It is really useful to read books, but please also come along to some of our meetings, as you will find you will get a much deeper and richer experience when you are together with the spiritual community of friends that we are building.
Wildmind: A Step-by Step Guide to Meditation
This is a really excellent book. Lots of very practical information, and highly recommended. But it is hard to learn meditation from a book. I recommend you use it in conjunction with some of the other resources listed here, not instead of.
Paramabandhu is an order member living in a community above the London Buddhist Centre, where he used to be chairman. He is also a retired psychiatrist. He set up Breathing Space below the London Buddhist Centre where they teach various courses in a secular context. Jed Shamel is also a doctor and a clinical psychologist.
KBT (kindness behaviour training) was first developed as a follow-on course for those who had completed a course in mindfulness, especially one of the therapeutic mindfulness courses such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for depression, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) or mindfulness-based addiction recovery (MBAR).
KBT is a great way to take further and expand on what has been learned on a mindfulness course – whether secular or Buddhist. However no previous experience of mindfulness is needed as the first two weeks give a basic grounding in mindfulness. Essentially KBT is for anyone who values kindness and wishes to bring more kindness into their life.
This is a secular course, and there is little (if any) mention of Buddhism in it. This is to make it more accessible to a wider audience, however the authors have drawn on both their Buddhist as well as their clinical experience when writing it.
They use different meditations and approaches, but they are closely aligned with the two main practices we teach at Hertford Buddhist Group.
There are also lots of free streamable and downloadable mp3s with meditations connected with the above book available at https://kindnessbehaviourtraining.com/downloads/
“Mindful Emotion” by Paramabandhu Groves and Jed Shamel
Books about Buddhism
This book is highly recommended “Buddhism: Tools for Living Your Life” by Vajragupta. We have been studying this book together at Broxbourne. It is very accessible, and a lot of depth to it, and is a really good introduction for anybody wanting to learn more about our Buddhist path. Vajragupta’s “job” is to come round and support local groups, and he has promised to come to Hertford sometime when he is in the area.
It is available on Amazon in papaerback and also kindle by clicking here
There are so many amazing books, it is hard to single one out, but another one that looks very accessible for beginners is “A Deeper Beauty” by Paramananda. Click here for the Amazon link.
There are many excellent books on Buddhism and meditation by many teachers both inside and outside Triratna. We usually prefer to recommend books by Triratna teachers as they are normally a bit more in line with the approach and practices of our classes. www.windhorsepublications.com/ is part of Triratna, and publishes a lot of amazing books, so we would recommend any that you find on their website. Most of these are also available on Amazon.