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alchemystical

Best overall book on Buddhism?

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Greetings travelers, what would you say is the best overall book on Buddhism? Something you'd give to someone who knows naught about the path and wished to get an overview of the ins and outs, precepts and concepts with quite possibly a sprinkling of the controversy as it stands in regards to its nihilism, sexism, potential distortion of the texts/understanding/historical aspects etc..

 

Generally a balanced perspective on everything related to these Kasaya sporting beatniks and their worldview.

 

 

Thanks

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4 minutes ago, alchemystical said:

Greetings travelers, what would you say is the best overall book on Buddhism? Something you'd give to someone who knows naught about the path and wished to get an overview of the ins and outs, precepts and concepts with quite possibly a sprinkling of the controversy as it stands in regards to its nihilism, sexism, potential distortion of the texts/understanding/historical aspects etc..

 

Generally a balanced perspective on everything related to these Kasaya sporting beatniks and their worldview.

 

 

Thanks

 

 

Do you know what school of Buddhism you are interested in? and do you want academic or popular?

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1 minute ago, Apech said:

 

 

Do you know what school of Buddhism you are interested in? and do you want academic or popular?

 

Nothing specific please, no need to get bogged down in semantics and preferably more of the popular side rather than a weighty tome written in dusty tone but still wish it to have factual substance.

 

The ones that got my attention were:

 

Buddhism Plain and Simple - Hagen

No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners - Rasheta

 

But they seemed a bit thin and I'm seeking depth from someone impartial that knows and call it how s/he sees.

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23 minutes ago, alchemystical said:

 

Nothing specific please, no need to get bogged down in semantics and preferably more of the popular side rather than a weighty tome written in dusty tone but still wish it to have factual substance.

 

The ones that got my attention were:

 

Buddhism Plain and Simple - Hagen

No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners - Rasheta

 

But they seemed a bit thin and I'm seeking depth from someone impartial that knows and call it how s/he sees.

 

Most of the books which I have which are introductions are about either Tibetan Buddhism or Mahayana - and are also mostly academic - I don't know either of those books you quote - but the first one has good reviews on Amazon.

 

 

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For an informative entertaining travel book with lots of Buddhism and a side of marijuana pizza, I like 'The Gods Drink Whiskey' (https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Drink-Whiskey-Stumbling-Enlightenment/dp/0060834501) by Stephen Asma.  Good travel adventure by an American Buddhist professor teaching in Cambodia.  He also wrote Buddha for Beginners, I find you pick up more deep thoughts about life, travel, drugs, death, monks as well as deep philosophy  in it then in a drier intro guide. 

 

<ps he's mostly into Theravada Buddhism

Edited by thelerner
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One of the first books that I read this subject (almost 40 years ago) was Buddhism: A Way of Life and Thought by Nancy Wilson Ross. As I recall, it provided a good general overview including coverage of Buddha's life story and sections on three major schools: Theravada, Tibetan and Zen. It might fall short regarding the critical aspects that you're looking for though (it's been a long time since I read it).

 

A book that I liked a lot from the perspective of a modern Western practitioner was Stumbling Toward Enlightenment by Geri Larkin.

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Great stuff, thanks for the suggestions guys as that appears to have covered every aspect. I really like the sound of these titles.

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Something also to keep in mind is that while reading about Buddhism will give you knowledge about the subject, some meditation experience is the most direct way to taste the actual meaning, IMO. 

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I'll throw in Favorite Podcasts, cause I'm often too lazy to read.

 

InfiniteSmile, zen inspired talks

Zencast

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Thank you. Any suggestions for a similarly styled book that covers Daoism? Something with substance as before as well as nuance and subtlety would be appreciated. 

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How to measure and deepen your spiritual realization by bill bodri and tao and longevity by Nan huai chin

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