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Buddhism Plain and Simple (Arkana) Paperback – International Edition, 29 Apr 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 220 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • Buddhism Plain and Simple (Arkana)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (29 April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140195963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140195965
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 220 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Will Buddhism solve the problems of everyday life? No. As the Buddha says, if you've got 83 problems, he can only help with your 84th problem, which is that "You want not to have any problems".

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


This is a book about awareness - it's about being 'awake' and in touch with what is going on here and now. Practical and down-to-earth, it deals exclusively with the present, not with speculation, theory or belief in some far-off time and place. The teachings of the Buddha are plain and straightforward, and because they remain focused on the moment they are just as relevant now as they have ever been. "Buddhism Plain And Simple" is the book for anyone wanting to discover, or rediscover, the essence of Buddhism.

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