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Buddhism of the Heart Paperback – 1 Jul 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications,U.S. (1 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0861715837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0861715831
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,205,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Jeff Wilson is an assistant professor of religious studies and East Asian studies, specializing in Buddhist traditions, both Asian and North American. He has previously publishedThe Buddhist Guide to New YorkandMourning the Unborn Dead; A Buddhist Ritual Comes to Americaand is a contributing editor for the Buddhist magazineTricycle. He grew up in New England and currently lives with his family in Canada --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Adam on 10 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every now and again you read a book that is truly special. This is one of those books. The writing style, and message, is exceptionally clear (he couldn't be any clearer). Humility drips off every page, but in a natural, believable fashion not a 'put on' sanctimonious style. The book is light-hearted and humorous but, again, naturally so, in no way contrived. There is an honesty and openness about the book. The messages are often exceptionally profound, and are always considered and sensible (a word sometimes neglected in religious circles).

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. For anyone wanting an introduction to Shin this book is perfect. This book has touched me, and confirmed my move into Shin. It provides an overview of the teachings of Shin and, more importantly, a feel for Shin.

If I were allowed only 3 books, at this time this would definitely be one of them. Many thanks Jeff for a wonderful and touching text.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Mills on 6 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Didn't enjoy this book. It's a struggle getting through it, in fact I didn't and gave up half way through. Sorry not for me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A Blessing of A Book 22 May 2009
By George I. Greene - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jeff Wilson's Buddhism of the Heart is a blessing of a book. I have been interested in Shin Buddhism since I have become acquainted with the writings of David Reynolds and Greg Krech. Naikan finds its roots in this Japanese form of Buddhism. Through personal anecdotes, Jeff Wilson offers living examples of what it means to be a Shin Buddhist, the deep acceptance and gratitude for existence and the support of every living being. One participates in his journey and we are all better people for it. Namu Amida Butsu.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Colloquial Buddhism 8 July 2010
By Peter M. Schogol - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most of the world's native Buddhists do not meditate as a matter of practice. This often comes as a surprise to Westerners who assume that Buddhism is synonymous with meditation. In fact, most native Buddhists are devotees of one or another buddha or bodhisattva, practicing a Buddhism of faith, which is often perceived as inferior "popular" religion by those for whom meditation is sine qua non.

Not often referred to by Westerners, at least positively, are the missionary Lotus Sutra sects Soka Gakkai and Nichiren Shoshu, whose numbers in the West -- particularly Soka Gakkai's -- may well surpass all other transplanted sects combined. The practice of these schools is not centered in mediation, and if you add the fact that they have a quasi-magical view of the efficacy of the title of the Lotus Sutra -- Nam(u) Myoho Renge Kyo -- they too are regarded as being for the simple and unsophisticated, and barely Buddhist.

Ironically, Shin Buddhism (Jodo Shinshu) is intentionally Buddhism for the simple and unsophisticated in the sense of being for those who have been made to realize, by the light of compassion (Amida Buddha), the folly they create out of an illusory sense of self. Shinran Shonin, the founder of what has come to be known as Shin, was acutely aware of human finitude and the astigmatic view of reality we are burdened with owing to the causes and conditions that create us and we create. He taught and wrote passionately about the futility of trying to discipline the self through meditation and ethical precepts with only the power of the self. His was a Buddhism of surrender to the embrace of infinite light and life.

Jeff Wilson's BUDDHISM OF THE HEART can be compared to a guide to everyday conversation as opposed to a grammar of religious language. Such Shin grammars exist in English, and some of them are anecdotal and inspiring. But what Jeff has accomplished stands out. Rare among Shin writers Jeff is not an ordained Shin minister, and he writes from the perspective of a young Caucasian American finding his voice in a tradition still strongly connected to its 800 year-old Japanese origin. As an outpouring of Jeff Wilson's unique spirit, BUDDHISM OF THE HEART is alternately poignant, pungent, prophetic, funny, and illuminating.

The stories in BUDDHISM OF THE HEART are short and easily comprehensible, but they are not facile and they have a way of becoming our stories. I would recommend this book as an excellent place to start for people who want to feel their way into Shin Buddhism. It is exceptionally worthwhile reading.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Book 17 Jun. 2009
By Thomas De Mann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very readable and enjoyable. Jeff keeps it simple and avoids any heavy doctrine. I am a Pure Land Buddhist and this book is humorous and very refreshing. More books of this nature need to be written more often. I am sure that I will reread this book regularly.
very good. 14 Jan. 2014
By David - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this piece. I liked the anecdotal nature of the book. Highly recommend for people new to Shin theory as well as those who have grown up in the tradition.
About Buddhism 27 Dec. 2013
By Booklover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very straightforward and clear discussion of a sect of Buddhism which is of real interest to me.
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