10 Books on the Interpretation and Practice of the Lotus Sutra
Understanding the Lotus Sutra can be an uphill task for beginners who wish to discover the hidden wisdom of the Lotus Sutra.
To make the understanding of the Lotus Sutra, there are books available to enable you to grasp the essence of the Lotus Sutra. Most of these authors are either Buddhist leaders or university professors/lecturers who have spent their lifetime teaching about the Lotus Sutra such as Daisaku Ikeda, Gene Reeves, Donald Lopez, Nikkyo Niwano etc.
Here is the list of 10 Books on the Interpretation and Practice of the Lotus Sutra:
#1 – Introduction to the Lotus Sutra (Yoshiro Tamura)
Introduction to the Lotus Sutra presents academic understanding of the Lotus Sutra, covering topics such as formation of the Lotus Sutra, three major teachings of the Lotus Sutra, and the interpretation of the Lotus Sutra from the perspective of Nichiren.
#2 – A Guide to the Threefold Lotus Sutra (Nikkyo Niwano and Eugene Langston)
Nikkyo Niwano, founder of Rissho Kosei-Kai, gives concise and careful consideration to the relationships among the thirty-two chapters of the Threefold Lotus Sutra by outlining the contents explaining the major points. The pdf version is available online.
#3 – The Heart of the Lotus Sutra: Lectures on the “Expedient Means” and “Life Span” Chapters (Daisaku Ikeda)
The Heart of the Lotus Sutra by Daisaku Ikeda, President of the Soka Gakkai International, is a splendid book that explains essence and applications of the Lotus Sutra as expounded by Nichiren in the two chapters: “Expedient Means” and “Life Span.”
#4 – The Stories of the Lotus Sutra (Gene Reeves)
Gene Reeves is a Buddhist scholar and teacher of the Lotus Sutra. The Stories of the Lotus Sutra is a delightful introductory book of the Lotus Sutra explained through the many stories and parables found in the Lotus Sutra. This book is a distillation of his decades of reflection about the Lotus Sutra in the most accessible way.
#5 – Peaceful Action, Open Heart: Lessons from the Lotus Sutra (Thich Nhat Hanh)
Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most revered Zen teachers who teaches and introduces the art of mindfulness to the Western countries. Peaceful Action, Open Heart outlines the essence of 28 chapters in the Lotus Sutra in a chapter-by-chapter style.
#6 – Lotus Sutra Practice Guide: 35-Day Practice Outline (Ryusho Jeffus)
Ryusho Jeffus is a Nichiren Shu priest serving at Myosho-ji, Wonderful Voice Buddhist Temple, in Charlotte, NC. The Lotus Sutra Practice Guide offers accessible introductory overview to the Lotus Sutra and outlines the practice for beginners in the tradition of Nichiren Shu.
#7 – Readings of the Lotus Sutra (Stephen F. Teiser and Jacqueline I. Stone)
Readings of the Lotus Sutra present the academic perspective of the Lotus Sutra from several scholars. Contributors in this book include Willa Jane Tanabe, Jan Nattier, James A. Benn, Daniel Ben Stevenson etc.
#8 – Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra Volume 1-6 (Daisaku Ikeda)
The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra (Vol 1) is written in a conversational style between Daisaku Ikeda, Takanori Endo, and Katsua Saito. This book offers marvellous wisdom of the Lotus Sutra from the perspective of Soka Gakkai, covering ideals such as mentor and disciple as well as human revolution. Volumes 2,3,4,5,6 are available for purchase in the Amazon.
#9 – The Buddha in Everyone’s Heart: Seeking the World of the Lotus Sutra ( Kosho Niwano and Margaret Suzuki)
Kosho Niwano is the granddaughter of Rev. Nikkyo Niwano founder of Rissho Kosei-kai. This book is a collection of essays who shares the experiences of learning the teachings of the Lotus Sutra under her grandfather.
#10 – The “Lotus Sūtra”: A Biography (Donald S. Lopez)
The “Lotus Sūtra”: A Biography is the latest addition about the interpretation of the Lotus Sutra written by eminent Buddhist professor Donald S. Lopez. It is an academic understanding of the Lotus Sutra, focusing on the historical development of the Lotus Sutra in India, China, Japan, Western countries and the world at large.