100 books like The Jew in the Lotus

By Rodger Kamenetz,

Here are 100 books that The Jew in the Lotus fans have personally recommended if you like The Jew in the Lotus. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life: Awakening Your Heart, Connecting with God

Brenda Shoshanna Author Of Jewish Dharma: A Guide to the Practice of Judaism and Zen

From my list on Zen and Judaism.

Why am I passionate about this?

A lifelong practitioner and teacher of both Zen and Judaism, I am also a psychologist, who has constantly grappled with human needs, suffering, and the craving for meaning. The focus of my life has been to integrate the profound teachings of East and West and provide ways of making these teachings real in our everyday lives. An award-winning author, I have published many books on Zen and psychology, and have been the playwright in residence at the Jewish Repertory Theater in NY. Presently, I offer two weekly podcasts, Zen Wisdom for Your Everyday Life, and One Minute Mitzvahs. I also provide ongoing Zen talks both for Morningstar Zen and Inisfada Zen, workshops, and other talks for the community.

Brenda's book list on Zen and Judaism

Brenda Shoshanna Why did Brenda love this book?

This approach to meditation includes the wisdom of Buddhism and Judaism as a way to learn from life experience. By combining these two traditions, Rabbi Roth presents a model that allows westerners―both Jews and non-Jews―to embrace timeless Eastern teachings and integrate them with Jewish practice as well.

By Rabbi Jeff Roth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Awaken your heart and mind to see your own capacity for wisdom, compassion and kindness.

"When we awaken to our own light, it becomes possible to develop real wisdom about our life. As wisdom allows us to see clearly, our hearts break open with compassion for the struggles of our own lives and the lives of all beings. Awakened with wisdom and compassion, we are impelled to live our lives with kindness, and we are led to do whatever we can to repair the brokenness of our world."
—from the Introduction

At last, a fresh take on meditation that draws…


Book cover of One God Clapping: The Spiritual Path of a Zen Rabbi

Brenda Shoshanna Author Of Jewish Dharma: A Guide to the Practice of Judaism and Zen

From my list on Zen and Judaism.

Why am I passionate about this?

A lifelong practitioner and teacher of both Zen and Judaism, I am also a psychologist, who has constantly grappled with human needs, suffering, and the craving for meaning. The focus of my life has been to integrate the profound teachings of East and West and provide ways of making these teachings real in our everyday lives. An award-winning author, I have published many books on Zen and psychology, and have been the playwright in residence at the Jewish Repertory Theater in NY. Presently, I offer two weekly podcasts, Zen Wisdom for Your Everyday Life, and One Minute Mitzvahs. I also provide ongoing Zen talks both for Morningstar Zen and Inisfada Zen, workshops, and other talks for the community.

Brenda's book list on Zen and Judaism

Brenda Shoshanna Why did Brenda love this book?

Like a Zen koan or a Jewish folk tale, One God Clapping presents a series of stories, each containing a moment of revelation that is never simple or contrived. This book is a bold experiment in the integration of Eastern and Western ways of looking at and living in the world.

By Alan Lew, Sherril Jaffe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Zen Buddhist practitioner to rabbi, East meets West in this firsthand account of a spiritual journey.

Rabbi Alan Lew is known as the Zen Rabbi, a leader in the Jewish meditation movement who works to bring two ancient religious traditions into our everyday lives. One God Clapping is the story of his roundabout yet continuously provoking spiritual odyssey. It is also the story of the meeting between East and West in America, and the ways in which the encounter has transformed how all of us understand God and ourselves.

Winner of the PEN / Joseph E. Miles Award

Like…


Book cover of Be Still and Get Going: A Jewish Meditation Practice for Real Life

Brenda Shoshanna Author Of Jewish Dharma: A Guide to the Practice of Judaism and Zen

From my list on Zen and Judaism.

Why am I passionate about this?

A lifelong practitioner and teacher of both Zen and Judaism, I am also a psychologist, who has constantly grappled with human needs, suffering, and the craving for meaning. The focus of my life has been to integrate the profound teachings of East and West and provide ways of making these teachings real in our everyday lives. An award-winning author, I have published many books on Zen and psychology, and have been the playwright in residence at the Jewish Repertory Theater in NY. Presently, I offer two weekly podcasts, Zen Wisdom for Your Everyday Life, and One Minute Mitzvahs. I also provide ongoing Zen talks both for Morningstar Zen and Inisfada Zen, workshops, and other talks for the community.

Brenda's book list on Zen and Judaism

Brenda Shoshanna Why did Brenda love this book?

