Steve Hagen, a Zen priest from Minnesota, shows a plain and simple route to the heart of the Buddhist way. He offers engaging parables, some drawn from his own experience and some from Buddhist tradition. And he guides the reader through the more difficult concepts without need of baffling Zen riddles. He makes enlightening yourself sound so easy.
By applying the Buddha's four truths and eightfold path to life today, the book aims to let the reader see the world in a new way.
When the Buddha was asked to sum up his teaching in a single word, he said, "awareness". This is a book about awareness. Not awareness of something in particular, but awareness itself--being awake, alert, in touch with what is actually happening.
The few special terms, such as samma and duhkha, are all explained thoroughly the first time they are used. Those unfamiliar with the ideas should make sure they read the book in sequence. But with a book this approachable and conversational, that isn't hard to do.
As with the best devotional books, readers will get as much from it as they are willing to put in. Can you accept the challenge to reconsider your life and outlook on the world? --Frank Pennycook
For people investigating Buddhism for the first time, Buddhism Plain and Simple offers a clear, straightforward look at the wisdom and guidance of an enlightened teacher who lived some 2500 years agoyet whose teachings remain as vital and penetrating today as ever. For every person with a desire to see deeply into the nature of existence, it is a call to awakening.