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Wide Awake: A Buddhist Guide for Teens Paperback – August 5, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

One of the recent trends in Buddhist publishing has been a subtle generation shift: we are now seeing second-generation Buddhists' memoirs as well as introductory books for teenagers and young adults. Into this latter category falls Diana Winston's Wide Awake: A Buddhist Guide for Teens, a well-written and basic primer for Gen-Ys who are asking Big Questions. Introducing concepts such as meditation, enlightenment, metta (lovingkindness), karma, the four noble truths and the eight worldly conditions, Winston writes accessibly but doesn't try overly hard to sound cool or relevant. Teens will appreciate the way she gives the dharma to them straight, while many adults will also benefit from this lucid manual.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-10. Switching between anecdotes of her own journey in Buddhism and advice on how teens can apply the Buddha's teachings to their lives, Winston offers a personal and thoughtful introduction to Buddhist thought and practice. The fundamental tenets of Buddhism are introduced through the lens of adolescence: finding karma at a high-school basketball game or promising that metta (loving-kindness) can free teens from anger toward siblings and parents (a miracle, indeed). Winston frequently quotes from teens she has met in her work at a Buddhist center in California, showing what they have learned from Buddhism on such subjects as skipping school. The writing doesn't rely on slang that will go out of style, but Winston's retellings of Buddhist sutras and stories are delightfully colloquial ("I want to understand life," the Buddha tells his father at one point. "I can't stay cooped up in this castle"), and her celebration of inquisitiveness and doubt will appeal to readers. Give this, along with Franz Metcalf's Buddha in Your Backpack (2002), to spiritual seekers intrigued by Buddhism. John Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee; 1 edition (August 5, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399528970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399528972
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful introduction to Buddhism. I have been sitting for several years and I am closer to middle-aged than teen-aged, but this book has a concise yet scholarly nature that presents Buddhist practice beautifully.
I want to buy this book for everyone I know, from my 13 year old god-daughter to my 93 year old grandfather. Diana Winston illuminates the beauty and difficulty of living honestly in the world. If I were to change one thing, I would make the subtitle read; "a Buddhist guide for teens and those who were once teens"
Thanks Diana!
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Format: Paperback
Our son was in very hard times, struggling to come to terms with the low values (if values) of modern society, modern music and his own background and values. With 14 he went into extrem aggression and anger. He sought refuge in hard rap, which on one side helped to work anger off, but fueled it from another side.
Since he started to read (and practice) this book, he changed tremendously.
I highly recommend this book to any teenager (or parents who wish to find help) with the wish for help.
10 stars!
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I have been learning about Buddhism for a couple of years now and bought this book for my teenage daughter, in hopes that it would inspire her to join me. She hasn't read it yet, but I decided to pick it up off her shelf one day and read it myself. This book changed my life. It is written in very simple, easy to understand terms. I felt like Diana Winston was a good friend, walking the path with me and explaining things along the way. I loved it. And I am still hoping my daughter will join me!
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By A Customer on August 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
I was so excited to read a book that really speaks to me. I am a teen who is interested in spirituality and when I found this book I felt like I could learn so much about Buddhism and how it really applies to my life. I learned about meditation and am trying it in my home, and I see ways I can be less judgemental and live with higher integrity.
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So far as I know, all available Christian guides for teens are written from a fundamentalist perspective. So, until someone of us writes one from a Christian Resurgence perspective I suggest this book as a useful spirit guide for Christian teens. The advantage of the Christian Resurgence perspective is its openness to learn from spirit resources of all traditions. Winston's experience as a Buddhist nun (for a year in Burma), in teaching meditation to young people for ten years in the U.S. and India (she inserts many comments from her students), and in founding and directing the Buddhist Alliance for Social Engagement, as well as her relative youth (under 40), enables her to understand teens as well as speak with the wisdom of experience. The book is a basic primer of Buddhism, including instructions for meditation. I particularly appreciated her explanation of the difference between discernment and judgment, the section on choosing friends wisely, and the chapters on finding right livelihood. She also covers the hot topics of dealing with emotions, sex, and intoxicants.
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This book is pretty much as the Booklist review describes. It is worth noting that the book begins with lengthy forwards and prefaces which I found wordy, ponderous, and a bit moralistic. I began to fear the book would be the same. Not so! when you finally get to chapter one, the pace picks up and the tone and diction become lighter and much friendlier to a high-school level of reader. Far from being moralistic, the author deals with a variety of real issues that young people have to face, and does it in a frank, sensible, easygoing and very constructive fashion. The book should be a help and a comfort to many in its target audience.
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THIS BOOK IS THE PATH TO FREEDOM! IT EXPLAINS THE DHARMA IN SIMPLE AND PRECISE TERMS. IT'S A HIGHLY ACCESSIBLE AND PRACTICAL GUIDE TO THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BUDDHISM AND WILLING TO DO THE WORK TO FREE YOURSELF FROM CONFUSION THIS IS THE BOOK TO READ.
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I bought this for my 13 year old son per his request for a book that explains Buddhism. He loves this book and has read it 3 times. I personally have not read it, but based on his comments, I would highly recommend this book!
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