Combining the teachings of Zen and Judaism Rabbi Lew creates a wonderful balance between stillness and activity. The book includes both Buddhist and Jewish teachings and addresses the pain and psychological issues we grapple with daily.

By Alan Lew,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Be Still and Get Going as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written in a warm, accessible, and intimate style, Be Still and Get Going will touch those who are searching for an authentic spiritual practice that speaks to them in their own cultural language. Lew is one of the most sought-after rabbis on the lecture circuit. He has had national media exposure for his dynamic fusion of Eastern insight and Bible study, having been the subject of stories on ABC News, the McNeil Lehrer News Hour, and various NPR programs. In the past five years there have been national conferences on Jewish meditation in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami where…


Book cover of Zen Judaism

Brenda Shoshanna Author Of Jewish Dharma: A Guide to the Practice of Judaism and Zen

From my list on Zen and Judaism.

Why am I passionate about this?

A lifelong practitioner and teacher of both Zen and Judaism, I am also a psychologist, who has constantly grappled with human needs, suffering, and the craving for meaning. The focus of my life has been to integrate the profound teachings of East and West and provide ways of making these teachings real in our everyday lives. An award-winning author, I have published many books on Zen and psychology, and have been the playwright in residence at the Jewish Repertory Theater in NY. Presently, I offer two weekly podcasts, Zen Wisdom for Your Everyday Life, and One Minute Mitzvahs. I also provide ongoing Zen talks both for Morningstar Zen and Inisfada Zen, workshops, and other talks for the community.

Brenda's book list on Zen and Judaism

Brenda Shoshanna Why did Brenda love this book?

Zen Judaism is a frank reflection on the tensions between reason and faith in today’s context of knowledge. This book includes logic, ethics, philosophy, phenomenology and the need to inject Zen-like meditation into Judaism.

By Avi Sion,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Zen Judaism is a frank reflection on the tensions between reason and faith in today’s context of knowledge, and on the need to inject Zen-like meditation into Judaism. This work also treats some issues in ethics and theodicy.


Book cover of An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World

Susan K. Harris Author Of Mark Twain, the World, and Me: Following the Equator, Then and Now

From my list on blending memoir, travel, and history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always enjoyed books that introduce me to faraway places, cultural narratives, and the writers behind the stories. After retiring from college teaching, I decided to write one myself. I’m a Mark Twain scholar, so I followed Twain’s lecture tour through Australasia, India, and South Africa. One of my goals was to expose my research methods to my readers, and writing in the first person made that easy. What I hadn’t foreseen was how much the process would force me to confront my own past—exposing the radical differences between Mark Twain and Me. 

Susan's book list on blending memoir, travel, and history

Susan K. Harris Why did Susan love this book?

In An End to Suffering, Mishra records his efforts to understand the Buddha’s relevance to today’s world. Like Aiyar, he is conscious of the differences between India and the West and the liminal world of individuals who, like him, live between them. Unlike her, he delves deeply into history, crisscrossing centuries, countries, and eastern and western literatures and philosophies, through which—over several decades—he moves and matures. Mishra confronts the writers and philosophers he studies, asking how their precepts affect him and the world in which he lives, and he doesn’t mind letting us know that his responses changed over time. I resonate with this book because it is a spiritual journey, written out of Mishra’s thoughtful, learned, search for stability in a world of unceasing change.

By Pankaj Mishra,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An End to Suffering as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An End to Suffering is a deeply original and provocative book about the Buddha's life and his influence throughout history, told in the form of the author's search to understand the Buddha's relevance in a world where class oppression and religious violence are rife, and where poverty and terrorism cast a long, constant shadow.

Mishra describes his restless journeys into India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, among Islamists and the emerging Hindu middle class, looking for this most enigmatic of religious figures, exploring the myths and places of the Buddha's life, and discussing Western explorers' "discovery" of Buddhism in the nineteenth century.…


Book cover of The Life and Teaching of Naropa

Lorne Ladner Author Of The Lost Art of Compassion: Discovering the Practice of Happiness in the Meeting of Buddhism and Psychology

From my list on biographies within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a clinical psychologist who also writes about and teaches Buddhist philosophy, psychology, and meditation. I've had the great good fortune to be closely mentored by a number of elder Tibetan teachers who were educated in old Tibet.  Over the decades, when seeking wisdom and compassion in the midst of life's challenges, I've repeatedly found inspiration, education, solace, and guidance along my own path in the enlightened and enlightening life stories of a number of the great scholar/yogis of the Himalayan Buddhist traditions. 

