5 Essential Buddhist Biographies: Victorious Spiritual Heroes

Spiritual soldiers before us have valiantly entered the battlefield to take on the aggressor, the inner enemy. The inner enemy has placed blockades, lay in siege, used Sirens instead of snipers, and tried in many ways to trick them. But these soldiers have overcome these hardships. They have fought and won, becoming victorious spiritual heroes.

These biographies and autobiographies strike valour into the hearts of soldier fresh to the battlefield.

Be brave spiritual soldier and victory shall be yours!!

1. The book places itself in a historical context, contrasting the end of World War 2 with the beginning of spiritual training. Despite the austerity of Zen training in Japan, the book is filled with moments of deep loving kindness.

‘Novice to Master : An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of My Own Stupidity’
by Soko Morinaga Roshi

2. A beautiful journal describing life in Zen monasteries in Japan in the early 1980’s. Through hard work Maura O’Halloran becomes a true spiritual hero, all done with zeal and modesty.

Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen Saint by Maura O’Halloran
ISBN-10: 0861712838

3. Tenzin Palmo is part of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and spent 12 years in solitary retreat. The writing of this biography is somewhat sensationalist but Tenzin Palmo’s story will make you brave in your spiritual mission.

‘Cave in the Snow : A Western Woman’s Quest for Enlightenment’ by Vicki Mackenzie
ISBN-10: 0747543895

4. In 1989 Bill Porter sought out hermits hidden among China’s mountain ranges, who had managed survive the People’s Liberation Army’s Red Army. Filled with inspiring acts of spiritual heroism in mountainous conditions.

‘Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits’ by Bill Porter
ISBN-10: 1582435235

5. The story of an English man turned monk in Thailand, transitioning from city life to country life. The book appreciates both the benefits and limitations of becoming ordinationed.

‘Phra Farang: An English Monk in Thailand’ by Phra Peter Pannapadipo
ISBN-10: 0099484471