The Naked Buddha: A Practical Guide to the Buddha's Life and Teachings

Overview


Although a widely observed and respected practice in America, Buddhism is still difficult for many seekers to thoroughly grasp. Now, Adrienne Howley — personally ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and one of the highest ranking Buddhist nuns in the world — writes in a warm, simple, and engagingly humorous style that illustrates the life, ideas, and teachings of the Buddha and the religion and philosophy that he inspired. This charming guide demystifies Buddhism and shows how we can apply its teachings to ...
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Overview


Although a widely observed and respected practice in America, Buddhism is still difficult for many seekers to thoroughly grasp. Now, Adrienne Howley — personally ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and one of the highest ranking Buddhist nuns in the world — writes in a warm, simple, and engagingly humorous style that illustrates the life, ideas, and teachings of the Buddha and the religion and philosophy that he inspired. This charming guide demystifies Buddhism and shows how we can apply its teachings to our lives in useful and meaningful ways. Howley covers who Buddha was and how he came to formulate his philosophy, the three main Buddhist traditions, what ordinary Buddhists believe and practice today, and meditation: how and why. There are also answers to questions most commonly asked by non-Buddhists, including: How can Buddhism make me happy? How can I always practice generosity? and How can I move away from greed and hatred? The Naked Buddha is an accessible, down-to-earth introduction to this ancient Asian religion and a valuable addition to the literature on Buddhism.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
One result of Buddhism's inherent flexibility is a bewildering array of religious rituals and traditions-"cultural trappings" that Howley believes often obscure the Buddha's original teachings. Herself an Australian Buddhist nun, Howley sets out to "strip the Buddha of added layers... and get down to what he really thought and taught." It's an ambitious project; unfortunately, Howley shares with us neither her sources nor the methodology by which she arrived at her stripped-down versions of these "basic teachings." Nevertheless, her vigorously philosophical, non-religious approach (an unexpected choice for an ordained nun) results in a streamlined, appealing primer for everything you wanted to know about Buddhism but were afraid to ask. In simple, well-organized chapters-often employing a Q&A format-she addresses topics and questions that get to the heart of Buddhism. She begins with the historical Buddha (Who was he? Who were his followers?), then discusses whether Buddhism is properly a religion or a philosophy. (Conclusion: it's a philosophy frequently adapted to religious expression.) She offers excellent, lucid discussions of some of Buddhism's core elements such as the Four Noble Truths, karma, impermanence, compassion and emptiness. She rounds out the book with basic suggestions for meditation and by addressing specific questions like, "Is the Dalai Lama the Buddhist `Pope'?" Straightforward and readable, this book will appeal both to those new to Buddhism and to those wanting to revisit its foundational teachings. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569244326
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 12/15/2003
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 429,866
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 7.22 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author


The Venerable Adrienne Howley was ordained in 1982 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In 1993 she took the highest ordination vows possible from a Vietnamese Buddhist master, becoming one of the very few Western women in the world to have done so. Now in her early seventies, she lives in a small rural town north of Sydney, Australia, where she devotes her time to Buddhist practice and teaching, as well as doing volunteer work in a local hospice.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
1 The Historical Buddha 1
2 Is Buddhism a Religion or a Philosophy? 23
3 Part I: What Did the Buddha Teach? 45
4 Part II: What Did the Buddha Teach? 73
5 How Can I Learn to Meditate? 91
6 Your Questions about Buddhism Answered 107
7 More Questions about Buddhism Answered 133
8 A Final Word 161
Suggested Reading List 169
Acknowledgments 171
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