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The Essence of Buddhism

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This book describes the basic principles of Buddhism. Much has been written about Buddhism and how to practice it. Readers will have no difficulty finding hundreds of books on the topic. This book simply focuses on the essence of Buddhism, as expressed in the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path. Buddhism is not a religion as such; it does not propose an external God. This book describes the basic principles of Buddhism. Much has been written about Buddhism and how to practice it. Readers will have no difficulty finding hundreds of books on the topic. This book simply focuses on the essence of Buddhism, as expressed in the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path. Buddhism is not a religion as such; it does not propose an external God. It does not seek to replace a person’s existing religious beliefs, only to supplement them. The Buddha, in all likelihood, would rather his followers describe themselves simply as Followers of The Way.

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This book describes the basic principles of Buddhism. Much has been written about Buddhism and how to practice it. Readers will have no difficulty finding hundreds of books on the topic. This book simply focuses on the essence of Buddhism, as expressed in the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path. Buddhism is not a religion as such; it does not propose an external God. This book describes the basic principles of Buddhism. Much has been written about Buddhism and how to practice it. Readers will have no difficulty finding hundreds of books on the topic. This book simply focuses on the essence of Buddhism, as expressed in the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path. Buddhism is not a religion as such; it does not propose an external God. It does not seek to replace a person’s existing religious beliefs, only to supplement them. The Buddha, in all likelihood, would rather his followers describe themselves simply as Followers of The Way.

30 review for The Essence of Buddhism

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sean Barrs the Bookdragon

    Isn’t Buddhism such a marvellous belief system? I’m finding myself drawn to it more and more as I get older. It is just full of so much wisdom and altruistic virtue. I truly believe in its principals. I wish I could live them fully. One day I’d like to be able to call myself a Buddhist. The four noble truths are real. The first is born of pragmatic realism: bad stuff happens in life. It’s unavoidable. There will always be those that stray from the path of virtue. The second point recognises that Isn’t Buddhism such a marvellous belief system? I’m finding myself drawn to it more and more as I get older. It is just full of so much wisdom and altruistic virtue. I truly believe in its principals. I wish I could live them fully. One day I’d like to be able to call myself a Buddhist. The four noble truths are real. The first is born of pragmatic realism: bad stuff happens in life. It’s unavoidable. There will always be those that stray from the path of virtue. The second point recognises that such suffering can be born within our own soul. Our feelings, our emotions, govern our reactions: if we expect too much, and if we become overly attached to something, then we will, ultimately, be let down by the results. We crave what we cannot have. Life never lives up to our esteems. At least very rarely. And it is such a mind-set that becomes dangerous to our own health. Expect nothing, that way one cannot be disappointed and one cannot cause their own suffering. Such a realisation can help usher in the third truth along with adapting the eight fold path. And this is where the true altruism begins. We must adopt optimism in its most extreme form and share the experience with others. Right view is accepting the four noble truths, and living them. Right intention is trying to improve oneself and continually striving to be a better person through compassion. Right speech is being kind and truthful in every word. For me, this is one of the hardest aspects of the ethos. Sometimes people are deplorable. Sometimes people do need to be told how bad they are. But, for a Buddhist, love is the answer not hate. I’m hearing one of my favourite Lennon songs as I write this……..you may know the one… Right action is the easiest for me to follow. Buddhism teaches us that we should cause no living thing to suffer whether human or otherwise. As a vegan, I think I can safely say that I avoid animal suffering in all forms. I’m not going into my personal ethics here, but, for me, Buddhism is very attractive in this regard. Right Livelihood is a harder path to walk. When I finish university, I will hopefully become an academic lecturer. I want to teach at university level. This is a job that would lead to little suffering- provided I become good at it! My current work practices, and that of many employment sectors, do conflict with the Buddhist belief system. But, for me, this will only be temporary. Right effort is tangible to devotion. It requires strength of will to walk this path of purity, always. Right mindfulness is a tricky concept to grasp. It debunks any feeling or intuition you may develop regarding an encounter. Sometimes you meet someone and form a connection, but this may not be real. Your mind may have imagined it. The difficulty resides in deciding what is true, and what you have created in your mind. For me, this sounds impossible. This is something I will have to read into more. Right concentration is linked with meditation. One should meditate on the eightfold path and let it become a large part of their cognitive drive to consider themselves an adherer to this truth. Happiness is a fickle thing because life is a fickle thing. Everything changes. Emotions change. People change. But a Buddhist has learnt that happiness comes from within. It is a mental state; thus, the mind can regulate it: It is a path of wisdom, one that I’d like to walk fully one day. But, for now, I think I’ll go and read some more comprehensive guides on this. Can anyone recommend any?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Florencia

    In relation to the First Noble Truth The enlightened person fully accepts the reality of impermanence and unavoidability of suffering so that when it occurs they do not increase the suffering through their resistance to it. Acceptance should not be interpreted as enjoyment in a masochistic sense. The enlightened person can take immediate action to end suffering, but while it lasts, they accept the reality of it and simply allow it to be, knowing that it will pass. "The enlightened person", how unus In relation to the First Noble Truth The enlightened person fully accepts the reality of impermanence and unavoidability of suffering so that when it occurs they do not increase the suffering through their resistance to it. Acceptance should not be interpreted as enjoyment in a masochistic sense. The enlightened person can take immediate action to end suffering, but while it lasts, they accept the reality of it and simply allow it to be, knowing that it will pass. "The enlightened person", how unusual around here. I have many problems with the Eightfold Path, but I am enjoying the benefits of meditation, awareness without mental chatter in the land of the impermanent. Aug 19, 18

