhood dream of creating art and stories. Mindfulness—a kind, nonjudgmental awareness of what is happening in the present moment in and around you—helps people of all ages practice self-compassion, appreciate the world and others, and see life as an adventure. I write and illustrate picture books to share these concepts through storytelling, teach mindful creative classes, and am a certified meditation teacher through The Awareness Training Institute and the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.   

Mimi's book list on picture books to inspire mindful curiosity in kids (and adults)

Mimi Chao Why did Mimi love this book?

This book beautifully demonstrates the power of compassion, which goes hand-in-hand with mindfulness. It tells the story of the Dalai Lama’s life, with a focus on how his mom helped him cultivate compassion and how that seed of compassion lives in all of us.

I think this book is great for kids who learn best through storytelling, and I like that it offers exposure to Tibetan Buddhism, Eastern culture, and the Dalai Lama as a historical figure for children and adults of all backgrounds and religions.

By Dalai Lama, Bao Luu (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Seed of Compassion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

For the first time ever, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses children directly, sharing lessons of peace and compassion, told through stories of his own childhood.

One of today's most inspiring world leaders was once an ordinary child named Lhamo Thondup. In a small village in Tibet, his mother was his first great teacher of compassion. In everyday moments from his childhood, young readers begin to see that important lessons are all around us, and they, too, can grow to truly understand them.

With simple, powerful text, the Dalai Lama shares the universalist teachings of treating…


Book cover of All Is Change: The Two-Thousand-Year Journey of Buddhism to the West

Laurence Cox Author Of The Irish Buddhist: The Forgotten Monk Who Faced Down the British Empire

From my list on Buddhism and the West.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a street musician, set up kindergartens, worked in special needs education, and run wood-fired showers in a field for meditation retreats. I’m also associate professor of sociology at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. I became a Buddhist partly out of interest in a very different culture and started wondering how Buddhism got from Asia to the West. I think about this through my own experience of teaching meditation, being an activist for 35 years, living in five countries, and learning ten languages: what do you have to do to make an idea come alive in a different culture? 

Laurence's book list on Buddhism and the West

Laurence Cox Why did Laurence love this book?

I read this book just before I started writing my own book on Buddhism and Ireland. It’s almost an adventure story: there’s Alexander the Great and Aesop’s Fables, Marco Polo and Theosophist fantasies, Christian missionaries to Asia and Buddhist missionaries to the West, Asian immigrants in America, and British spies in Tibet, the Dalai Lama, and today’s western Buddhists. Sutin tells this whole complicated, rambling yarn in an easy-going and enjoyable way, making the book a real pleasure to read.

By Lawrence Sutin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The modern-day creation of a distinctly Western Buddhism is arguably the most significant spiritual development of our time. Few realize, however, that the complicated dance between Western and Eastern religions has gone on for more than two millennia. ALL IS CHANGE is the definitive account of the two-thousand year transmission of Buddhism to the West. From the early exchanges between the Classical Greeks and the Buddhists of India to the encounters between Buddhist and Christian traders and missionaries in China to the influence of Buddhism on Western philosophers and the current fascination with the Dalai Lama, this is a riveting…


Book cover of Tsongkhapa: A Buddha in the Land of Snows

Patrick Ussher Author Of Stoicism & Western Buddhism: A Reflection on Two Philosophical Ways of Life

From my list on modern-day adaptations of Buddhism and Stoicism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve long been interested in what different traditions have to say about how to live our best lives. While a graduate student, I naturally drifted towards studying both Stoicism and Buddhism and wrote my MA dissertation on a comparison of both (which ultimately, much later, became the basis for my book). During my time as a Ph.D. student, I was actively involved in the Modern Stoicism project. As well as running the blog for the project, I was also involved, along with a team of academics and psychotherapists, in creating adaptations of that ancient philosophy for the modern world. I also draw on both philosophies in coping with chronic illness.

Patrick's book list on modern-day adaptations of Buddhism and Stoicism

Patrick Ussher Why did Patrick love this book?

This, the biography of a 14th-century Tibetan Buddhist master, might seem out of place for a list that is about modern-day adaptations of ancient philosophies. However, I wanted to include it as a reminder that while philosophical reform can be all well and good, sometimes the masters of yesteryear are those from whom we still have the most to learn.

I find this book magical: its lucid descriptions of the rich intellectual and spiritual tradition of 14th-century Tibetan culture, its monastic curriculum and debates, and the evident commitment to enlightenment among its many protagonists, all of these things have much to teach us moderns who might just have a tendency to get a little cute when we think that we know best.  

By Thupten Jinpa,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The new standard work and definitive biography of Tsongkhapa, one of the principle founders of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism--the school of the Dalai Lamas.

In this groundbreaking addition to the Lives of the Masters series, Thupten Jinpa, a scholar-practitioner and long-time translator for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, offers the most comprehensive portrait available of Jé Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), one of the greatest Buddhist teachers in history. A devout monastic, Tsongkhapa took on the difficult task of locating and studying all of the Indian Buddhist classics available in Tibet in his day. He went on to synthesize this knowledge…


Book cover of The Dalai Lama's Cat

Arielle Ford Author Of The Love Thief

From my list on growing your soul and opening your heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved fairytales, whimsical stories, and mysteries. Plus, I’m passionate about mind-expanding, heart-opening books that offer me new ways to understand myself and the Universe we live in. And I particularly like books that show me ways to have more of what brings me joy and pleasure. When I can get all of this in a novel I’m in heaven.

