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Open Heart, Clear Mind: An Introduction to the Buddha's Teachings

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This practical introduction to Buddhism focuses on the application of Buddhist psychology to modern life. Thubten Chodron, an American Buddhist nun, presents the basic points of this path for understanding ourselves and improving the quality of our lives. In a straightforward style and with warmth and humor, Chodron gives us the fundamental points of the Buddha's teaching This practical introduction to Buddhism focuses on the application of Buddhist psychology to modern life. Thubten Chodron, an American Buddhist nun, presents the basic points of this path for understanding ourselves and improving the quality of our lives. In a straightforward style and with warmth and humor, Chodron gives us the fundamental points of the Buddha's teaching on transforming habitual attitudes and realizing our full human potential.

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This practical introduction to Buddhism focuses on the application of Buddhist psychology to modern life. Thubten Chodron, an American Buddhist nun, presents the basic points of this path for understanding ourselves and improving the quality of our lives. In a straightforward style and with warmth and humor, Chodron gives us the fundamental points of the Buddha's teaching This practical introduction to Buddhism focuses on the application of Buddhist psychology to modern life. Thubten Chodron, an American Buddhist nun, presents the basic points of this path for understanding ourselves and improving the quality of our lives. In a straightforward style and with warmth and humor, Chodron gives us the fundamental points of the Buddha's teaching on transforming habitual attitudes and realizing our full human potential.

30 review for Open Heart, Clear Mind: An Introduction to the Buddha's Teachings

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    The first half of this book is a wonderful narrative of the basic Buddist philosophy of how to get along with other people and become a happier self. I liked this part very very much and recommend it to anyone. The second half is still readable but a steeper climb to total acceptance for me. Includes all the mechanics of rebirth and multiple lives. I'm more aligned with Stephen Batchelor in Buddism without Belief, who claims that the pure early Buddist philosophy was great until it was corrupted The first half of this book is a wonderful narrative of the basic Buddist philosophy of how to get along with other people and become a happier self. I liked this part very very much and recommend it to anyone. The second half is still readable but a steeper climb to total acceptance for me. Includes all the mechanics of rebirth and multiple lives. I'm more aligned with Stephen Batchelor in Buddism without Belief, who claims that the pure early Buddist philosophy was great until it was corrupted with human-inserted hierarchy and institutionalism. Why is it that humans find it so necessary to tell themselves they know all the answers? I'm much more comfortable with mystery.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Amazing book that breaks down the core beliefs of Tibetan Buddhism. Chodron makes wonderful analogies regarding how you can deal with anger, have compassion, and be happy. Her writing style is very easy to read. The book stays with you long after reading it... it is like a breath of fresh air. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    As one of the statements on the back cover of my copy says "A refreshingly straightforward and accessible introduction to the basic principles of Buddhist practice..." and which is pretty much what I thought while reading the book. I think this is the kind of book that anyone could read and find some tools for being in the world. You don't have to be a Buddhist to get something of value out of this book. One of the best books on Buddhism I have ever read!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emily Schirmer

    I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about Buddhism or simply learn some new techniques to help live a fulfilled, happy life. Thubten Chodron does an excellent job providing a thorough, yet simplified, introduction to this beautiful religion. Any and every question that I had prior to reading this was answered by the time I finished the book. Moreover, as I developed new questions as I was reading, sure enough, those questions were addressed, as well. Whether or n I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about Buddhism or simply learn some new techniques to help live a fulfilled, happy life. Thubten Chodron does an excellent job providing a thorough, yet simplified, introduction to this beautiful religion. Any and every question that I had prior to reading this was answered by the time I finished the book. Moreover, as I developed new questions as I was reading, sure enough, those questions were addressed, as well. Whether or not you are considering practicing Buddhism, just want to learn more about the religion, or are simply hoping to gain a new approach to your life, this book is for you. I do not plan to work every day to stay on the path to enlightenment; however, I do plan to use many of the typically-Buddhist traditions I learned from this book to help me gain some perspective and get through the tougher times in my life. This book was educational, yes, but also very interesting. It provides great insight into the Buddhist practices, but also serves as a sort of self-help book that provides the reader with some great tools to use in everyday life. This was a beautiful book about what I believe to be a beautiful religion. I am so glad that I took the time to read this. I learned a lot and I took away a lot that I know will help me live my life to the fullest and work every day to be a wiser, more compassionate person. Highly recommend.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jason Lundberg

    You will not find a better introduction into the world of Buddhism than this book. Thubten Chodron does a phenomenal job simply explaining complex concepts in language that the beginner can understand. Her prose style is easy yet full of wonderful metaphor. Her ability to discuss reincarnation, karma, the Four Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path to enlightenment in clear and compelling writing is an incredible accomplishment. And those wanting to learn about Buddhism would do well to heed her w You will not find a better introduction into the world of Buddhism than this book. Thubten Chodron does a phenomenal job simply explaining complex concepts in language that the beginner can understand. Her prose style is easy yet full of wonderful metaphor. Her ability to discuss reincarnation, karma, the Four Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path to enlightenment in clear and compelling writing is an incredible accomplishment. And those wanting to learn about Buddhism would do well to heed her words.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dustin

    A descent book about Buddhist philosophy. All part of my spiritual journey.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nanouk

    Good introduction to buddhism and meditation

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christine Racine

    Simply put, this book changed/saved my life. The clarity and relatability of the presentation helped me find a way out of a very dark spiritual place and set me on the Dharma path.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    Got this because the author's other book, Buddhism for Beginners, is probably the best introduction to Buddhism that I've ever gotten my hands on.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Derek Wallen

