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Comment: Shared Knowledge is a not for profit public charity! Check us out on facebook. We provide funding for educational programs in Richmond, Virginia. PLEASE READ FULL DESCRIPTION -USED GOOD- This book has been read and may show wear to the cover and or pages. There may be some dog-eared pages. In some cases the internal pages may contain highlighting/margin notes/underlining or any combination of these markings. The binding will be secure in all cases. This is a good reading and studying copy and has been verified that all pages are legible and intact. If the book contained a CD it is not guaranteed to still be included. Your purchase directly supports our scholarship program as well as our partner charities. All items are packed and shipped from the Amazon warehouse. Thanks so much for your purchase!
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Buddhism Plain and Simple Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (December 29, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767903323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767903325
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

You might want to digest this book slowly, a few pages at a time. Although Zen teacher Steve Hagen has a knack for putting the philosophy of Buddhism in a "plain and simple" package, it may take a while to sink in. There is so much there. Seeing reality, realizing the wisdom of the self, breaking free of dualistic thinking--this is pretty heady stuff. Thankfully, Hagen passes it along in the form of examples from life, psychological tidbits, and stories from Buddhist teachers past and present. And when it clicks in, it can be life-transforming. Hagen explains this shift in outlook and how the fundamental way we look at the world affects everything we do. As an outline, Hagen follows the basic teachings of the Buddha, and we see that, rather than dogmatic truths, they are reminders for us as we reconsider the life we have taken for granted for so long. As it turns out, Buddhism is life, plain and simple. --Brian Bruya

From Library Journal

Hagen's concise work, a brief introduction to Zen Buddhism, is arranged in a straightforward manner with lucid explanations. He describes techniques for meditation, making this a rather practical recording. Reading this abridgment of his own work, the Zen priest's soft, serene voice is pleasing to the ear; the pace is unhurried, allowing the listener to grasp the material. Libraries with a demand for New Age/Eastern religions should have this tape.AMichael T. Fein, Catawba Valley Community Coll., Hickory, NC
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Steve Hagen is a Zen priest and long-time teacher of Buddhism. For fifteen years he studied with Zen Master Dainin Katagiri. He lives in Minneapolis and teaches at Dharma Field Meditation and Learning Center in St. Paul.

Customer Reviews

I have read this book over and over.
Tim Ziegler
This book summarizes the true philosophy of Buddhism.
Sonia C. Lovelace
Plain and simple and very easy to read...
Roy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

212 of 215 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Hanson on May 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Over the last fifteen years, a growing number of books have shown up in trade paperbackland on the subject of Buddhism. More seem to arrive daily, invited or not. Most of them are aimed at the general reader and beginning buddhist. This makes it progressively more difficult to sort out the superlative from the merely satisfactory.
Of all that I've read [and I've read them all] "Buddhism: Plain and Simple" stands out from the rest. Steve Hagen succeeds in one of the hardest tasks in writing: being straightforward without being dull; being concise without seeming frugal. No essential point of Buddhism is left uncovered, yet the author never pontificates or short-changes the reader.
The book is a gem of both inspiration and practicality. It takes a subject that often seems far too idealistic and places it at a level that resonates with the daily Western experience of life. It is a "quick read" without ever coming off as "Buddhism For Dummies." All this and at a price that will make it a convenient and affordable present for all those friends that have so often asked us, "what the heck is Buddhism?"
Find it, read it and buy another copy for someone you love. Better yet, give it to someone you don't love. It might just change their life.
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237 of 250 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
"~I am a newcomer to Buddhism, but when I get a hankering to learn about any subject, I read about it voraciously. This has been almost counter-productive in studying Buddhism since, as Hagen stresses, no words can really describe the reality we seek. In fact, I have read several books about Buddhism, Zen, and the like; but I own just two: Buddhism Plain and Simple, and Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh. By far, Hagen's book is my favorite.
the wrong reasons -- to control my emotions, to sort out moral dilemmas, and to find peace of mind. Through Buddhism, I've made great progress in all those areas by simply eliminating them as goals and just experiencing life moment by moment. This may sound odd if you haven't practiced Buddhism, but you will quickly appreciate this lesson after reading Hagen's book. You will discover that the practice of Buddhism does not involve traveling to the Himalayas or meditating in the forest. You will learn that you don't have to abandon your religion or your friends or your job. The word Buddhism stems from the Sanskrit word for Buddha, the awakened one. Buddhism is simply the path of awakening. This book is a wonderful guide on that path. You will not be the same after reading it.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Takashi Kozuki on January 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
There are already many English books about Buddhism way of thinking written by Japanese and western authors. But many of them describe only the history and facts of Buddhism and repeat old Asian style puzzling logic that is not valid for the modern mind. This is the first English book I have read that describes the genuine meaning of Buddhism in simple words. Simplicity is not elementary. It is true understanding. The only regret is that this book still insists much on liberation from anguish and less on the creative and positive side of Buddhism.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book in an effort to seek a better understanding of Buddhism without feeling like an idiot because of a lack of spiritual training. It was the best book I could have chosen. Coming from a Catholic background I was a bit hesitant about reading this book; however, I found that it's simplicity enlightens the reader and gives a better understanding of the principles of Buddhism. It was a gentle approach that let the reader become aware of the basic values and teachings of Buddhism. A very quick and spiritually rewarding read.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Kinglizard on November 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the most life altering reads of My 55years. My Ego is strong and my soul is steeped in the academic knowledge of Western Culture. Steve Hagan succeeds in explaining the Buddha's transformation to enlightenmemt and his affect upon his contemporary world and the following 2500 years of human existence without preaching and with respect for other philosophical concepts. I can honestly say my life has been made better and happier by the experience of reading this book.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Black on January 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
In Buddhism: Plain and Simple, Steve Hagen has managed to capture the complexity of Buddhist practice without pushing the reader away with jargon, dogma, or judgment. He writes with beautiful simplicity and great empathy about the challenges of living fully when our mind does not necessarily want to cooperate! I have read this book several times and learn something each time. I would say that this book and The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying form a wonderful introduction to Buddhist practice and philosophy.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Samael on February 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
The title of the book reflects its contents and spirit. This is buddhism the way it was always meant to be: a deep look into the nature of existence and awareness. To learn and practice buddhism you don't have to shave your head, dress funny and withdraw from society, you just have to be willing to see the world as it is, plain and simple, and this book is an invitation to do exactly that. Plain and simple doesn't mean easy and shallow, it just means "free of the fetters and cultural trappings that [Buddhist teachings] have accumulated over twenty-five centuries".
It's interesting to analyze the mindset of those who consider this book to be too simple or, at the other end, too complex. Those who think so must already have a pretty good idea of what "true" buddhism is. That idea must be something fixed and immutable, as you cannot compare against a changing standard. But we all know (don't we?) that nothing in this universe is fixed and immutable. The moment you try to pin anything down is the moment you lose it, and that applies to buddhist teachings as well. I think most of the bad reviews come from individuals who are clinging to their own ideas about buddhism. By doing so they are denying all the teachings they suposedly accept, a very peculiar position, if you ask me. The wonderful thing about buddhism is precisely its lack of dogma, and "Buddhism Plain and Simple" is a great example of what can be achieved by discussing the human condition in an open minded way, free of any pre-conceived ideas. To quote the author: "The observations and insights of the Buddha are plain, practical, and eminently down-to-earth. They deal exclusively with the here and now, not with theory, speculation, or belief in some far off time or place.
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