  3. 5 out of 5

    Juan-Miguel Hernandez

    Short insight into the practices of Buddhism This was a perfect introduction (very short) to get familiar with the core practices of Buddhism and it’s benefits for anybody curious. More specifically, it familiarizes us with the four noble truths and the eight-fold path: the beginning of a journey towards a happier, healthier and enlightened self.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

    It's a nice "starter kit" to understand buddhism.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Iván

    A good start The book is a good way to approach Buddhism in a fairly accessible manner. It depics the Buddhist principles so that anybody will be able to understand. I happily recommend it to anyone willing to get an overview of Buddhism. Este libro brinda un paneo general de lo que es el budismo y como practicar sus enseñanzas. Esta redactado de una manera sencilla que facilita el entendimiento de los conceptos fácilmente. Si se busca iniciar en el budismo o conocer sobre esta filosofía, recomie A good start The book is a good way to approach Buddhism in a fairly accessible manner. It depics the Buddhist principles so that anybody will be able to understand. I happily recommend it to anyone willing to get an overview of Buddhism. Este libro brinda un paneo general de lo que es el budismo y como practicar sus enseñanzas. Esta redactado de una manera sencilla que facilita el entendimiento de los conceptos fácilmente. Si se busca iniciar en el budismo o conocer sobre esta filosofía, recomiendo sin dudar este pequeño y sencillo libro. Si el ser que esté leyendo este tomo ya ha incursionado antes, el libro puede ayudar a entender mejor alguna de las ideas y prácticas asi como refrescar la memoria.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kolby Planinz

    Great for absolute beginners If you've had no experience with the principal's of Buddhism and meditation, this is a great book to start with. It gives a direct, straight to the point approach to Buddhism. However, I recommend that one spends a great deal of time studying and applying the principles before making a judgement of them. These concepts often take years to fully understand and master. But I certainly recommend this book as a place to start.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Judith

    This is a very quick read. Is a very good simple overview of the Buddhist philosophy. It was recommended by one of my friends who was with us in Italy. I am going to send him Buddhist Boot Camp as this book describes how you can apply Buddhist philosophy to your every day life without having to become a Monk. I read it over and over again to remind myself of Buddhist wisdom.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

    Amazing Starter This book teaches an easy way to meditate and easily explains the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Path. I would recommend this book to whoever would like to learn what Buddhism generally is.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Camacho

    Good read Very simple - straight-forwarded and informative. I enjoyed it as a basic introduction and appreciated that it ended with a meditation overview as a way to move me forward.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Richard A Pawlowski

    Truly the essence Excellent summary/essence describing the basic tenets of Buddhism. Written in clear understandable English. Every thing you need to start you on your journey to a greater understanding of Buddhism and living a more peaceful and comforting life.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Brown

    Simple and perfect I really enjoyed this easy read. It's a great intro for anyone with even the slightest interest in Buddhism. It rejuvenated my curiosity of Buddhism and prompted me to delve a little deeper into Buddhists studies.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jason Clinard

    Informative This was a great starting point. Nice and informative. Clear and precise. Contains all the knowledge necessary to begin your journey. Even has a nice meditation tutorial in the end.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alan G Smith

    Well written and easy to assimilate Short. Clear. Concise. A well written, easy to assimilate brief introduction to the main tenets of Buddhism and a simple strategy for developing meditation skills.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Huggins

    Wisdom To Live By The author has distilled the Buddha's teachings which, if practiced, will raise one's consciousness and allow them to be more compassionate. Excellent resource for daily living.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Brett

    Nice book for beginners Nice entry level reading , basic are covered well.worth reading .Will find great benefit in meditation recommend for all ages

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rancey

    Simple & Informative Great introduction to Buddhism. Will attempt to read this weekly to remind myself of the core values & teachings of the practice.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Aloe

    Stright to the point, basic, easy to understand. Exactly what I was looking for in an introduction to a topic.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nitin

    Nice book Quiet helpful book you'll ever read.. it talks much about 'you' than around you. One must read it for sure

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bella

    Simple and informative A very good book on principles of Buddhism. Written very well. Simple language. Apt examples. Eight fold path to enlightenment is well defined.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stefan Cristian

    nice short read I like how it goes with the topic and the short insights it presents. A good read for a subway ride.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Julie El-Haddad

    Good intro book Short and interesting read about the fundamental aspects of buddhism. I would have like a few more examples of how to apply it in every day life.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Doris Webber

    Loved this Very enlightening, very thoughtful. The older I get the more the information seems to work. Wish I had embraced this many years ago.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Biren Patel

    Brief overview of noble path Book is brief. Explains about buddhism, but not much in detail. Talks less and in simple way. Read it because it was free.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ross Mitchell

    Nice overview Rated highly due to the concise and clearly written manner it explained Buddhism. Great for a beginner trying to understand the basics.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Felicia Taylor

    Yay for meditation! I appreciated a quick read on a subject I'm interested in. The meditation portion definitely gave me a different insight than what I've read prior to.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Camille Michiko Gica

    It’s a very quick read. Very easy for starters. Very easy to understand. Yet, because it is very short, it feels very shallow. But it delivers the point well.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    I found this book to be an interesting introduction to Buddhism. I will be looking for other books I'm the near future to study.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Aakash

    Nice book It is a nice book for beginners to use meditation as a life changing tool, nice printing, short book with great explanation.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ernie Marton

    Awesome Read!!! It put into simple terms basic Buddhism. It allows me to get a grasp on the basics so I can connect to it. I try to read through it every 1-2 weeks to really get it into my system.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    I still have quite a few questions, but it was only 24 pages long. so Not exactly a lot of room for there to be explanations.

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