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Buddhism For Dummies Paperback – 27 Jul 2011
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From the Back Cover
Your hands–on guide to the rich history and modern practice of Buddhism
What does it mean to be a Buddhist? What are the fundamental beliefs and history behind this religion? Whether you′re a searcher of truth, a student of religions, or just curious about what makes Buddhism such a widely practiced religion, this friendly guide defines the important terms, explains key concepts, and explores in–depth the origins of this fascinating ancient practice, along with daily observances, celebrations, meditation, and more.
Buddhism 101 ― grasp how Buddhism can be regarded as a religion, a philosophy of life, and a practical approach to dealing with life′s problems
Buddha in full gear ― get the 411 on the life and times of the historical Buddha, known as Gautama or Shakyamuni, and the basic teachings attributed to him
Trace the routes ― discover how Buddhism developed in India and evolved as it spread from country to country across Asia
To be a Buddhist ― find out how followers bring Buddhism into their everyday lives, learn how to practice meditation, and take a tour of the major Buddhist pilgrimage sites
Open the book and find:
The origins and philosophy of Buddhism
Buddhist practices of wisdom and compassion
The life and teachings of the historical Buddha
How to develop a meditation practice
Buddhist attitudes toward life and death
A look at four Buddhist masters
Ten ways Buddhism can help you deal with life′s problems
Understand the fundamental beliefs and history of Buddhism
Grasp the continuing relevance of the Dalai Lama
About the Author
Jonathan Landaw is the former English Translation Editor, Translation Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Stephan Bodian has studied and practices several schools of Buddhism.
Gudrun Bühnemann, Professor, teaches the Sanskrit Language and its literature, along with courses on the religions of South Asia.
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Top Customer Reviews
The good points:
- very clear, well written, understandable language. New terms are introduced gently and the glossary is very helpful.
- written by people sympathetic to the subject (although more on this later)
- seems to cover all the basics: god / religion / karma / rebirth / meditation etc.
What it will do:
- give you a decent basic understanding of the key ideas in Buddhism as well as a brief overview of the history and cultures around it.
- get you interested to learn more
- provide a good base to start from, and some useful suggestions for further reading.
What it won't do:
- in depth coverage of anything. This is an introduction for the complete beginner or learner looking to get to grips with the basics. If you want to really get into any topic in any depth you will need to read beyond this.
- the writers are clearly very sympathetic to Buddhism. Personally I think this is a positive overall, but there were one or two points where I felt they glided over valid concerns.
- the book does tend to emphasize Tibetan Buddhism. It certainly mentions and discusses others, and overall gives fairly even handed coverage of them, but just be aware that what you are reading may have been written with a slight bias in favour of Tibetan Buddhism.
I want to emphasize that these negatives certainly don't prevent the book from being a very, very useful introduction to Buddhism, they are just a couple of points to keep in mind. As with any book, and especially any book on religion, read it with your critical brain engaged.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Have only just started reading this book, so have not got through many chapters yet but am finding it easy to understand so far.Published 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
Bought as a present for my partner that was interested in buddhism, this explains everything clearly and simply. Wonderful book.Published 4 months ago by sophie beer
This is the one book that helped me see the wood for the trees. As a Westerner seeking the practical benefits of Buddhism in my life, the plethora of books out there, each steeped... Read morePublished 4 months ago by D. Smith
So is a really good book - very easy to read and can dip in and out of. I like the flags.Published 5 months ago by Mandy Creed
This book is very detailed but I thought it would be written easier to understand. As the title is for dummies. It's definitely not aimed at dummies like myself anyway.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer