Buddhist teacher Kornfield offers the essence of Buddhist teachings on enlightenment and transcendence in this new edition of his classic compilation of verse, parables and meditations. The selected teachings, translated by Thich Nhat Hanh, Thomas Byrom and Gil Fronsdal, a Zen priest with whom Kornfield trained in Southeast Asia, come from both ancient texts of the Buddha’s lessons and the poetic instructions of bodhisattvas, or awakened teachers, from India, Tibet, China and Japan. Eschewing both luxury and asceticism, the Buddha discovered a "Middle Path" of inner and outer balance in his search for enlightenment. "The Dharma of the Buddha does not require a person to go into homelessness or to resign from the world, unless he or she feels called upon to do so," advises the teacher Ashvaghosha in "Living in the World," but instead it "requires every person to free themselves from the illusion of self, to cleanse one’s heart, to give up one’s thirst for pleasure, and lead a life of righteousness." Like other religious texts, many of the teachings focus on the basic steps toward spiritual awakening, such as mindfulness, generosity, and loving-kindness. These tend to be short, comprehensible and quietly poetic. On Virtue, the Buddha said: "Like garlands woven from a heap of flowers, Fashion from your life as many good deeds." There are parables whose messages are not as straightforward, of course, and there, readers are left to their own musings, since aside from Kornfield’s brief introduction, the book only presents the inspiring literature.