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The Dhammapada for Awakening: A Commentary on Buddha's Practical Wisdom Paperback – October 17, 2014
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"In this compelling book, Abbot George Burke brings his considerable knowledge and background in Christian teachings and the Vedic tradition of India to convey a practical understanding of the teachings of the Buddha. ...This is a book you'll want to take your time to read and keep as reference to reread. Highly recommended for earnest spiritual aspirants, especially those who may need a prod to keep them moving forward."
--Anna Hourihan, author, editor, and publisher at Vedanta Shores Press
"This is a working commentary that often causes moments to pause, ponder, and reflect, inspiring long moments of meditation."
--Ryan J. Dejonghe, AMAZON TOP 1000 REVIEWER
"The writing is well crafted and stocked with anecdotes, humor, literary references and beautiful quotes from the Buddha. I found it to be entertaining as well as illuminating and have come to consider it a guide to daily living."
--Rev. Gerry Nangle
From the Author
Abbot George says of the Dhammapada, "Over and over in the teachings of Buddha we find that he is giving us only that which can be applied in our daily lives in order to fit ourselves for freedom from all that binds us."
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Top Customer Reviews
He often will compare differing translations to uncover hidden nuances of meaning which will help the reader come to a richer understanding of the subjects.
I find the author's commentary on Buddha's teaching to be thoroughly practical, rather than academic. For those who wish to wish to lead a spiritual life that produces results, this book is a real help.
While many Buddhist Christian books focus on the Gospel of Thomas, and the producers of this book have much of that on their website, this book stays away from that focus. This book is primarily a teaching of the Buddha with many ancillary Biblical scriptures used for effect. Note: if you are reading this to deeper your Christian walk, make sure you are already familiar with the Biblical scripture used; know what you already believe.
As for this book itself, it took me a long time to work through it. This is a working commentary that often causes moments to pause, ponder, and reflect, inspiring long moments of meditation. I appreciated the introduction to many of the written words and sayings, much of it being overlooked by previous Westernized books of the Buddha. I’m especially thankful for the ongoing commentary to help my understanding of the older language and original translations.
There were quite a few surprises for me here: mainly about the sayings of disciplines, punishment, and punitive repercussions due to one’s own actions. I found that much of what is discussed in the early sections of this book would prevent much of that threating and rewards of the latter. Specifically, meditation with a disciplined focus will steer correctly.
Thanks to the folks at Light of the Spirit for sending this to me for review.
Having come originally from a Christian background and adopting Vedanta as my path, I appreciate the parallels and comparisons he draws to the Bhagavad Gita and the Holy Bible. Not surprisingly there are many similar or even identical teachings with the Bhagavad Gita since Buddha himself grew up and studied with the sadhus and sages in India.
To illustrate some of the teachings and make them more real to us Abbot Burke uses examples drawn from his personal experience.
The Dhammapada for Awakening is aptly titled. The author gives us the full impact of these teachings, as the Buddha intended, and does not gloss anything over. To illustrate, here’s an excerpt:
“Occasions of hatred are certainly never settled by hatred. They are settled by freedom from hatred. This is the eternal law.” (Dhammapada 5).
[Abbott Burke’s comment] "…That is the nature of the world. It is the violent ward of the lunatic asylum we call the universe. Everyone here is either an active or a recovering homicidal maniac. This is the truth."
This is a book you’ll want to take your time to read and keep as reference to reread. Highly recommended for earnest spiritual aspirants, especially those who may need a prod to keep them moving forward.