Customer Reviews for

Buddha, A Beginner's Guide

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted July 8, 2012

    Highly recommended for the new student of Buddhism

    Buddha, a beginner’s guide

    Stephen Asma’s graphic novel begins by distinguishing between the Buddhist culture and the Buddhist philosophy. The cultural aspect focuses on the history, the traditions, and the gods and goddesses associated with Buddhism, and then moves into a short review of the life of the Buddha and the Hindu background from which Buddhism arose. This is well done but a little tedious, being mostly a discussion of comparative religion that contrasts and compares Buddhist and Hindu metaphysics. The fun stuff doesn't start until page 77, when the Four Noble Truths are introduced. After this point, it’s pretty much pure Buddhist philosophy, putting metaphysics aside and focusing on the Buddha’s key message of how to end the suffering in our lives. The author struggles with explaining the Buddhist concept of ‘no- self’, as do others who write on this subject. But he succeeds admirably in giving an easy-to-read overview of many key Buddhist concepts and highlights the differences between many of branches of modern Buddhism (he also includes a good bibliography for the reader wanting to learn more). Pictures fill every page giving this book a lightness that is often lacking in similar works on this topic (my favorite picture is on page 144, showing the thoughts of a female meditator as two guys discuss how she’d be better off getting a husband instead of practicing the Dharma). I’d highly recommended this book for the new student of Buddhism looking for a short, thoughtful and (as far as I know) accurate introduction to a sensible philosophy for life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 3, 2012

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    Posted June 25, 2010

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