Essential Buddhism: A Comprehensive Guide to Belief and Practice

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Author Diane Morgan brings her compelling writing style and deep understanding to Essential Buddhism: A Comprehensive Guide to Belief and Practice. This lively book presents a clear, thorough, and objective introduction to the many facets of Buddhist philosophy and faith, including basic beliefs, major texts, practices, and important figures of each branch of the tradition.

The book devotes an entire chapter of the remarkable life of the Buddha, from his amazing conception to his future appearance. It discusses the sophisticated way in which Buddhism intertwines its complex metaphysics and practical ethics through the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Noble Path, and the doctrine of Dependent Arising, and also devotes detailed attention to such Buddhist basics as the Wheel of Becoming, the mysterious world of Tantra, and the riddles of Zen. Complete with stories, koans, and biography, the book will help readers see how each tradition developed within the larger context of the faith, even as they explore Buddhism's remarkable facility for liberating the mind.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] core addition to personal, school, and community library Buddhist Studies instructional reference collections and supplemental reading lists."


Midwest Book Review

"Essential Buddhism is one of the better introductions to Buddhism written for general audiences. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and general readers."



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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313384523
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/7/2010
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 The Indian Crucible 1

Chapter 2 The Life of Siddhartha ,Gautama, the Awakened One 5

Chapter 3 The Core Teachings (Dharma) of the Buddha 65

Chapter 4 Foundational Buddhism: Buddhists of the "Elder Tradition" and Others 113

Chapter 5 The Great Vehicle: The Mahayana Tradition 131

Chapter 6 The Riddle of Zen: What Is the Sound of One Hand Clapping? 185

Chapter 7 The Tibetan Thunderbolt: Tantrists of the Esoteric Vajrayana Tradition 207

Glossary 235

Further Reading 245

Index 247

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