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Buddhism: Way of Life & Thought Paperback – October 12, 1981


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Vintage Books ed edition (October 12, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394747542
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394747545
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #870,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"No better, no more clear and attractive guide to an understanding of the simple yet penetrating principles of the great Indian teacher's philosophy could be imagined than this work of Nancy Wilson Ross."

-- Harrison Salisbury

"The lucid and graceful ease with which Nancy Wilson Ross reviews the history and elucidates the methods of the great schools of Buddhism is unmatched -- as far as I know -- in the literature of the subject. Buddhism: A Way of Life and Thought will be for scholars as delightful a refreshment of their interest and learning as it will be an enlightening and fascinating introduction for readers only now discovering this first and greatest of the world religions." -- Joseph Campbell

"A clear, exhilarating exposition of the Buddhist way, well understood, well made, fun to read, and simple in the very best sense of the word -- just as it should be!" -- Peter Matthiessen

From the Inside Flap

Explains the origins, development and basic principles of the religion followed by nearly one-quarter of the people on earth.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
71%
4 star
14%
3 star
14%
2 star
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See all 7 customer reviews
I hope others enjoy the read as well!
Irishgirlie
I sense that Ross is herself a compassionate one who treats her readers with respect for their intellect and was inspired by that.
Rope
Nancy Ross' book is highly recommended to anyone wishing a concise, clearly written introduction to Buddhism.
"pecdoc"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rope on April 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Informative, unbiased and not overblown history of Buddhism. A former Unitarian as well as more than a few Chritian denominations, Ms. Ross covers the 3 branches with very readable prose. When the subject of miracles comes up, she's objective and does not impose on the reader to believe them. As you might expect, she compares Buddhism with western religions throughout. It's obvious I enjoyed the book but for another reason as well. I sense that Ross is herself a compassionate one who treats her readers with respect for their intellect and was inspired by that. Myself,a former conservative Christian (I just couldn't "get it" for some reason), I appreciated her unbiased and objective writing. As Leonard Da Vinci stated (roughly): An investment in knowledge about a subject is an increase in love for the subject. In this case, the subject is love in a broad sense - a love to help people find happiness by seeing this great religious tradition from its roots as well as current thought. Great book! Always the hard part, tho: practicing what you learn. But Rosses words inspire me to "practice" and not "try" so much.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "pecdoc" on July 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Nancy Ross' book is highly recommended to anyone wishing a concise, clearly written introduction to Buddhism. It is focused on the history and development of the many forms of Buddhist practice and not as much on the different teachings put forth by one or another (although these are also discussed). If you ever wondered how Buddhism could be a ritualized religion, a humanistic philosophy, a deterministic psychology, and a social activist movement ... all without contradiction and sometimes simultaneously ... then sit and read this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By usedbook on August 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book, 'Buddhism: A Way of Life and Thought', was recommended for me during the final hours of the Bamiyan Buddha statues in March 2001. Published in 1980 and later dedicated to Richard Dudley Baker, this book is "...a primer for those who know nothing about Buddhism. Yet those who are already students and practitioners..." - Beginning with the historic Buddha's life story and basic teachings, Ross leads into an introduction to general teachings and practice before the major three specific approaches to Buddhism. Mainly Theravada, Tibetan, & Zen are covered. An over emphasis, and well warrented one, is laid on paragraphs from other fine read Buddhist titles which keeps the book alive. Perspectives from the likes of Dr. H. Saddhatissa, Lama Anagarika Govinda, and Shunryu Suzuki keep a modern touch while reading about legends such as King Mongkut, Emperor Ashoka, Wu-ti, and Shotoku Taishi. Much of this book speaks of the historic and cultural impact of Buddhism but still stays fairly informative to the basic teachings & practices of the traditions. - Ross, an open-minded Christian, includes many photographs, paintings, a glossary, and quite some vocabulary!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joseph L. Kolb on August 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
Nancy Wilson Ross has written a clear, concise introductory book on Buddhism. She compares the three approaches: Theravada, Tibetan and Zen Buddhism. Along with the history of each approach, Nancy provides insight and practical exercises from them all. This is a very well balanced book, like the goal we should all attain in our lives. Buddha opposed authoritarianism and stressed right effort and livelihood. Although Buddha did admit to miracles and parapsychological powers, these are just stepping stones in our spiritual attainment. All in all, this is an excellent book to read. I enjoyed immensely.
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Buddhism: Way of Life & Thought
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