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Buddha's Nature: A Practical Guide to Discovering Your Place in the Cosmos Paperback – February 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (February 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553379992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553379990
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #681,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"What The Tao of Physics did to connect east and west in the realm of physics, Buddha's Nature does brilliantly in the realm of biology and the mind. This is the new Tao of evolution."
--Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart

"This book will be welcomed as one of the best efforts yet to bring together meditators and scientists. It is an instrument for our greater joy and achievements."
--Thich Nhat Hanh, author of Peace Is Every Step

"A milestone in contemporary Buddhism...[Nisker] grounds the Buddha's teachings in discoveries made by the neural and evolutionary sciences. I dare you to find a book on science that is so personal, or a book on meditation that is so funny and forgiving."
--Joanna Macy, author of World As Lover, World As Self

From the Inside Flap

The Buddha said that "everything we need to know about life can be found inside this fathom-long body." Then why is most people's spirituality--whether Buddhist, Christian, or Jewish--completely cut off from their body? In this provocative and groundbreaking book, you'll discover that enlightenment comes not from "out there," but from a deep understanding of our own personal biology. Using the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, a traditional Buddhist meditation, Nisker shows how cutting-edge science is proving the tenets first offered by the Buddha.

And he provides a practical program, complete with meditations and exercises, that enables readers to become mindful of the origins of emotions, desires, and thoughts. One of the great synthesizers of East and West, Nisker shows how to incorporate the traditional understanding of the Buddha with the latest scientific discoveries while on our spiritual journey. He shows that we are not separate from nature and the evolving universe. The way to enlightenment lies within our very biology.


Most important, Nisker offers a practical program--complete with meditations and exercises--so readers can take their own evolutionary journey into their bodies to find the origins of emotions, desires, and thoughts.  Nisker provides a liberating way for each of us to incorporate into our lives the understanding, proven by the latest scientific evidence and foretold in the great traditional teachings of the Buddha, that we are not separate from nature and the evolving universe.  Our biology is not our destiny, but our way to enlightenment. -->

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Customer Reviews

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Only by understanding the four foundations of the mind can we hope to control the mind.
Penguin Egg
Only those whose hearts are ready will understand and heed the words in this book, which follows closely what the Buddha himself taught.
R. Todd Cornell
I like very much what Wes Nisker has to say in all of his books, This one, I got it for a present.
chica4edu

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Penguin Egg on September 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
Science has dealt a death blow to religion and has relegated the Abrahamic God to the status of mythical has-beens, like Odin or Zeus. However, one religion, if it can be called a religion, not only has been unaffected by the onward slog of science, but can accommodate it and, in the fields of neurology, evolutionary biology, and quantum physics, is strengthened by it. This book could just as easily have been subtitled: Why Buddhism is more relevant today than it has been in the last 2,500 years.

2,500 years ago, the Buddha asked a simple question: Why are we, as a species, so dissatisfied with our life? He realised that the answer was due to the attachment we put on things that are transitory, and that to find contentment, we need to break free from this attachment. He deduced that the method of doing this was a step-by-step guidance known as The Eightfold Way, which includes wisdom to see things as they are, ethical conduct to guide your life through to happiness, and meditation, the tool to gain complete control of your mind, without which you will never free yourself from attachment. An important element of meditation, along with concentration and commitment, is Mindfulness, which is what this book is about.

Mindfulness is about awareness of the now, about how things really are, about how delusion dominates every aspect of our thinking. The Buddha saw that Mindfulness required the recognition of the four foundations on which the mind rested: 1) the physical elements that make up the body; 2) the nervous system that creates awareness; 3) our emotional life that colours experiences; and 4) ideas, beliefs, concepts, and perceptions that colour the mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Todd Cornell on January 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
The author is coming from a purely experiential angle of practicing Early Buddhism as practiced by the Buddha and taught in the Pali Canon.

This is by far the most profound and nitty-gritty expression of Buddhist practice that I have found from a Westerner. He uses everyday language and true-to-life explanations, devoid of the fluff and frills of religion, to explain concepts and practices that are far removed from the world of everyday dillusion. This book is for people who are serious about the true nature of life according to the Buddha, not the Dalai Lama, this or that Rimpoche or any other present or past star-studded "Buddhist" personality. If you really want to know what Buddhism is -- or isn't, by practicing what is in this book and making it a way of life, the practice taught in this book will open your eyes to a reality that few are so lucky to experience. Meditation is not easy, the practice takes time and will-power, but for those who have the will-power, you will be glad you stuck with it!

It is as difficult for one to have the opportunity to hear the truth as it is for a blind tortoise swimming in the sea to come across a piece of driftwood with a whole in it the size of his head and poke his head through the hole!

Only those whose hearts are ready will understand and heed the words in this book, which follows closely what the Buddha himself taught.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gustavo Estrada on January 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
This was the first book that showed me the reasonableness of the Buddha's Teachings when looked through the crystal of contemporary thought. Wes Nisker did a good job in this respect. As many Buddhist thinkers, particularly in the Mahayana school and specifically in zen Buddhism, the author considers that the key to the end of suffering (or to awakening, enlightenment or direct knowledge) resides in mindfulness, this is, the permanent application of right attention, the seven factor of the eightfold path, in everyday living. The Buddha provides exhaustive details on how to practice meditation or mindfulness in his discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness (which I prefer to call the Manners to Establish Attention). This discourse (of which there are two very similar texts in the Pali Canon, one the Collection of Long Discourses and other in the Collection of Middle Length Discourses) is the main ground of Nisker's book. The foundations of mindfulness are four phenomena--physical body, sensations, mental states and the Teachings concepts--and Chapter 3, the bulk of the book, consists of four parts, each one dedicated to the corresponding foundation. The book provides a number of meditation techniques for each foundation and gives scientific background on why they should benefit meditation practitioners. I find of much interest the way Wes Nisker presents the first three mindfulness foundations but take exception to the fourth one. I recognize (and so does the author) that this one is the "trickiest" but I am positive that it is not about "thinking about thinking" (as Nisker names this fourth part of his Chapter 3). The Canon Pali refers to the fourth foundation as dhammas, the most important word in Buddhism (and one the most difficult).Read more ›
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By Larry on March 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For those interest in the practice of Buddhism and its underlying concepts, this is an excellent and very readable book. Wes has a way of explaining that which can be complex.
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