E-Essential Buddhism.inddI am pleased to announce the release of the Everything Essential Buddhism Book. This book is an abridgment of the popular Everything Guide to Buddhism, 2nd Edition.

As the name implies, this book is a leaner, more essential, treatment of the topic and it can serve as an accessible introduction to the teachings, principles, and practices associated with Buddhism.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

Buddhism traces its roots back to the historical Buddha, a yogi who lived more than 2,500 years ago in northern India. The Buddha discovered a way to live that radically transformed people’s lives, starting with his own. His revolutionary insights have withstood the test of time, and his methods can still transform lives as they did in ancient India. The Buddha taught mindfulness, kindness, and compassion. Buddhism, the family of religions that evolved from the Buddha’s teachings, is one of the great ethical systems that benefit humanity.

While Buddhism may be considered a nontheistic religion, it transcends religious belief into practical experience. You don’t believe in Buddhism; you practice Buddhism. In fact, you don’t even need to be a “Buddhist” to practice “Buddhism.” In one sense, all you have to do is sit down and meditate with openness, curiosity, and dedication.

I am most drawn now to a secular interpretation of the Buddha’s teachings. He was not out to found a religion. His goal was to ameliorate the woes of himself and the rest of the world. Because his insights and methods worked, he attracted a large following and the establishment of religions, doctrines, and hagiography were inevitable.

Nevertheless, today looking back we can go to the essential teachings that precede the proliferation of the Buddhist religions. We can find value in the psychology that he taught. All we really need to know about the Buddha’s wisdom are contained in the Four Noble Truths. These are enumerated in the book and are really the essence of this teachings. The irony of this essence is that there is no essence. We are all process, as I recently reminded.

I hope you’ll enjoy this read. It’s a good introduction to the variations of Buddha and Buddhism for beginners and a reminder of the teachings for those of you with experience, with my sometimes irreverent and always practical  take on the subject. Order your copy through your independent bookseller below or get your copy from Amazon here.

Shop Indie Bookstores


More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

An unexpected book arrived in the mail the other day. A gift from my friend’s at Wisdom Publications. Zen Master Raven: The Teachings of a Wise Old Bird. by Zen Master human form, Robert Aitken. Here the koans are told by and to animals of the forest: raven, porcupine, owl, woodpecker, badger, black bear, and […]

Good things come in small packages especially when it is The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy edited by the poet John Brehm and published by Wisdom. Wisdom has a habit of producing beautifully crafted books, packed with, well, wisdom! By way of disclosure, two of these books are mine (108 Metaphors for Mindfulness and […]

A surfer and a shrink, sounds like the start of a joke … walk into a bar … . What do they talk about? Turns out the surfer dude is an expert on fear, has even written a book about it and the shrink is a crack snowboarder. They’ve got a lot to talk about. […]

Stephen Batchelor: Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World contains twenty-five years of his writing. You may be familiar with some of these articles from his contributions to Tricycle and I recently enjoyed reading his article arguing for a Buddhism 2.0 in a Buddhist academic journal. This book contains three new contributions, making the book […]