What Makes You Not a Buddhist

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Overview

So You Think You're a Buddhist? Think again. Tibetan Buddhist master Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, one of the most creative and innovative lamas teaching today, throws down the gauntlet to the Buddhist world, challenging common misconceptions, stereotypes, and fantasies. With wit and irony, Khyentse urges readers to move beyond the superficial trappings of Buddhism-beyond the romance with beads, incense, or ...
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What Makes You Not a Buddhist

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Overview

So You Think You're a Buddhist? Think again. Tibetan Buddhist master Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, one of the most creative and innovative lamas teaching today, throws down the gauntlet to the Buddhist world, challenging common misconceptions, stereotypes, and fantasies. With wit and irony, Khyentse urges readers to move beyond the superficial trappings of Buddhism-beyond the romance with beads, incense, or exotic robes-straight to the heart of what the Buddha taught.

About the Author:
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse is a Tibetan Buddhist lama who travels and teaches internationally. He is the head of the renowned Dzongsar Monastery, Dzongsar College, and Siddhartha's Intent, and he is the spiritual director of meditation centers in Vancouver, San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Taipei. He also wrote and directed the award-winning films The Cup and Travellers and Magicians

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Here at last is a crisp new voice in Tibetan Buddhism. Khyentse, a lama from an influential family and Buddhist lineage in Bhutan, is also a filmmaker, responsible for the sleeper hit The Cup, about a group of Tibetan monks obsessed with soccer. The monk brings the same multicultural fluency to his first book. He can make references to Viagra and Camilla Parker-Bowles as easily as he can tell stories of the Buddha's life. With confidence tempered by wit, he cuts to the core of Buddhism: four "seals"-truths-that make up a Buddhist "right view" of the world and existence. This book is not, repeat not, about meditation. Instead, it looks at everyday life through a Buddhist lens, understanding happiness and suffering from that perspective. Enlightenment ends suffering but also trumps happiness. Khyentse writes persuasively about the importance of understanding emptiness: disappointment lessens, expectations soften, and change is not a shock. There is much food for thought in this short book for Buddhist students and for anyone interested in the ongoing adaptation of traditional Eastern wisdom into postmodern Western settings. "You can change the cup," Khyentse writes, "but the tea remains pure." (Jan. 9) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Here at last is a crisp new voice in Tibetan Buddhism. . . . There is much food for thought in this short book for Buddhist students and for anyone interested in the ongoing adaptation of traditional Eastern wisdom into postmodern Western settings."—Publishers Weekly

"A pleasant refresher or an excellent introduction to Buddhism, even for those who choose not to be Buddhists."— New Age Retailer

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590304068
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/5/2006
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.74 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse (Khyentse Norbu) is a Tibetan Buddhist lama who travels and teaches internationally and is also an award-winning filmmaker. He is the abbot of several monasteries in Asia and the spiritual director of meditation centers in Vancouver, San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Taipei. He is also head of a Buddhist organization called Siddhartha’s Intent.

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Table of Contents


Introduction     1
Fabrication and Impermanence     7
Emotion and Pain     33
Everything Is Emptiness     55
Nirvana Is beyond Concepts     83
Conclusion     107
Postscript on the Translation of Terms     127
Acknowledgments     129
Index     131
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 23, 2011

    Accessible

    So much of Buddhist literature is full of metaphor pointing to a concept. Most of the time the metaphor obscures instead of clarifies. The author explains concepts and ideas in clear accessible language. I will keep this in my main library and refer to it often.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2008

    Wonderful introduction to Buddhism

    'Consider generosity. When we begin to realize the first truth' (impermanence), 'we see everything as transitory and without value, as if it belonged in a Salvation Army bag. We don't have to necessarily give it all away, but we have no clinging to it. When we see that our possessions are all impermament compounded phenomena, that we can't cling to them forever, generosity is already practically accomplished.' Thus we begin a journey into the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who was born in the city of Lumbini and was raised in Kapilavastu. Born a prince, his father, King Suddhodana, was said to have been visited by a wise man shortly after Siddhartha was born. The wise man said that Siddhartha would either become a great king (chakravartin) or a holy man (Sadhu). Determined to make Siddhartha a king, the father tried to shield his son from the unpleasant realities of daily life. Despite his father's efforts, at the age of 29, he discovered the suffering of his people, first through an encounter with an elderly man. On subsequent trips outside the palace, he encountered various sufferings such as a diseased man, a decaying corpse, and a monk or an ascetic. These are often termed 'The Four Sights.' Gautama was deeply depressed by these four sights and sought to overcome old age, illness, and death by living the life of an ascetic. Gautama escaped his palace, leaving behind this royal life to become a mendicant. For a time on his spiritual quest, Buddha 'experimented with extreme asceticism, which at that time was seen as a powerful spiritual practice...such as fasting, holding the breath, and exposure of the body to pain...he found, however, that these ascetic practices brought no genuine spiritual benefits and in fact, being based on self-hatred, that they were counterproductive.' After abandoning asceticism and concentrating instead upon meditation and, according to some sources, Anapanasati (awareness of breathing in and out), Gautama is said to have discovered what Buddhists call the Middle Way--a path of moderation that lies mid-way between the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification. He accepted a little milk and rice pudding from a village girl and then, sitting under a pipal tree or Sacred fig (Ficus religiosa), also known as the Bodhi tree, in Bodh Gaya, he vowed never to arise until he had found the Truth. His five companions, believing that he had abandoned his search and become undisciplined, left. After 49 days meditating, at the age of 35, he attained bodhi, also known as 'Awakening' or 'Enlightenment.' After his attainment of bodhi he was known as Buddha or Gautama Buddha and spent the rest of his life teaching his insights (Dharma). According to scholars, he lived around the fifth century BCE, but his more exact birthdate is open to debate. He died at the age of 80 in Kushinagara (Pali Kusinara) (India) From these facts, a little book by master Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse is born out of his frustration that Siddhartha's teachings have not caught on enough to his liking. He goes through the basic concepts of Buddhism in a relevant way, easy to read, and entertaining tale. This book is a jewel for anyone who is interested in Buddhism.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    Here is a new friend speaking to you about all that matters in a clear way. As this new friend speaks you realize he speaks not about buddhism or any specific faith. It has to do with life and all that goes with it.

    Life is interpreted and explained easily. You wish you had this given to you as a child. Life would have been less traumatic, less difficult to cope. This is an easy read. Relax and enjoy the words.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    A breath of fresh air

    Emphases the four seals. These seals are not sea lions but rather the basic views that distinguish Budfhism. Witty, common-sensical, a breath of fresh air. The Nook version includes the index terms from the print edition and suggests their use as search terms, an excellent adaptation in this reviewer's opinion.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    Must-read

    A must-read for anyone studying Dharma or Buddhism

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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