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Living Buddhism for the West Paperback – April 7, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1st edition (April 7, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877735093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877735090
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,483,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Govinda, a German-born Buddhist teacher and scholar, here provides an excellent discussion of the relevance of Buddhism for contemporary Westerners. Not only does he clearly discuss insight, knowledge, morality, the bodhisattva ideal, ritual, initiation, guru- and discipleship, and introspective paths from the Buddhist point of view, he also explains why nonverbal thinking and symbols are so desperately needed as "a means of looking more deeply into . . . the wonders and profound mysteries that surround us" and why visualization is such a powerful tool. Both the contemporary seeker and the student of comparative religion will find this book thought-provoking.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By PeacefulJeff on November 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Lama Anagarika Govinda described himself as a German national of Indian heritage who was a member of a Tibetan Buddhist order. He began his study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism prior to the Chinese invasion of takeover of Tibet. He explains Buddhism, he does not describe it as say an academic would. Few like him, a very worthy person to learn from.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Neal J. Pollock VINE VOICE on December 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a very fine book by a sensitive, 20th century practitioner, a German who became a Buddhist monk in a SE Asia monastery and traveled through Tibet with his wife Li Gotami (who published a book of fascinating photographs). The author is probably best known for his "Foundations of Tibetan Buddhism" which is probably a modern classic and for "The Way of the White Clouds" a more personal description of Buddhism. The present book also reflects his personal approach which makes it, perhaps, more easily comprehended and accessible than some of the more recent texts translated from past or present Tibetan Buddhist masters. From the title, this would appear to be his intention. As I've heard Lama Govinda (Anangavajra Khamsum Wangchuk) quoted (but I don't know the source), "A religion whose ideal is only a matter of the past or the distant future has no living value for the present day." He has considerable insight into the human condition and its relation to religion and spirituality as demonstrated in some quotes from this book:

"Truths cannot be taken on trust. They need to be continually rediscovered and formed afresh if they are to retain their spiritual content, their life and nutritive value. It is a law of spiritual growth that the same truths must be continually experienced and thought through in new forms." page 36

"When we intellectually reproduce experiences that by their nature belong to other dimensions, we are doing something similar to what the painter does when he represents three-dimensional spaces on a two-dimensional surface...
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Intro on the long side but other wise a very compelling read for Westerners interested in Buddhism. A must read.
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