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10 thoughts on “Buddhism Plain and Simple

  1. says:

    Is Buddhism really plain and simple? I think not The I read on Buddhism the I find I need to read This book has led to a spiralling off of an entire arc of spiritual texts I feel I need to get to grips with I have loads sat on my shelf and I have loads I need to learn Last month I almost signed up for a Buddhist meditation class in part because of this book It pushed me further down the road of perhaps one day living this belief system fully Unfortunately life got in the way and I didn’t go to the group Next year when I have time I will actually go to it Buddhism is than just you and I It is about the universe and positive energy; it is about making the most out of existence and understanding that all life is precious no matter what form it is about peace and happiness Wouldn’t the world be a better place if all word powers relinuished power to a ruling body of Buddhist monks? I speak of idealism but these men understand the human mind than most “It’s called enlightenment It’s nothing or less than seeing things as they are rather than we wish or believe them to be”


  2. says:

    Reading I uickly began comparing this to Buddhism without beliefs from the reviews of those books on this site the impression is that that book is controversial and this one conventional however they struck me as strikingly similar in tone and approach If Buddhism without beliefs threw out the Buddha with the bathwater then Hagen goes further and throws out the bath too indeed he eventually describes existence as a stream in which we may be present and so distinctions between bath Buddha and bathwater are not merely unhelpful but the cause of the pain of conscious awareness If you meet the Buddha upon the road kill him As the saying goesview spoiler In practise if you meet people along the road please don't kill them unless it is strictly necessary hide spoiler


  3. says:

    This is a favorite Buddhist book of mine Steve Hagen keeps the subject matter extremely simple and focused on mindfulness and our misperceptions of reality I wouldn't say this would be a very good first book to read but it should definitely be the second or third book you read as you are beginning to explore zen buddhist thoughtI especially love his take on exploring the afterlife He essentially says it doesn't matter that it's an ancillary concern I couldn't agree and it was nice reading a book that doesn't feel the need to explore the unknowable in order to justify Buddhism as a complete religion


  4. says:

    I highly recommend 'Buddhism Plain and Simple' to those who want a short brief explanation of the basic precepts mindfully you all these are guiding precepts only not Commands or Rules Commands and Rules would not be very Buddhist at all of a very old philosophical religion 2500 years or so The author of this 160 page book Steve Hagen has stripped out all of the history beliefs added by different cultures ceremonies and rituals with which the various flavors of Buddhism has accrued in its journey through Time and communities He only discusses the basic tenets and ideas of BuddhismFor the record I believe I have infreuently experienced a sense of my 'self' being gone my perceptions only being activated and I was seeing and being awake which the author says is the point of Buddhism It happens during the first minutes of waking up from being unconscious for me I have epilepsy Having an epileptic 'fit' isn't hardly ever an event which happens to me any especially since I figured out how to avoid epileptic 'fits' stay hydrated eat regularly exercise moderately avoid drugs and especially never mix alcohol and drugs I have a single erratic brainwave apparently or so the results of an Electroencephalograph I was forced to have after an incident in a restaurant the fifth incidentI will describe a particular epileptic incident which represents how all such incidents felt to me although exterior circumstances variedOnce at a party when I was 19 years old I was sitting on a couch Two of my friends at the time came up and offered me a joint I had not much experience drinking alcohol at this point but I had had a drink or two here and there I had tried pot here and there as well but it made me feel weak dizzy I told my friends I thought I should not smoke a joint AND drink because I wasn't sure I could handle it The man friend was disgruntled Everybody else was drinking alcohol and smoking joints There was a lot of hilarity and joking I already had had a small drink But there were twenty or so people there everyone was high having fun so I took the joint I remember taking three tokesThis is where I suddenly was no longer a self I was 'seeing' I was a streaming moment I did not know where I was who I was what I was and I did not care I did not know I did not care or have any worries or concerns I remembered nothing about anything past present my life I felt marvelous without weight I slowly became aware I was floating in a dark blue place with a light above me as if I was swimming underwater looking up at the sun Then I opened my eyes and feeling slowly came to me awareness of my body bits piece by piece awareness without a single thought in my head To this day I can vividly recall every second of that being 'awake' I looked around slowly recognized the living room the fact I was on a couch but I was blissfully at peace weightless For many minutes I think Time did not exist Then I became aware my two friends were panicked and while they had been talking to me I had been not tracking what they were saying I was still feeling weightless which lasted a long time actually However my friends believed I was dead and everyone had run The room had emptied of all the people who had been there except my two friends Later I realized how brave this was and why everybody else who also were my supposed friends had split I was underage I apparently had died there were illegal drugs everywhere the cops would arrest everyone jail lawyers losing job angry parents etc So they all had left me there maybe dying without calling for help or trying to help me Except for these two peoplePlease gentle reader take a moment to reflect on this and on any situations similar to this which you may unthinkingly have been taking part in your own pastAhemI had a couple 'learning experiences' about my epilepsy So by the time I was 22 years old I no longer did ANY drugs and I drank alcohol in small sips And yes it meant I was accused of being a 'narc' at parties in the 1970's and a party pooper by many many many many many many many many people Btw for those of you who for whatever reason feel disgruntled when people refuse to drink or do drugs BACK OFFAhemAnyway this state I enter whenever I inadvertently trigger an epileptic attack is evidently what the endgame of Buddhism is about except with a lot of philosophy And note Buddhism doesn't recognize the existance of the concept of 'endgame' PS I do not recommend inducing epilepsy as a shortcut to a Buddhist peace of mind For one thing bruises For another concussions from hitting sharp and hard objects when you lose consciousness And lastly people are terrified not blissed out over your 'achievement' It turns out the Body is painfully streaming in realtime HD and ephemeral as life may be


