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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

on 25 April 2013
The book is very uneven. The simple descriptions of nature and family events are both poignant and poetic. In my opinion, the main theme, which is Pure Land Buddhism, was diluted with too much psychology. I found quite a lot of spelling mistakes and missed punctuation, which became irritating. It would have needed a very sound review before being published.
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on 17 March 2008
Caroline Brazier asks us to step outside ourselves and open ourselves up to the immeasurable. The prose reads like poetry, the work is a mix of personal spiritual experience and introduces the reader to one of the most profound forms of Buddhism.

Pureland Buddhism is little known in the west, and at first glance may seem like a simple Buddhism, but it's doctrine of complete acceptance, and of the spiritual equality of all people, and of the ordinary nature of people, are radical and undermine many of the assumtions of relgion in the west.

Here the concepts and ideas are beautifully explained. A wonderful introduction to Pureland Buddhism that will ask you to look deeply at your life, and begin to see the world as it truly is.
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on 5 September 2007
The number of books written in English on Pure Land Buddhism is steadily increasing, as is the number of translations on the subject from Japanese and other languages. Still, we get the impression that the readership for these books continues to be those already interested in or committed to one or other of the Pure Land schools.

For those who've not encountered Pure Land Buddhism, it holds that self-perfectibility through meditation, the keeping of precepts, or tantric practices, is beyond the reach of most ordinary men and women because of our accrued karmic bonds and limitations. Pure Land emphasizes instead the transfer of the vast storehouse of merits accumulated by the Buddhas to the individual to bring her or him to Pure Land, which is -- depending on the interpretation -- either a 'place' where there are no hindrances to enlightenment, or enlightenment itself.

It's perhaps inevitable, though a shame nevertheless, that THE OTHER BUDDHISM: AMIDA COMES WEST isn't any more likely to catch the eye of those for whom Buddhism is synonymous with arduous disciplines. This excellent book likely will become known only to a few, but those few may find their previous appreciation of Pure Land Buddhism transformed by it.

Caroline Brazier is a psychotherapist, an ordained religious in the Amida Order and a priest in the Amida-shu which is a contemporary presentation in the West of Jodo Buddhism, the oldest Pure Land school in Japan. Centered on nembutsu practice, self-examination and contrition, and social engagement, Amida-shu is -- arguably -- the form of Pure Land Buddhism best integrated with progressive Western religious and social sensibilities. Rev. Brazier makes a compelling and ultimately persuasive case for Amida Pureland Buddhism by rooting its message in a clear Buddhist psychology. While at times chewy, THE OTHER BUDDHISM is never pedantic or erudite for its own sake. On the contrary, Rev. Brazier writes as a poet with an acute sensitivity to the bittersweet quality of the impermanent and interdependent.

All in all, a highly recommendable book.
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on 13 September 2007
This is a deep and profound book. Read it and feel stilled inside, calmed in the mind and hear echoes of some long forgotten lost wisdom that touches your heart. Students of multi-faiths, Buddhist or just interested party - you can not help but feel enriched by reading this book.
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