Essential Buddhism

Jack Maguire

Essential of BuddhismFour hundred million people call themselves Buddhists today. Yet most Westerners know little about this powerful, Eastern-spawned faith. How did it begin? What do its adherents believe? Why are so many Westerners drawn to it?

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism

Gary Gach

Gary Gach is like that teacher you always wanted--easygoing, full of information, able to communicate in humorous and meaningful ways, and a little bit wacky. So he's the perfect author for The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism. In this trademark easy-to-read format, Gach introduces us to a very human Buddha, along with the rules for living that make a Buddhist a Buddhist. In addition to the various kinds of meditation, he shows us how to meditate at meals and be aware of the interconnections in life.

The New Buddhism

James William Coleman

Today, many in western society find themselves seeking more satisfying spiritual lives. Faiths formerly seen as exotic have suddenly become attractive alternatives in our multicultural society. This is especially true of Buddhism, which is the focus of constant media attention, thanks in part to celebrity converts, major motion pictures, and the popularity of the Dalai Lama. Following this recent trend, James Coleman argues that a new and radically different form of this ancient faith is emerging.

Absorption In No External World

Jeffrey Hopkins

Dzong-ka-ba's The Essence of Eloquence is still considered so important to Tibetan Buddhists that the Dalai Lama keeps a copy with him wherever he goes. This book examines many fascinating points raised in six centuries of Tibetan and Mongolian commentary concerning the first two sections of this text: the Prologue, and the section on the Mind-Only School. By providing vivid detail, Jeffrey Hopkins reveals the liveliness of Tibetan scholastic controversies, showing the dynamism of thoughtful commentary and stimulating the reader's metaphysical imagination.

Skillful Means:

John W. Schroeder

This book investigates both the philosophical and religious dimensions of Buddhism. It explores the role of meditation and spiritual methodology in the various schools of Buddhism and offers a critical, philosophical analysis of how liberation is conceived by important Buddhist thinkers. It is therefore useful not only for Buddhist scholars, but also for students enrolled in courses in Buddhist philosophy and religion.

Buddha in the Crown

John Clifford Holt

Historical, anthropological, and philosophical in approach, Buddha in the Crown is a case study in religious and cultural change. It examines the various ways in which Avalokitesvara, the most well known and proliferated bodhisattva of Mahayana Buddhism throughout south, southeast, and east Asia, was assimilated into the transforming religious culture of Sri Lanka, one of the most pluralistic in Asia.

A Philological Approach to Buddhism


For those who seek to follow the early teachings of the Buddha in the earliest of the suttas and those who follow the modern commentary of John Peacock and Stephen Batchelor, it is only fitting to research their shared resource, K. R. Norman. Mr. Norman, a former foremost distinguished professor of Middle Indo-Aryan or Prakrit at Cambridge, authors a most scholarly approach and commentary to the translation of the early Pali texts. With this as a starting point it becomes more apparent when later revisions or commentary by subsequent writers are added to the cannon.

Plants in Early Buddhism and the Far Eastern Idea of the Buddha-Nature of Grasses and Trees

Lambert Schmithausen

As is well known, in the course of doctrinal consolidation, Indian Buddhist thinkers, or at any rate non-Tantric Indian Buddhist thinkers, in contrast to the Jains and a strong current of Hindu thought,l came to regard plants (and seeds) as insentient beings, not participating in the process of reiterated individual rebirth . This does not necessarily exclude that plants are somehow recognized as living things in the context of everyday conceptions.

Skilful Means


'Skilful Means' is the key principle of Mahayana, one of the great Buddhist traditions. First described in the Lotus Sutra, it originates in myths of the Buddha's compassionate plans for raising life from the ceaseless round of birth and death. His strategies or interventions are 'skilful means' - morally wholesome tricks devised for the purpose of enabling nirvana or enlightenment.

Vegetal Buddhas

Fabio Rambelli

A discussion of the Buddhist discourse of nonsentients, or the idea of plants and inanimate objects becoming buddhas, from the perspective of an intellectual history, with an explanation of the ideological and economic reasons behind the doctrines' introduction. This volume is part of a series by the Italian School of East Asian Studies (ISEAS) research institute, which focuses on the history, culture, literature, and religion of East Asia.

The Four Great Temples

Donald F. McCallum

Few periods in Japanese history are more fascinating than the seventh century. This was the period when Buddhism experienced its initial flowering in the country and the time when Asukadera, Kudara Odera, Kawaradera, and Yakushiji (the "Four Great Temples" as they were called in ancient texts) were built. Despite their enormous historical importance, these structures have received only limited attention in Western literature, primarily because they are now ruins. Focus has been placed instead on Horyuji, a beautifully preserved structure, but not a key temple of the period.

