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.