Rebel Buddha Hardcover – 1 Dec 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
This is one of very few books that captures the true non-theistic spirit that is at the heart of all the Buddha's teachings.
Buddha means 'Awakened'. Buddha was a mortal and NEVER encouraged worship of himself or any other mythical god. His approach to life and its ups and downs was entirely pragmatic - which means it is as relevant today as it ever was.
Unlike theistic religions where what the religion can't prove it expects you to simply 'believe' or 'have faith' in, Buddha actively discouraged blinkered belief and advocated exploration and discovery for yourself - through practice - which takes effort.
No pantheons of gods here - nothing you are expected to take 'in good faith' or simply 'believe in' - no letting you off the 'effort hook' either. Much to think about, ponder and implement in this book.
In my opinion this is one of the finest, most level-headed and accurate descriptions of what the Buddha taught I have ever read (and listened to because I also have the audio version which is also excellent).
Very, very highly recommended.
Buddhism relies on reason and analysis, contemplation and meditation to transform knowledge into something that surpasses understanding. From a Buddhist point of view there is no supernatural entity outside of our own mind. Every human has the capacity to achieve realization. There is no savior and no one to be saved. The journey we take is to fully realize the true nature of mind. We need to find our own way, because there is no "one-size-fits-all" spiritual path. He asks, "How well do we know our own mind?" For most of us it's not an intimate friendship. We haven't spent much time together. We don't know its full story. Our mind is too fast and too busy to notice our perceptions. We go quickly from perception to concept to emotion and value judgments. Concepts become so solidified they grow impervious to doubt and questioning.
When the external world is reduced to a conceptual world we lose a wholesome part of being - the beauty in the world: forests, flowers and birds.
The minute the mind mind sees space instead of a prison the trapped self is free. Once we wake up enough to see through our confusion, we see that even our problematic thoughts and emotions are, at heart, part of pure awareness. Seeing this brings a sense of relaxation, joy and humor. We think our life depends on the thought of "I" but actually, our freedom depends on letting it go.Read more ›
The summary of his work is as follows: The problem with humans is that we don't see who we truly are at the deepest level. We don't recognize the power of our enlightened nature. We trust the reality we see before our eyes and accept its validity until something comes along like an illness, accident, or disappointment, disillusion and frustration. Then we start questioning our beliefs and start searching for a more meaningful and lasting truth. On this road, what we free ourselves from is illusion, and what frees us from illusion is the discovery of truth. To make that discovery, we need to enlist the powerful intelligence of our own awake-mind and turn it toward our goal of exposing, opposing and overcoming deception. That needs to be the essence of life, and the mission of this book is to gain wisdom and knowledge to free ourselves from these illusions which masquerade as reality in our cultural and religious institutions.
First we must start looking at the dramas in our life, not with our ordinary eyes, but with the eyes of dharma. The drama of illusion which appears like truth and dharma is truth itself, the absolute reality. Our personal dra¬mas may begin with the "facts" about who we are and what we are doing, and then fueled by our emotions and concepts, which quickly evolves into pure imagination and become as difficult to decipher as the storylines of our dreams.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a very good read to understand traditional buddhism and how it can adapt in to mordern society and effect postive change for you and the world. A nice fluid read.Published on 25 July 2014 by D. J. Hemley