Essential Sangharakshita: A Half-Century of Writings from the Founder of the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order

Overview

Profoundly knowledgeable and articulate, and equally at home with science, philosophy, myth, art, and poetry, Urgyen Sangharakshita uses every inner avenue to communicate the timeless Dharma to the Western mind. Engaging both the intellect and the heart countless times in a single chapter, the author draws remarkably apt examples from sources as diverse as Orwell, Aeschylus, and Jane Austen. This distilled volume is a primer to the breadth and depth of Buddhist thought and ...

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Overview

Profoundly knowledgeable and articulate, and equally at home with science, philosophy, myth, art, and poetry, Urgyen Sangharakshita uses every inner avenue to communicate the timeless Dharma to the Western mind. Engaging both the intellect and the heart countless times in a single chapter, the author draws remarkably apt examples from sources as diverse as Orwell, Aeschylus, and Jane Austen. This distilled volume is a primer to the breadth and depth of Buddhist thought and practice.

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Editorial Reviews

Wildmind
"This book may be a great introduction to a distinctly Western Buddhist practice for some people, and for others already familiar with Sangharakshita's work or already a part of the FWBO, the book is a nice collection of the primary teachings. With a book of this size, there is way more content that a brief review can cover, so pick up a copy and spend a few hours with this uniquely Western approach to Buddhist practice."
Lama Surya Das
"I have always looked to Sangharakshita's books for inspiration and ideas on how to better translate the principles and practices of Buddhism for Western audiences and practitioners today."
FWBO-News.org
"For some, The Essential Sangharakshita may be the only book of his they ever need. Certainly it is a more-than-adequate introduction to Sangharakshita's thought and teaching—if not to the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order itself. For others, it will be a gateway, a taster, to the 38 works from which it is drawn, even to those not represented, and they will be led through it deeper into Sangharakshita's thought—and perhaps into the spiritual community he has founded and nurtured for he past 40 years."
founding chairman of Windhorse Publications Nagabodhi
"When Sangharakshita returned to the West in 1964 he was equipped with a grasp of and direct experience of Buddhist teaching and practice that was unparalleled in his time, indeed, in the breadth and scope it very probably remains unique."
Professor Alan Sponberg
"Sangharakshita offers a rare combination of historical knowledge, cross-cultural awareness, and spiritual insight."
Professor Damien Keown
"His contribution to the transmission of the Dharma form East to West has been immense."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861715855
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 1/6/2009
  • Pages: 792
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Urgyen Sangharakshita began studying Buddhism at the age of sixteen. After twenty years studying in India in both the Mahayana and Theravada traditions, he returned to England in 1967 and founded the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO), which now has over sixty-five centers worldwide. He is the author and translator of over thirty books on Buddhism.

Karen Stout (Vidyadevi) has worked with Sangharakshita as an editor since 1987, as well as editing many other books for Windhorse Publications, UK. She became a member of the Western Buddhist Order in 1993 and was given the ordination name Vidyadevi. The Sanskrit translates as "shining one or goddess of intuitive wisdom and aesthetic appreciation"-an aspiration, not a description, she hastens to add!-but an appropriate one because of her interest in the affinities between Buddhism and Western culture. She has traveled widely and feels special connections with Aryaloka Buddhist Center in New Hampshire and the Buddhist movement in India, both of which continue to be the source of joy and inspiration. She lives with her partner in rural Herefordshire, UK, close to the border between England and Wales.

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Table of Contents

A Biographical Sketch of Sangharakshita 1

Pt. 1 The Essentials

1 Who Is the Buddha? 9

2 Going for Refuge 79

3 The Path to Enlightenment 91

4 Buddhism - One or Many? 123

Pt. 2 Buddhism and the Mind

1 Thinking Clearly 149

2 Mind Reactive and Creative 163

3 Views and Truths 191

4 Buddhism among -isms and -ologies 227

Pt. 3 Art, Beauty, and Myth In the Buddhist Tradition

1 The Place of Beauty in the Spiritual Life 263

2 Buddhism and Art 281

3 The Creative Life 293

4 A "Buddhist Bible"? - Buddhist Scriptures and Where They Come From 307

5 Dreams, Myths, and Symbols 325

Pt. 4 Buddhism and the Heart

1 Buddhism and Emotional Life 387

2 Meditation 411

3 Faith, Devotion, and Ritual 447

4 Buddhism and the Natural World 473

5 Friends and Teachers 485

Pt. 5 Buddhism and the World

1 Compassionate Activity 561

2 Buddhist Ethics 583

3 The Nature of Spiritual Effort 627

4 Great Buddhists of the Twentieth Century 641

5 Living in the World 661

6 Buddhism and the Future of the World 695

Notes 725

Page References in Source Works for Extracts Quoted 735

Bibliography 739

Index 743

About the Editor 757

About the FWBO 757

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