Your hands-on guide to this widely practiced and ancient religion Buddhism, one of the world's most widely practiced religions, is a fascinating yet complex eastern religion that is rapidly spreading throughout western civilization. What does it mean to be a Buddhist? What are the fundamental beliefs and history behind this religion? Buddhism For Dummies explores these questions and more in this updated guide to Buddhist culture. You'll gain an understanding of the origins of this ancient practice and how they're currently applied to everyday life. Whether you're a searcher of truth, a student of religions, or just curious about what makes Buddhism such a widely practiced religion, this guide is for you. In plain English, it defines the important terms, explains the key concepts, and explores in-depth a wide range of fascinating topics. New and expanded coverage on all the schools of Buddhism, including Theravada, Tibetan, and Mahayana The continuing relevance of the Dalai Lama Updated coverage on daily observances, celebrations, styles, practices, meditation, and more Continuing the Dummies tradition of making the world's religions engaging and accessible to everyone, Buddhism For Dummies is your essential guide to this fascinating religion.
Introduction 1 Part I: Embarking on a Journey: The Basics of Buddhism 7 Chapter 1: Entering the World of Buddhism: The Basics 9 Chapter 2: Understanding Your Mind: The Creator of All Experience 21 Part II: A Short History of Buddhism 35 Chapter 3: Surveying the Life and Teachings of the Historical Buddha 37 Chapter 4: The Development of Buddhism on the Indian Subcontinent 63 Chapter 5: Watching Developments Continue to the Present Day 85 Part III: Behaving Like a Buddhist 119 Chapter 6: Turning to Buddhism 121 Chapter 7: Meditation: A Central Practice of Buddhism 139 Chapter 8: A Day in the Life of a Buddhist Practitioner 161 Chapter 9: Walking in the Buddha's Footsteps 181 Part IV: Exploring the Buddhist Path 195 Chapter 10: What Is Enlightenment, Anyway? 197 Chapter 11: A Matter of Life and Death 217 Chapter 12: Minding the Concept of Karma 233 Chapter 13: Breaking Free of the Cycle of Dissatisfaction 249 Chapter 14: Fulfi lling Your Highest Potential 269 Chapter 15: Life Stories of Four Buddhist Masters 289 Part V: The Part of Tens 307 Chapter 16: Ten Common Misconceptions about Buddhism 309 Chapter 17: Ten Ways Buddhism Can Help You Deal with Life's Problems 317 Part VI: Appendixes 329 Appendix A: Explaining Buddhist Terms 331 Appendix B: Additional Buddhist Resources to Check Out 337 Index 347
Jonathan Landaw is the former English Translation Editor, Translation Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Stephan Bodian has studied and practices several schools of Buddhism. Gudrun Bühnemann, Professor, teaches the Sanskrit Language and its literature, along with courses on the religions of South Asia.
Your hands-on guide to the rich history and modern practice of Buddhism What does it mean to be a Buddhist? What are the fundamental beliefs and history behind this religion? Whether you're a searcher of truth, a student of religions, or just curious about what makes Buddhism such a widely practiced religion, this friendly guide defines the important terms, explains key concepts, and explores in-depth the origins of this fascinating ancient practice, along with daily observances, celebrations, meditation, and more. Buddhism 101 — grasp how Buddhism can be regarded as a religion, a philosophy of life, and a practical approach to dealing with life's problems Buddha in full gear — get the 411 on the life and times of the historical Buddha, known as Gautama or Shakyamuni, and the basic teachings attributed to him Trace the routes — discover how Buddhism developed in India and evolved as it spread from country to country across Asia To be a Buddhist — find out how followers bring Buddhism into their everyday lives, learn how to practice meditation, and take a tour of the major Buddhist pilgrimage sites Open the book and find: The origins and philosophy of Buddhism Buddhist practices of wisdom and compassion The life and teachings of the historical Buddha How to develop a meditation practice Buddhist attitudes toward life and death A look at four Buddhist masters Ten ways Buddhism can help you deal with life's problems Learn to: Understand the fundamental beliefs and history of Buddhism Grasp the continuing relevance of the Dalai Lama