What Makes You Not a Buddhist (英語) ペーパーバック – 2008/8/12
Kindle 端末は必要ありません。無料 Kindle アプリのいずれかをダウンロードすると、スマートフォン、タブレットPCで Kindle 本をお読みいただけます。
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.
"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
The purpose of the book, the author notes, is not to make the reader a Buddhist, but to explain what it means to be a Buddhist. It's not a book about how to be, but a book about the implications of being. Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse does this through the Four Seals, truths about the physical, phenomenal, and psychological world that the Buddha himself invited his students to examine and investigate. They are:
.....1. All compounded things are impermanent.
.....2. All emotions are pain.
.....3. All things have no inherent existence.
.....4. Nirvana is beyond concepts.
Each seal is discussed in separate chapters and illustrated with examples from contemporary life, as well as from the life of Siddhartha, the prince who gave up his pampered court life to seek greater truth and who later became known as The Buddha, the Enlightened One.
Full of sharp humor directed at everyone from spiritual seekers to corporate suits, from tree huggers to neoconservatives occupying the White House, this witty volume is a pithy introduction to Buddhism and would make a great gift for any one interested in the philosophy. I've already purchased one volume for a friend and suspect I'll be buying a few more in the coming year.
The author illustrates the fundamentals with biographical details of Siddhartha Gautama. He emphasizes Siddhartha's humanity before he became enlightened to help the reader better connect with the material.
This purpose of this book isn't to make new Buddhists. It is not proselytizing to the reader. Also, upon further research, I am given to understand that the book doesn't represent many important Buddhist concepts (like the Four Noble Truths). There are also some criticism of how the author translates some important concepts, which might mislead a reader. If you want to convert to Buddhism, you will want another book.
If you want an understanding of Buddhism, this is a good book. I feel like I better understand Buddhism and buddhists after reading this.
I'm probably going to need to read it a couple more times to grasp all of the material, but then I want to go back and take it all in again. I'm not frustrated and trying to understand, I am grateful and eager to see what I may have missed the first time.
I looked at few reviews of this book, and I understand why some of the readers felt the concepts were too simplistic, but in some sense that is the beauty of the work. I’ve been studying Buddhism for years and part of my practice is to keep reading Buddhist literature to gain a different perspective on how others perceive the practice.
Let’s face it; being able to understand and implement the concept of impermanence and emptiness is no small task, so any insights and clarity that helps us embrace these truths is welcome in my mind no matter how simplistic it seems to be.
I would recommend this book and give it a rating of 3.5 to 4 stars.