Buddhism has developed an abundance of diverse sects and practicing methods in its long history in entirely different cultural environments such as India, China, Tibet etc. Many of them have been isolated from each other for centuries. Now teachers of all lineages meet in the West, and Western disciples often cross the borders of sectarian divisions. We have means of travelling and communication now that were not available in ancient times, and the open, democratic societies of the West strongly encourage investigation beyond traditional constraints. This is the ground from where Goldstein launches his project to identify the core all buddhist traditions have in common and the outline of a cross-sectarian Western buddhism that is beginning to stand on its own feet now. Joseph Goldstein is a renowned meditation teacher who has studied in different Asian traditions for many years, he knows what he is talking about. I strongly recommend this book to newcomers to buddhism and experienced Buddhists alike.