would anyone care to share specific books, papers, sites, or other sources that have really helped them to understand certain eastern philosophies, religions, or lifestyles? i realize im being incredibly vague, but i would like you eastern philosophy hacks out there to go wild--or for that matter, anyone from the dabbling dilettante to the wise and wizened master. anyone who has been particularly taken with a certain text or source is encouraged to post. i recently came to the conclusion that it would be good to learn about the asian lifestyle, the history, the story behind my culture. i realize that that's somewhat of a western conception: the idea of an asia which is necessarily separated in distinct ways from "the West" by cultural nuances, spiritual beliefs, and even methods of cognition. but i will ascribe to that falsity if it gets me to my endgoal of escaping this American vortex of irreconciliable contradiction and disgusting hypocrisy; the ends not the means are prime. *sighs* its fucking twisted how an asian-american must turn to the world which has destroyed that of his ancestors' in order to learn about that from whence he came. regardless, id greatly appreciate it if you could help me out. thanks.