The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism

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9780028641706: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism

This is the book for anyone wishing a simple, direct, and comprehensive survey of Buddhism. Told from a pragmatic American Buddhist perspective - and with loving speech and frequent drops of humor - emphasis is placed on diverse schools (Vipassana, Zen, Pure Land, Tibetan) within Buddhism as well as on Buddhism within diverse contexts, such as Christianity, Judaism, human relations, work, food, arts, the modern world (war, race, gender, ecology, nihilism, etc.).

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Review:

Gary Gach is like that teacher you always wanted--easygoing, full of information, able to communicate in humorous and meaningful ways, and a little bit wacky. So he's the perfect author for The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism. In this trademark easy-to-read format, 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 that makes you want to get up and do something Buddhist. --Brian Bruya

From the Inside Flap:

Englightenment has never been easier!

You're no idiot, of course. You know there's more to Buddhism than meditation and mantras, but your attempts to understand this popular philosophy have left you beyond baffled - and you know that can't be good karma ...

Don't lose your way on the path to enlightenment! THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING BUDDHISM will keep you on track - and show you easy ways to make Buddhism a part of your life. In this COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE, you get:

* A fascinating exploration of who the Buddha was and what he means today.

* An enlightening introduction to the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.

* Compelling discussion of such major schools as Vipassana, Zen, Pure Land, and Tibetan.

* Comprehensive coverage of the growth and development of Buddhism in America.

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You'll learn how to ...

* Practice and personalize the precepts.

* Discover the power of tranquility and insight meditation.

* Find a teacher and a sangha.

* Grasp the basics of Buddhist ecology.

* Use the princip;les of deep listening and loving speech to improve your relationships.

* Be mindful and compassionate toward yourself.

* Appreciate key films in Buddhist cinema.

* Determine the best destinations for Buddhist pilgrimages and retreats.

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Gach, Gary
Published by Alpha (2001)
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