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The Buddha Speaks - A book of guidance from Buddhist scriptures Hardcover – April 18, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If you're looking for an introduction to Buddhism but don't want your information secondhand, The Buddha Speaks is the book for you. Anne Bancroft takes us right into the Buddha's own words, delivering his opinions direct from the sutras on such topics as love, mind, death, wisdom, and society. The words are wise and as relevant today as they were 2,000 years ago. On love: "A mother, even at the risk of her own life, protects her child.... In the same way should you cultivate love without measure toward all beings." On the mind: "This mind is like a fish out of water that thrashes and throws itself about, its thoughts following each of its cravings.... How good it is to control it and know the happiness of freedom." On society: "Hatred does not come to an end through hatred but can only cease through generosity." The Buddha's teachings are considered a refuge by Buddhists around the world, and The Buddha Speaks reconstructs this sanctuary wherever you are. --Brian Bruya

From the Inside Flap

Here is the core of the Buddha's teaching in his own words, as it was memorized word-for-word by his disciples and written down two hundred years after his death. These selections from the Buddhist scriptures deal with the search for truth, the way of contemplation, life and death, living in community, and many other topics, serving as an excellent introduction to the Buddha's teaching. Whether addressed to monks and nuns, householders, outcastes, or thieves, the Buddha's teachings are characterized by one main concern: conveying the reality of our bondage to suffering-- and the supremely good news that liberation is possible. It is a concern as relevant for people today as it was for the people of north India a millennium and a half ago.

Putting down all barriers, let your mind be full of love. Let it pervade all the quarters of the world so that the whole wide world, above, below, and around, is pervaded with love. Let it be sublime and beyond measure so that it abounds everywhere.

The way toward liberation is to train yourself to live in the present without waiting to become anything. Give up becoming this or that, live without cravings, and experience this present moment with full at-tention. Then you will neither cringe at death nor seek for repeated birth.

Meditate on that which is beyond words and symbols. Forsake the demands of the self. By such forsaking, you will live serenely.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 133 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1st edition (April 18, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570624933
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570624933
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,250,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This will be a welcome addition to your Buddhist book collection. Anne Bancroft has done a wonderful job of collecting and arranging some of the Buddha's most enlightening sayings. I must say that I enjoyed reading this more thna any other book on the topic in recent memory. I promise you that you will want to buy more than one copy of this book, as you will find your self handing it out to everyone of your friends and family who ask the question, "Say what is that Buddhism all about?" Enjoy. . .
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Anne Bancroft does a wonderful job of giving us the ACTUAL words of the Buddha and only the Buddha. She selflessly steps aside and let's Buddha's words speak for themselves. Many introductory books on Buddhism or Buddha's teaching are filled with miles and miles and miles and miles of commentary and interpretation by the editors as if they themselves were the enlightened one and Buddha is just an afterthought. They go on and on about what they think Buddhism is and what they think Buddha means and what we should think about what the Buddha said. Occasionally we'll get a snippet of what Buddha actually said, usually only to support the author's interpretation. In many of these books I wondered when if ever I would ever read what Buddha actually said. Buddha was a very literate and lucid speaker. I think most anyone can understand his words if you can just get your hands on what he actually said. We don't need miles of interpretation, commentary and present day scenarios. Buddha's words are as valid today as they were 2500+ years ago. Anyone can understand them if you could just read them in a simple and comfortably arranged fashion like this book. With only a wonderfully brief 2-1/2 page preface, we get right into what Buddha actually said. What a concept! Kudos to Anne Bancroft. Anne does a great job of culling out great gems from the vast Buddhist texts. It's an introductory book, so the deepest teachings are only hinted at here and there but they're there. You begin feeling calm and well as the the Buddha was supremely calm and well in mind, body and soul. Books of commentary probably have there place somewhere but it is really nice to have an editor just let the words speak for themselves. If you want the truth, plain and simple, with a book that you can read again and again even ten years from now, get this book. Thank You Anne Bancroft.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Raiden777 on November 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Like the title, this is the first book i read when looking into the topic of buddhism, besides the World Encyclopedia ( my desire to learn about Buddhism was great so i read anything i could on it)

I found this book at a Barnes & Noble book store and looked in the eastern philosophy section, and this one caught my eye. Its a not a huge book, but its just the right size, both in physical size and in page length. On a side note, i liked the paper it was printed with.

Always wanting to get the purist representation of Buddhism, i looked for actual scripture oh Buddhism, and this book had actual accounted quotes he made.

So i felt that was a great start. And i must say, that i took many wonderful things from this book as i ready it. Many a times i felt a bolt realization when id read over a certain passage, i felt a sense of happiness i never knew before. I felt some peace, i felt clarity and again so much peace. As i read some statements, some of the scripture would really hit me and speak to me, it gave me i sort of high. I felt wonderful, learning and realizing thing about the world and my self and about truth.

I would later find actual recorded sutras in books and things from other authors, but this was a great place to start. I learned so much and was deeply touched and inspired by some of things said. Each time id visit the book store, id go and find this book, until i finally read it all.

It was like a daily devotional for me. I even took notes. Within the experience i had of being a Buddhist, i always remember the wonderful beautiful transcending peace that i had. The oneness i felt with the earth and nature. The mastering of my mind and the body. I was alive and in turn put me in the best shape physically.
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By Margaret Cull on January 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have not read the book in its entirety but what I have read is so relevant today. Maybe even more useful now in these times of stress and anxiety than in the past. All politicians should read this book. It stresses kindness, compassion, lack of ego, open mind, open heart. Most of all, we, all of us on this earth, are bound together in a commonality rather than differences. We all need to open our hearts. This book is easy to read and can be picked up at any time. The format is simple. One can read just one writing and then think about its message for an entire day. It does not lecture; it is simply thought provoking. Wonderful read!
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