April 2022

Discovering Buddhism
— the New Go-To Book on Buddhism by Dominique Side

Foreword by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche


We are delighted to share this news from Dominique Side, a recipient of a KF Ashoka grant, about her just-published book, Discovering Buddhism, and the upcoming launch of a new website, Windows into Buddhism.

Order Discovering Buddhism online and sign up to be notified when the Windows into Buddhism website is launched in July.

“As long as I have known Dominique Side, she has not only been a critical searcher and academic, but she has also personally seen the value of the Buddhist path and encountered many great masters of this century. That’s why her book is not like most introductory books that present Buddhism as a religion along with lots of facts, figures, and logical arguments.

“Instead, it presents a different way of looking at life and the world, and it encourages the kind of critical exploration, questioning, and reflection that can actually enrich the reader’s personal understanding. That’s why I’d sooner recommend this book than some compilation of materials based primarily on academic credentials and references.”

— Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, from the foreword to Discovering Buddhism

Would you like to learn about another culture? Are you interested in history and philosophy and how they relate to modern life? Dominique Side’s new book, Discovering Buddhism, introduces Buddhism as a culture and a civilization, a system of thought and a religion. The book presents the views and practices of all the main Buddhist traditions without bias. It addresses the history of Buddhism, the key topics taught by the Buddha, and a number of contemporary issues. It also includes critical assessments of the material, connecting traditional accounts with contemporary scholarship.

“I hope to present a clear and comprehensive overview of Buddhism as a whole to the general public, as well as to those already interested. I think it’s always stimulating to drill into another religion and culture. I hope to also clarify myths and misunderstandings about what the Buddha said.”
— Dominique Side

Dominique makes each subject relevant and interesting so that readers can engage in personal reflection and inquiry. This encounter with Buddhist ideas invites readers to question their outlook on life. Authoritative and comprehensive, Discovering Buddhism is the go-to resource for anyone who is curious about who the Buddha was, what he said, and why so many Westerners today find meaning in his teachings.

“Most of the parents who send their children to the Middle Way School do not identify as Buddhists but they are curious, and open and want to learn more. To introduce these parents to the history, philosophy, and culture of Buddhism, we have long relied on a textbook for high school students in the UK that was written by Dominique Side, wishing that it was more readily available. We are so happy that she has now published this even more comprehensive and clear book. We highly recommend Discovering Buddhism for any dharma library.”

— Noa Jones, Executive Director, Middle Way Education

Dominique Side is a practising Buddhist and experienced teacher of Buddhism. She holds a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy and has edited numerous publications, including two books by the Dalai Lama. She is the author of Buddhism (2005) and a founder of the Windows into Buddhism website, to be launched in July, which will offer educational resources for people of all ages. She is also one of the participants of the Milinda Program:  Training Western Buddhist Teachers for the 21st Century, an initiative of the Khyentse Foundation.

Order Discovering Buddhism online and sign up to be notified when the Windows into Buddhism website is launched in July.

Read about Khyentse Foundation’s work in Buddhist education.