A clear and informative introduction to Buddhism, this book provides the basis for understanding the Buddhist path in its many forms, clearly reviewing diversity, meditation and devotion, values, customs, and ceremonies. The ideal book for students of philosophy or comparative religion--or anyone interested in becoming a more knowledgeable "global" citizen. As the popularity of Buddhism has stretched across the globe, the religion has taken on many forms, which are now present in the West and growing in variety. Teach Yourself Buddhism examines this historical journey, illustrating the persistent relevance of Buddha's teachings. Drawing on varied sources to evoke the spirit of Buddhism and to allow Buddhists to speak for themselves, the book provides in-depth coverage of the diversity of Buddhism and Buddhist practices. This new edition also provides an insightful examination of the role of Buddhism in the modern world.
This book concentrates too much on the Western view of Buddhism. It leaves the reader (especially the begginer) with the feeling that England (as well as some of the organizations mentioned in the book) is the authority in Buddhism. However, the book does serve as a begginer's guide to Buddhism. It gives a basic rundown of Buddhism as a whole. What I found most useful was the section on customs and festivals but the book is useful overall. For the reader who is expecting "enlightenment" or just a comprehensive look into Buddhism, the book will not prove very helpful. However, the general reader will find it a valuable foundation. I recommend the book by Donald S. Lopez, Jr., "The Story of Buddhism: A Concise Guide to Its History & Teachings" for readers who are seeking further knowledge of Buddhism.
Introduction 1 1. Buddhists and Buddhism 2 2. The life of the Buddha 19 3. The Buddha's teaching 35 4. Buddhist Scriptures and schools 60 5. Meditation and devotion 84 6. Ethical conduct 99 7. Moral issues 112 8. The social order 126 9. Festivals and ceremonies 142 10. Buddhism today: East and West Further reading 178