    A very useful, mostly jargon-free introduction to Buddhism.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Ven. Chodron is my teacher. This is an amazing book, great for someone new to Buddhism as well as folks who have been on the path for a time. Check out her website. She is amazing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    Finding this book came as the product of what was a large existential crisis at this point in my life. I felt lost and inexplicably alone one day so I decided to browse the philosophy section of my university's library and found this gem. It provides a well worded insight into some of the basic teachings of Buddhism and has inspired me to attempt to alter my own perception of life accordingly. Although I'm not totally convinced by the teachings on rebirth and reincarnation, the ideas of compassio Finding this book came as the product of what was a large existential crisis at this point in my life. I felt lost and inexplicably alone one day so I decided to browse the philosophy section of my university's library and found this gem. It provides a well worded insight into some of the basic teachings of Buddhism and has inspired me to attempt to alter my own perception of life accordingly. Although I'm not totally convinced by the teachings on rebirth and reincarnation, the ideas of compassion and love within us all really struck a chord with me and I have spent many spare hours recently mulling over just what the book it telling me. Open Heart, Clear Mind takes a logical and rational look at many modern issues that has left me re-evaluating everything in my life with a sort of newfound clarity. In short, definitely worth a read by everyone looking for something more in their life or looking for an introduction to Buddhist thought without having to delve into the world of scripture and ancient texts. 9/10

  13. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    I found this an interesting read mostly because I have always been curious about the Buddhist teachings and what it is all about. Anything that can help me be more self-aware, balance my life and improve who I am as a person, is always worth reading. I thought it was a little advanced for a beginner as it throws a lot at you. And, it did delve a lot into past lives and previous relationships and how it's all connected and I am not sure how I feel about that. BUT...I did read it with an open mind I found this an interesting read mostly because I have always been curious about the Buddhist teachings and what it is all about. Anything that can help me be more self-aware, balance my life and improve who I am as a person, is always worth reading. I thought it was a little advanced for a beginner as it throws a lot at you. And, it did delve a lot into past lives and previous relationships and how it's all connected and I am not sure how I feel about that. BUT...I did read it with an open mind...or rather an open heart and a clear mind.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anji

    Great Buddhist book. I listened to Thubten Chodron speak at my college in N Idaho and her energy was so bright and beautiful. The peaceful smile on her face was found within the pages of this book. When I read this, I was really grumpy at work (when I still worked) and grumpy with people I worked with. This book really helped me step out of my reactions to the actions of others and find peace within my self.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nisey

    The section on 'Working Effectively with Emotions' is very applicable and can definitely guide us in our daily lives. Some of the other sections are more difficult to relate to, but I still read through them in order to have a comprehensive understanding of the author's perspective on Buddhism. The author frames the information in a very clear concise way, and makes this an easy read and excellent introduction to the ideology/philosophy of Buddhism.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rubina

    This is one of the best books on Buddhist teachings. While written as an introduction to Buddhism, the book still has a lot to offer to those already familiar with the teachings. Thubten Chodron does an excellent job of explaining the concepts and teachings in simple, easy to understand language. Her chapter on Rebirth, Karma and the Cyclic Existence is one of the clearest i have read. Definitely adding this to my list of favourite books on Buddhism.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    A truely inspiring read. I can pick it up whenever there's something nagging my heart and whether or not it's pages speak directly to the active events in my life or not, it comforts and inspires me. There is such a peaceful energy about this book that you'd be hard pressed not to walk away from it just a little bit better, more open-minded, than you were before.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Florence

    I have read this book dozens of times. It was the first book on Buddhism that really spoke to me. I bought a copy for my mother and some friends of mine as well. They all loved it as much as I did. I would recommend this book to anyone going through hard times, is interested in learning about Buddhism, or just wants a new perspective on life.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Márton

    Good introduction on Tibetan Buddhism. Explains a good deal of the beliefs and rituals, although not enought to begin practice. To be fair, practice is not an objective of the author. Good for those who only know about Buddhism by name and wish to understand it more.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eve

    Excellent reading Explains concepts in an easy way to help those non-buddhists understand the philosophy. Highly recommended for those interested in understanding Buddhism and considering practicing it

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    This book came into my life at just the right time. I've read many books on Buddhism and this one is by far a favorite. I don't think I've ever underlined, highlighted, or turned down more pages to mark wonderful insights and passages that gave me those "aha" moments.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I think that this book is a great resource for anyone new to Buddhism and meditation. It was well rounded in discussing various aspects of the philosophy and ways to make practices pertinent to modern day life in the United States.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chris Lemig

    This is a great summary of Buddhist beliefs. I got it from the library and went online to order it as soon as I finished it. It's simple and succinct, doesn't delve too deep into heavy concepts. The explanation of dependent arising was explained very well.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Femmebelle

    I loved this book! So straight forward. A great introduction to Buddhism.

  25. 5 out of 5

    G7

    Written my a western buddhist nun, it should address some of the unique issues we have in western culture, or hoping so.

  26. 4 out of 5

    James Wagner

    A perfectly simple and quick intro into the world of Buddhism.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Luciana Guedes

    The best book I've ever read

  28. 5 out of 5

    Al

    Another favorite from Thubten Chodron.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Johanna

    Great book for a translation of Buddhist beliefs in practical language. Would read again!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tania

    easy read, timeless points.

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