The third of Jean Smith’s Beginner’s Guides focuses on the Buddha’s Eightfold Path—the concepts central to practicing the Buddha’s teachings in daily life. The eight steps on the path are: right understanding, thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration. Smith explains exactly what the Buddha had in mind, using translations of his own words and then elucidating them for us. Throughout the book are wonderful quotes from a broad range of Buddhist teachers, giving a taste of the very best each of them has to offer. The Beginner’s Guide to Walking the Buddha’s Eightfold Path is a prescription for happiness, not just for overcoming suffering, which is how many people think of Buddhism. Here is a book for Buddhists of every tradition.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Jean Smith's enormously practical approach ensures that The Beginner's Guide to Zen Buddhism will become the book teachers and students alike will recommend.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Topics covered include
- What are the benefits of meditation?
- How do we sit in meditation?
- What are the states of meditation?
- How do we reach nirvana?
- What is absolute enlightenment?
Chan master Guo Jun is one of a new breed of international teachers taking the world’s great wisdom traditions into the twenty-first century. He is currently abbot of Mahabodhi Monastery in Singapore and teaches internationally. Chan master Sheng Yen’s youngest dharma heir, he served as abbot of his Pine Bush, New York, retreat center from 2005 to 2008. A native of Singapore, Guo Jun received his full monastic ordination in Taiwan. He is a lineage holder and successor in Chan as well as the Xianshou and Cien schools of Chinese Buddhism. Essential Chan Buddhism is his first book.
Kenneth Wapner’s Peekamouse Books is a book packager and editor. Clients include Bantam, Tarcher/Putnam, Ballantine, and Doubleday. He is well known for his work on Rabbi Jesus, Bones of the Master, and The Zen of Creativity.
While others viewed Zen practice as a purification of the mind or a stage on the way to perfect enlightenment, Bodhidharma equated Zen with buddhahood and believed that it had a place in everyday life. Instead of telling his disciples to purify their minds, he pointed them to rock walls, to the movements of tigers and cranes, to a hollow reed floating across the Yangtze.
This bilingual edition, the only volume of the great teacher's work currently available in English, presents four teachings in their entirety. "Outline of Practice" describes the four all-inclusive habits that lead to enlightenment, the "Bloodstream Sermon" exhorts students to seek the Buddha by seeing their own nature, the "Wake-up Sermon" defends his premise that the most essential method for reaching enlightenment is beholding the mind. The original Chinese text, presented on facing pages, is taken from a Ch'ing dynasty woodblock edition.
Essential Buddhism responds to these questions and many more, offering an accessible, global perspective on the religion's past, present, and future. It identifies how the principal concepts and practices originated and evolved through diverse cultural adaptations into three basic formats:
* Theraveda (including Vipassana, brought from Vietnam in the 1960s and including such practitioners as Jack Kornfield and Jon Kapat-Zinn)
* Mahayana (including Zen Buddhism, originally brought to America by Japanese teachers after World War II and popularized by Jack Kerouac and Thomas Merton)
* Vajrayana (including Tibetan Buddhism, from the teachers who fled the Chinese takeover of Tibet in the 1950s as well as the Dalai Lama, and embraced by Allen Ginsberg, Richard Gere, and countless others)
Essential Buddhism is the single best resource for the novice and the expert alike, exploring the depths of Buddhism's popularity and illuminating its tenets and sensible approach to living. Written in the lucid prose of a longtime professional storyteller, and full of Buddhist tales, scriptural quotes, ancient stories, and contemporary insights, Essential Buddhism is the first complete guide to the faith and the phenomenon.