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.
The cognitive science of religion is a rapidly growing field whose practitioners apply insights from advances in cognitive science in order to provide a better understanding of religious impulses, beliefs, and behaviors. In this book Ilkka Pyysiäinen shows how this methodology can profitably be used in the comparative study of beliefs about superhuman agents. He begins by developing a theoretical outline of the basic, modular architecture of the human mind and especially the human capacity to understand agency.
Today, many in western society find themselves seeking more satisfying spiritual lives. Faiths formerly seen as exotic have suddenly become attractive alternatives in our multicultural society. This is especially true of Buddhism, which is the focus of constant media attention, thanks in part to celebrity converts, major motion pictures, and the popularity of the Dalai Lama. Following this recent trend, James Coleman argues that a new and radically different form of this ancient faith is emerging.
This is the first book to examine the British discovery of Buddhism during the Victorian period. It was only during the nineteenth century that Buddhism became, in the western mind, a religious tradition separate from Hinduism. As a result, Buddha emerge from a realm of myth and was addressed as a historical figure. Almond's exploration of British interpretations of Buddhism--of its founder, its doctrines, its ethics, its social practices, its truth and value--illuminates more than the various aspects of Buddhist culture: it sheds light on the Victorian society making these judgements.
"Socially Engaged Buddhism" is an introduction to the contemporary movement of Buddhists, East and West, who actively engage with the problems of the world - social, political, economic, and environmental - on the basis of Buddhist ideas, values, and spirituality. Sallie B. King, one of North America's foremost experts on the subject, identifies in accessible language the philosophical and ethical thinking behind the movement and examines how key principles such as karma, the Four Noble Truths, interdependence, non-harmfulness, and non-judgmentalism relate to social engagement.
The history of Buddhism has been characterized by an ongoing tension between attempts to preserve traditional ideals and modes of practice and the need to adapt to changing cultural conditions. Many developments in Buddhist history, such as the infusion of esoteric rituals, the rise of devotionalism and lay movements, and the assimilation of warrior practices, reflect the impact of widespread social changes on traditional religious structures. At the same time, Buddhism has been able to maintain its doctrinal purity to a remarkable degree.
This is the first book to examine war and violence in Sri Lanka through the lens of cross-cultural studies on just-war tradition and theory. In a study that is textual, historical and anthropological, it is argued that the ongoing Sinhala-Tamil conflict is in actual practice often justified by a resort to religious stories that allow for war when Buddhism is in peril.
Four hundred million people call themselves Buddhists today. Yet most Westerners know little about this powerful, Eastern-spawned faith. How did it begin? What do its adherents believe? Why are so many Westerners drawn to it?
"Buddhism in India: Challenging Brahmanism and Caste" is an exploration of the historical roots of Navayana, or New Buddhism, an Eastern Liberation Theology launched seemingly single-handedly by the father of modern India's constitution, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. The first of India's untouchables to rise to not only national but international prominence, Ambedkar was a double PhD from Columbia and the London School of Economics.
What does it take to be happy? We've all asked ourselves this question at some point, but few of us have found the path to lasting fulfillment. David Michie thought he had achieved his life's goals--the high-level job, the expensive city apartment, the luxury car, the great vacations--but a small voice was telling him he wasn't really happy. A chance remark from a naturopath sent him to his local Buddhist center. There he began the most important journey of his life. In this simple but beautifully written book, David Michie opens the door to the core teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.
Kalyāṇa-mittatā (Pali; Skt.: -mitratā) is a Buddhist concept of "spiritual friendship" within Buddhist community life, applicable to both monastic and householder relationships. One involved in such a relationship is known as a "good friend," "virtuous friend," "noble friend" or "admirable friend" (kalyāṇa mitta, -mitra).
As he was sitting there, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One,
“This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie.”
Chapter 1 The Primary Role of the Senses
Chapter 2 Consciousness as the Core of the Mind
Chapter 3 The Seven Common Mental Formations
Chapter 4 The Six Optional Common Mental Formations
Chapter 5 The Fourteen Unwholesome Mental States
Chapter 6 The Twenty Five Wholesome Mental States
Chapter 7 The Analysis of a Thought and the Thinking Process
Chapter 8 The Significance of Perceptions
Chapter 9 The Methods of Managing Perceptions
Chapter 10 Memory and Related Processes
Chapter One: Karma and Cosmology
Chapter Two: The Buddha
Chapter Three: The Dharma
Chapter Four: The Sangha
Chapter Five: Buddhism in India
Chapter Six: Mahayana
Chapter Seven: Meditation
Chapter Eight: Buddhism in Southeast Asia
Chapter Nine: Buddhism in East Asia
Chapter Ten: Buddhism in Tibet
Chapter Eleven: Buddhism in the Western World
Chapter Twelve: Socially Engaged Buddhism
Chapter Thirteen: Ethics
Chapter Fourteen: reflections on the Nature and Study of Buddhism
A dictionary and a glossary of terms plus brief biographies of eminent Buddhists and scholars from both East and West.
THIS work is presented as a Popular Buddhist Dictionary. As such it is a compromise
between a true Dictionary, which is largely concerned with derivations and synonyms,
and an Encyclopaedia, which sets out a few terms at considerable length.
Embodying the Dharma explores the centrality of relic veneration in Asian Buddhist cultures. Long disregarded by Western scholars as a superstitious practice reflecting the popularization of "original" Buddhism, relic veneration has emerged as a topic of vital interest in the last two decades with the increased attention to Buddhist ritual practice and material culture. This volume includes studies of relic traditions in India, Japan, Tibet, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, as well as broader comparative analyses, including comparisons of Buddhist and Christian relic veneration.
The translation of Erich Frauwallner's Die Philosophie des Buddhismus, first published in 1956, opens up a classic introduction to Buddhist thought to a broader English language readership. The book covers the period of early canonical literature with examples of its philosophically relevant ideas, followed by the principal philosophical concepts of systematic Sravakayana Buddhism. In the main part of the book, Frauwallner presents the first survey of the development of the philosophical systems of Mahayana Buddhism.
As in all the major religions, there is a wisdom behind the theology of Buddhism that informs the believer in daily life. Stephen Batchelor would argue that the difference with Buddhism is that the wisdom is in fact independent of the theology and is not informative to believers only, but to everyone. In Buddhism Without Beliefs Batchelor lays out the major tenets of Buddhist wisdom, commenting on their relevance to modern life. The Buddha said that seekers must find the Truth for themselves, and Batchelor offers this book as a roadmap.