Lorne's book list on biographies within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition

Lorne Ladner Why did Lorne love this book?

Naropa was an important figure in Indian Tantric Buddhism whose lineages gained great popularity in Tibet. His life story beautifully embodies many archetypal elements of the spiritual journey in a way that has proved compelling, inspiring, and educational for Buddhist practitioners for well over a millenium. He goes from being a great scholar to a seeker who bears many hardships to an enlightened master. If you yourself are someone deeply committed to a spiritual journey, then it's likely that you'll find moments of your own experience reflected back for you in his remarkable story.

By Herbert V. Guenther,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the history of Tibetan Buddhism, the eleventh-century Indian mystic Nâropa occupies an unusual position, for his life and teachings mark both the end of a long tradition and the beginning of a new and rich era in Buddhist thought. Nâropa's biography, translated by the world-renowned Buddhist scholar Herbert V. Guenther from hitherto unknown sources, describes with great psychological insight the spiritual development of this scholar-saint. It is unique in that it also contains a detailed analysis of his teaching that has been authoritative for the whole of Tantric Buddhism.

This modern translation is accompanied by a commentary that relates…


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 Imji Getsul: An English Buddhist in a Tibetan Monastery

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 find the story in Imji Getsul (“English Novice”) incredibly moving. Lobzang Jivaka (Michael Dillon) was an extraordinary human being: the first trans man to have successful genital surgery and a pioneering (anonymous) writer on the subject. Outed by the British tabloid press, this deeply private man fled to India and became a Buddhist novice. In Ladakh he insisted on overcoming his own privilege as a white gentleman, starting at the bottom of the monastic hierarchy in gruelling physical conditions (which ultimately killed him). This book is an honest, funny, and powerful account of personal change and the meeting between cultures.

By Lobzang Jivaka,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the publisher: "Here is the daily life and routine of a very remote monastery on the Tibetan border. The author was a novice there, speaking the language, experiencing the discomfort and the blows and the beauty of that life. Lobzang Jivaka rejected most of the common values of Western life, to search for truth; and found it in an obscure corner of the world. This is fascinating as a work of travel, and as a religious book of some authority. It is an Englishman's account of life at Rizong Gompa in Ladakh, which he came to love as much…


Book cover of Buddha, Vol. 1: Kapilavastu

Sam Ita Author Of Fun with Origami Animals Kit: 40 Different Animals! Includes Colorfully Patterned Folding Sheets!

From my list on creative dads.

Why am I passionate about this?

When my kids were toddlers, there was a Burger King in the neighborhood with an indoor playground. It was glorious. A random guy walked up to me while we were there. “How do you do it, you know, the whole Dad thing” he asked. "Well… you don’t necessarily need to do a whole lot. Mostly just show up. Stick around." Never mentioned that by this time, I’d written and/or illustrated at least a couple dozen children’s books. I asked my nine-year-old daughter how she’d describe me as a Dad. “Most people think you’re creative, but I think you’re pretty average.” That’s good enough for me.

Sam's book list on creative dads

Sam Ita Why did Sam love this book?

Despite the drawing style, this really isn’t a kid's book.

Another Dad friend of mine, also into comics, mentioned he was reading it to his daughter. She was into it. I’d had the series from my pre-parent days. The conversation inspired me to give it a try with my then 5-year-old son, a Thomas the Tank engine superfan. He was hooked instantly.

The entire series is about 2,800 pages, so it covered a lot of bedtime stories. An intricate, sprawling story, loosely based on the life of the Buddha. It hit me even harder on my second reading while occasionally fielding some pretty heavy questions from my son.

This is a masterpiece of historical fiction, philosophy, casual nudity, and general Japanese weirdness. Way better than anything ever read to me as a kid. Easily one of the best things I’ve read as an adult. And this is coming from a…

By Osamu Tezuka,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Buddha, Vol. 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Osamu Tezuka's vaunted storytelling genius, consummate skill at visual expression, and warm humanity blossom fully in his eight-volume epic of Siddhartha's life and times. Tezuka evidences his profound grasp of the subject by contextualizing the Buddha's ideas; the emphasis is on movement, action, emotion, and conflict as the prince Siddhartha runs away from home, travels across India, and questions Hindu practices such as ascetic self-mutilation and caste oppression. Rather than recommend resignation and impassivity, Tezuka's Buddha predicates enlightenment upon recognizing the interconnectedness of life, having compassion for the suffering, and ordering one's life sensibly. Philosophical segments are threaded into interpersonal…


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…


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