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Buddhism For Dummies Paperback – December 1, 2002
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“…another interesting title that seems written for anything but dummies…” (Alain de Botton in The Observer, July 4th, 2004)
From the Back Cover
Covers daily observances, meditation practices, and making pilgrimages
Explore the fascinating history of Buddhism
Whats the significance of Buddha? How can the practice of Buddhism enrich your everyday life? This guide explains the important themes and traditions, revealing how Buddhas teachings combine to create a path to enlightenment and spiritual awakening. Find out more about karma and discover how to fulfill your highest potential through Buddhism.
The Dummies Way
- Explanations in plain English
- "Get in, get out" information
- Icons and other navigational aids
- Tear-out cheat sheet
- Top ten lists
- A dash of humor and fun
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Top Customer Reviews
I was born and raised in a Catholic family, and for over 30 years I considered myself one, but I wasn't very good at it and I didn't like it; whenever I sinned, I was filled with despair and self-loathing. But then sometime in early 2008, I picked up this book and my life was changed forever. Within a few months my mind, my perceptions and my attitude toward myself had irrevocably changed.
What I took from this book was the lesson that the physcial world is impermanent, it is always changing, and from this I took so much more from it. I have come to believe that looking outside yourself for lasting happiness--whether it is food, money, power, possessions, even love from others--is impossible; these things can only bring temporary happiness. True happiness come from within.
Accepting this idea means you become much more accepting of the inevitable curve balls that life throws at you. You realize that the situation, while not to your liking, is only temporary, so just accept it and ride it out.
This acceptance of events also applies to people as well. I used to be very hung up on what others thought of me. I did everything I could to make them happy, but in the end only drove myself crazy when they didn't give me that approval I so desperately needed. But now I accept that no matter what I do, some people just won't like me and I don't try to win them over.
What also appeals to me about Buddhism is that you are allowed, even encouraged, to question the teachings of masters past. Even Buddha himself said not to follow what he said or did simply because he did it. Think for yourself on these practices, and if they work for you, then embrace them, but if not, then don't and don't lose any sleep over it.
If any of these points I have raised appeal to you, then I encourage you to buy this book and I hope you find what you are looking for within these pages. But if my words go in one ear and out the other, that's okay too; Buddhism isn't for everybody.
Remember - this is Buddhism For Dummies - and it delivers exactly that - as the book itself says "Your easy-to-understand guide to Buddhist traditions, beliefs and practices"
This is a perfect book for the person looking into Buddhism for the first time - it gives a general overview - and a closer look into specific areas - from history to practices to traditions to a general understanding of the what, how's and why's of Buddhism - in easy to read and understand steps - nothing too "out there" or overwhelming
This is also a great book for the person revisiting Buddhism - it reminds you of what you found interesting or drawn to in the first place and I found it to be refreshing through the eyes I have now
Most importantly - this is a book for your head - on a spiritual scale - it's not particularly moving or spiritual - again this is Buddhism For Dummies - it's more for your brain - it's a general look and explanation geared towards an intellectual understanding (Buddhism 101) - not the heart/mind understanding - there is some of that, but Buddhism For Dummies is for your brain
This book answers all of that and more!
If you are interested in finding out about Buddhism, or have a loved one that is a Buddhist this is the book for you. It quite adeptly describes the basics of Buddhism and lays them out in a friendly manner. You will learn about the different sects and find out just how much Buddhism is NOT a cult. That is an important one to me because I have been accused by a neighbor of spreading my cult juice all around. Considering I never talk to anyone about this unless they ask its a bit challenging.
Back to the book, inside you get information about the Buddha, where he came from, what his message was and most of all how he was NOT a deity. He never was and never expected to be treated as one. It was not until the Greeks invaded India that the first statues of Buddha came around, (notice the knotty hair you will see on most statues of Buddha, its very Greek in origin).
This is a great primer for students too. If you have a world religions class, you cannot pass this book up. Its like cliff notes on steroids.
If you are interested in Buddhism you cant pass this book up. Its easy to digest and fun at the same time!