Guide to Bodhisattva's Way of Life

Santideva and Stephen Batchelor

Shantidevas Bodhisattvacharyavatara holds a unique place in Mahayana Buddhism akin to that of the Dhammapada in Hinayana Buddhism and the Bhagavadgita in Hinduism. In combining those rare qualities of scholastic precision, spiritual depth and poetical beauty, its appeal extends to a wide audience of Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. Composed in India during the 8th century of the Christian era, it has since been an inspiration to millions of people throughout the world.

Being as Consciousness

Fernando Tola, Carmen Dragonetti

This work is intended to the study of the Yogacara Buddhist philosophy together with its commentaries and notes for better comprehensibility of the contents of three edited and translated texts, namely, Alambanapariksavrtti of Dignaga; the vimsatika Vijnaptimatratasiddhih of Vasubandhu and Trisvabhavakarika of Vasubandhu.

Basic Buddhist Psychology

Rahu Sarath Chandra

Chapter 1 The Primary Role of the Senses
Chapter 2 Consciousness as the Core of the Mind
Chapter 3 The Seven Common Mental Formations
Chapter 4 The Six Optional Common Mental Formations
Chapter 5 The Fourteen Unwholesome Mental States
Chapter 6 The Twenty Five Wholesome Mental States
Chapter 7 The Analysis of a Thought and the Thinking Process
Chapter 8 The Significance of Perceptions
Chapter 9 The Methods of Managing Perceptions
Chapter 10 Memory and Related Processes

The Inner Science of Buddhist Practice

Artemus B. Engle

The Inner Science of Buddhist Practice contains translations of texts by two historically important Indian Buddhist scholars: Vasubhandhu's "Summary of the Five Heaps" and Sthiramati's commentary on Vasubandhu's root text. These works present the traditional Buddhist analysis of ordinary experience and provide rich resources for studying Buddhist and Western interpretations of the psychology of spiritual development.

Westward Dharma

Charles s. Prebish & Martin Baumann

The first authoritative volume on the totality of Buddhism in the West, Westward Dharma establishes a comparative and theoretical perspective for considering the amazing variety of Buddhist traditions, schools, centers, and teachers that have developed outside of Asia. Leading scholars from North America, Europe, South Africa, and Australia explore the plurality and heterogeneity of traditions and practices that are characteristic of Buddhism in the West.

Buddhism The Ebook

Charles S. Prebish and Damien Keown

Chapter One: Karma and Cosmology
Chapter Two: The Buddha
Chapter Three: The Dharma
Chapter Four: The Sangha
Chapter Five: Buddhism in India
Chapter Six: Mahayana
Chapter Seven: Meditation
Chapter Eight: Buddhism in Southeast Asia
Chapter Nine: Buddhism in East Asia
Chapter Ten: Buddhism in Tibet
Chapter Eleven: Buddhism in the Western World
Chapter Twelve: Socially Engaged Buddhism
Chapter Thirteen: Ethics
Chapter Fourteen: reflections on the Nature and Study of Buddhism

Imperial Way Zen

Christopher Ives

During the first half of the twentieth century, Zen Buddhist leaders contributed actively to Japanese imperialism, giving rise to what has been termed 'Imperial-Way Zen' (Kodo Zen). Its foremost critic was priest, professor, and activist Ichikawa Hakugen (1902-1986), who spent the decades following Japan's surrender almost single-handedly chronicling Zen's support of Japan's imperialist regime and pressing the issue of Buddhist war responsibility.

Mysticism : Christian and Buddhist

Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki

If the Western world knows anything about Zen Buddhism, it is down to the efforts of one remarkable man, D.T. Suzuki. The twenty-seven year-old Japanese scholar first visited the West in 1897, and over the course of the next seventy years became the world's leading authority on Zen. His radical and penetrating insights earned him many disciples, from Carl Jung to Allen Ginsberg, from Thomas Merton to John Cage. In Mysticism: Christian and Buddhist Suzuki compares the teachings of the great Christian mystic Meister Eckhart with the spiritual wisdom of Shin and Zen Buddhism.

The Power of Patriarchs

Morrison, Elizabeth

A study of the Northern Song Chan monk Qisong and his writings on Chan lineage, this book offers new arguments about Buddhist patriarchs, challenges assumptions about Chan masters, and provides insight into the interactions of Buddhists and the imperial chan.