Arielle's book list on growing your soul and opening your heart

Arielle Ford Why did Arielle love this book?

I’m a crazy cat lover and a lover of all things mystical so this book makes my heart purr.

It’s about His Holiness the Dalia Lama rescuing a starving and pitiful kitten he finds on a street in New Delhi and takes to his home in the Himalayas. This is a very sweet and warmhearted story told from the cat's bird eye view as she spies on his meetings with Hollywood celebrities, VIPs, and philanthropists.

It’s a through-the-back-door crash course in Buddhism.

By David Michie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dalai Lama's Cat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'In the months that followed I watched His Holiness working on a new book... I began to think that perhaps the time had come for me to turn my paws to a book of my own . . . one that tells my own tale . . . How I was rescued from a fate too grisly to contemplate, to become constant companion to a man who is not only one of the world's greatest spiritual leaders and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, but who is also a dab hand with the can opener.'

Not so much fly-on-the-wall as cat-on-the-sill,…


Book cover of The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living

Chase Mielke Author Of The Burnout Cure: Learning to Love Teaching Again

From my list on making teaching suck a little less.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a veteran teacher, instructional coach, and speaker. I’ve dealt with the bull crap and beauty of education for a decade and a half. As such, I’m dedicated to helping educators find their love of this work, even amidst the struggles. I’m a columnist for Education Leadership and host of the Educator Happy Hour podcast. I travel all over the world to help teachers and school leaders learn the science of well-being so they can be at their best in order to give their best, even on full-moon, post-holiday, “WIFI crashed” days of student chaos.

Chase's book list on making teaching suck a little less

Chase Mielke Why did Chase love this book?

I was an angsty, trouble-making, “pain in the ass-essement” of a student. A mischief maker. A frequenter of the principal's office. Then junior year, I find myself at a rummage sale holding a book with a cheesy, smiley Buddhist on the cover about happiness. Maybe it was curiosity (or what I’d later realize was depression) but I felt I had to buy the book. No book has changed my life more.

Co-written by H. H. the Dalai Lama and psychiatrist Dr. Howard C. Cutler, this book is a pragmatic, down-to-earth exploration of how our thoughts – our reactions to hardships – can shape our well-being. Not preachy, nor touchy-feely, this book can explain how to acknowledge the challenges of life while taking our happiness into our own actions. If you’re going to suffer (and in teaching, you will suffer), why not take a masterclass on how to find happiness within…

By Dalai Lama XIV, Howard C. Cutler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this unique and important book, one of the world's great spiritual leaders offers his practical wisdom and advice on how we can overcome everyday human problems and achieve lasting happiness.

The Art of Happiness is a highly accessible guide for a western audience, combining the Dalai Lama's eastern spiritual tradition with Dr Howard C. Cutler's western perspective. Covering all key areas of human experience, they apply the principles of Tibetan Buddhism to everyday problems and reveal how one can find balance and complete spiritual and mental freedom.

For the many who wish to understand more about the Dalai Lama's…


Book cover of The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality

Larry Gottlieb Author Of Hoodwinked: Uncovering Our Fundamental Superstitions

From my list on to help us understand human being.

Why am I passionate about this?

As long as I can remember, I have wanted to understand how the universe works. I studied physics with a firm belief in scientific materialism, the belief that all things can or will be explained by science, including consciousness. However, after earning an advanced degree I found myself no closer to a satisfying answer to my inquiry into the relationship between consciousness and the physical world. Then, a personal experience of unembodied consciousness convinced me that my answers would have to come from a reexamination of all that I had believed, an internal journey over decades that has borne fruit in unexpected and magical ways.

Larry's book list on to help us understand human being

Larry Gottlieb Why did Larry love this book?

I fell in love with the Dalai Lama while reading this book. While telling his own story, he makes it clear that the most important knowledge a human being can have is not amenable to the usual idea of scientific inquiry, which typically involves analyzing external phenomena. I learned about how inner awareness yields to contemplative investigation in the Buddhist tradition, enabled by the development of refined attention through meditation. As I read this book, I could feel the love that remains when all judgment about ourselves and others is finally released.  

By Dalai Lama XIV,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Universe in a Single Atom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gallileo, Copernicus, Newton, Niels Bohr, Einstein. Their insights shook our perception of who we are and where we stand in the world and in their wake have left an uneasy co-existence: science vs. religion, faith vs. empirical enquiry. Which is the keeper of truth? Which is the true path to understanding reality?

After forty years of study with some of the greatest scientific minds as well as a lifetime of meditative, spiritual and philosophical study, the Dalai Lama presents a brilliant analysis of why both disciplines must be pursued in order to arrive at a complete picture of the truth.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Dalai Lama, yoga, and Buddhism?

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

The Dalai Lama 13 books
Yoga 116 books
Buddhism 279 books