Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
Clear and profound
on 24 March 2013
I have been interested in Buddhism for most of my life. Although I have always been familiar with the ideas behind Buddhism I have not attempted any serious study of Buddha's teachings. I bought this book believing it to be a simple introduction to this subject.
The book is a commendably clear and uncomplicated explanation of Buddha teachings. Buddhism is presented as offering a singular perspective on how we see ourselves and how we relate to the world around us.
Two ideas in the book have been life changing for me:
1. The concept that attachment leads to suffering. That non-attachment is the way to end suffering.
In other texts Buddha's teaching is presented as saying desire leads to suffering. The concept of leading a life without desire is difficult for me because my motivation in life is to follow my passions.
On the other had the concept of leading a life without attachment is much more useful to me. After pondering this it became clear that I had suffered in my life due to seeking attachment. On becoming aware of this I felt my need for attachment falling away. I became at peace with my life for the first time.
2. The concept of learning to observe my emotions with detachment.
I am aware that my emotional response to situations are predetermined through past experience and genetic programing. Acting according to raw emotion is rarely the best course of action in the long term. As I learn to observe my emotions with detachment I am no longer a slave to them.
Despite my admiration for Buddha and his remarkable wisdom and insight I would not call myself a Buddhist. There are aspects of Buddha's teachings which I feel are inapplicable to the world I find myself in. Nevertheless I am eternally grateful to him and the author of this remarkable book for sharing this knowledge with the world.