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Books of general interest

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Buddhism for Dummies
Jonathan Landaw and Stephan Bodian

Buddhism For Dummies offers a clear, straight-forward road map that will aim to answer the fundamental questions, issues, and conflicts that arise daily in the understanding of Buddism.

Buddhism Plain and Simple
Steve Hagen

This book offers a clear, straightforward approach to Buddhism in general and awareness in particular. It is about being awake and in touch with what is going on here and now. When the Buddha was asked to sum up his teaching in a single word, he said, "Awareness." The Buddha taught how to see directly into the nature of experience. His observations and insights are plain, practical, and down-to-earth, and they deal exclusively with the present. In Buddhism Plain and Simple, Steve Hagen presents these uncluttered, original teachings in everyday, accessible language unencumbered by religious ritual, tradition, or belief.

Buddhism with an Attitude: The Tibetan Seven-Point Mind Training
B. Alan Wallace

In this book the author explains a fundamental type of mental training called lojong, which can literally be translated as attitudinal training.

Buddhism Without Beliefs
Stephen Batchelor

This concise and beautiful book demystifies Buddhism by explaining, without jargon or obscure terminology, what awakening is and how to practice it. What Buddha taught, says Stephen Batchelor, is not something to believe in but something to do...something that can be practiced every day.

Buddhist Religions: A Historical Introduction
Richard Robinson, Willard Johnson and Thanissaro Bhikkhu

The most comprehensive, insightful, and up-to-date introduction to Buddhism available, this text traces the religion of Awakening from its origins to its spread throughout Asia and the world. Combining historical narrative with contextual analysis in a clear and engaging style, the authors present a full and balanced portrait of the Buddhist religion in terms of ritual, devotionalism, institutions, doctrine, and meditation practice.

Chan Buddhism (Dimensions of Asian Spirituality
Peter D. Hershock

Himself a practitioner, Hershock (Asian studies, East-West Center, Honolulu) offers a philosophical introduction to the practice tradition of Chan Buddhism, the Chinese forebear of Korean Son and Japanese Zen. The school does not promise infinite bliss and completion, he warns, indeed insists there is ultimately nothing to gain. Rather, it teaches that the path of enlightenment is just ordinary mind. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism
Gary Gach

Gary Gach introduces us to a very human Buddha, along with the rules for living that make a Buddhist a Buddhist. In addition to the various kinds of meditation, he shows us how to meditate at meals and be aware of the interconnections in life. We learn about popular branches of Buddhism, like Zen and Tibetan, with an emphasis on practicing here and now. There is the theoretical: emptiness, nothingness, impermanence, as well as a very strong dose of the practical: Buddha at work, Buddhist films, environmental concerns, Buddhist celebrations, etc. Gach brings it all together with a light touch and an enthusiasm.

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism
Chogyam Trungpa

Examines the self-deceptions, distortions, and sidetracks that imperil the spiritual journey as well as awareness and fearlessness of the true path.

365 Nirvana Here and Now: Living Every Moment in Enlightenment
Josh Baran

65 NIRVANA HERE AND NOW has already been praised as an "exquisite handbook for enlightenment" and as "an invaluable resource for anyone interested in finding peace in the present moment." In this treasury of timeless wisdom, Baran has gathered voices spanning cultures, continents and traditions-from ancient Buddhist, Tibetan and Zen sages to Christian and Jewish mystics to contemporary teachers, artists, scientists and poets-all celebrating the beautiful perfection of the present moment, through stories, dialogues, songs, meditations and poetry.

Destructive Emotions: How Can We Overcome Them?: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama
Daniel Goleman

Organized by the Mind and Life Institute, this rich encounter of science and spirit, East and West, brings together cutting-edge research in neuroscience, education, and psychology with the most sophisticated Buddhist practices for transforming negative emotions. Goleman, as scientific coordinator and narrator, also reveals the personalities behind the debates as the participants develop ideas for further collaboration and research.

General interest
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