  5. says:

    I return to this book every once in awhile because I will forget what I ahve learned the first time I do not want my 'star' review to indicate that it isn't a good book It is written with enough anecdotes and simply enough to acheive what I think the purpose is; to explain the basic tennants of Buddhism My problem is with Buddhism as he explains it All life is pain and we just have to learn to deal with it so we don't experience so much dissatisfaction in our life In this reading of the book I have come to the conclusion that Buddhism is not a religion it is a philosophy It has very usefull componants but regardless of how much duhkha I feel in my life my experience that is that there is a lot out there I think that this book is a good and uick read but that it did not feel satidfying to me or convincing as a belief system


  6. says:

    I received this book from a longtime family friend as a Christmas present last year and really enjoyed it Hagen makes mention of two other great books Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh I read both of these in 2008 and agree with Hagen that they are must reads for those interested in Buddhism or meditationThis book also falls into the must read category in my opinion I have read uite a few books on the subject but this one is uniue Hagen effectively describes Buddhist concepts focusing on real world application than definitions This makes the book easy to understand and relatableBuddhism Plain and Simple is broken up into three sections I The Perennial Problem II The Way to Wake Up and III Free Mind Each section flows into the next the way good writing should while also standing on it’s own I would easily suggest this as essential Buddhist literature or even as a meditation practice manual to my closest friends Hagen’s humility can be found on each page and as a reader I got the sense that he wrote the book in an effort to really reach people and help improve our current situation After all we’re all stuck together for the time being so why not make the best possible world that we can? 55 Stars 159 pages Published in 1997


  7. says:

    The only reason I rated this a 4 rather than a 5 is because this is such a deep thought provoking book that I don't think I could truly grasp everything that this book has to offer That said I will definitely be rereading it again in the future to do so There are so many deep philosophical concepts in this one I understood a lot in the beginning but towards the end it got a bit too deep to the point where I was a bit confused Something at the end that gave me a sense of understanding and pulled lots of the ideas around for me was Things only exist in relation to other things thoughts and feelings which honestly you'd have to read the book to fully understand I feel like so many ideas where planted in my mind with this book but thats all it was Now it's up to me to keep growing that seed and fully grasp the understanding of what it truly means Here are a few other uotes that spoke to me on a deep level “If only you would stop telling yourself what it is or asking yourself what it might be or speculating on what it might look like it would become readily apparent”You are not lacking a thing You only need to stop blocking or interpreting your visionWe thirst for nonexistence when we want to be released from this world of pain and vexation


  8. says:

    This book is a good overview of the core of Buddhist thinking It can be difficult for many Westerners to explore Buddhism because many sects are built around particular Asian cultures and philosophies Steve Hagen distills Buddhism down to its core philosophy making it practical and accessible for all I still struggled with some concepts however For example the concepts of constant change and elimination of the self While I understand that nothing is static in the universe I still find the concept of the self has a very real meaning I don't deny that my body and mind are changing from moment to moment but there is also significant continuity I have trouble understanding how acknowledgment of such changes can be applied to my daily living I do however understand the broader points about non attachment so I may be taking his words too literally I may have to re read some chaptersOverall I think this book is a very good primer for those interested in learning about Buddhism


  9. says:

    Author Steve Hagen explains that what he has done in the book is to strip away the arcane language that sometimes accompanies Buddhist textthoughts and the cultural aspects of the movement to bring to the reader Buddhism in plain language In addition Hagen essentially boiled the meat off the bones of basic Buddhism principles to provide the reader access to the very essence of Buddhist thoughtThis book I borrowed from the public library but it reuires than light reading to fully grasp and appreciate this very different way of thinking I'm adding to my Christmas wishlist on


  10. says:

    I enjoyed it at first It was very straightforward and simply stated uite nice Then it gets deeper into Buddhist teachings and starts repeating itself and getting bogged down in nonsense I found myself less and less interested in reading It felt like he lost the thread of his own arguments It also gets a little condescending and pompous And it tries to tell me what I'm supposedly feeling which always makes me angry Here was my breaking pointHagen starts lecturing about how there is no self To make some point about this he describes a little boy who has broken his arm and is now faced with an X ray machine The boy flinches scared by the machine The technician seeing this says It won't hurt you It's just going to take your pictureWe're afraid in much the same way as this little boy Hagen writes We don't understand consciousness just as the little boy didn't understand the X ray machine Naturally we're terrified that whatever it is we're about to confront it's going to hurt But I'll speak the X ray technician's part here and tell you it won't hurtWhen I reached this point in the book I'd been skimming When I saw this passage I was annoyed as all hell I'm a scared little boy and you're going to tell me it's okay? Screw you buddy You're not my guru my teacher or my goddamn parent For me this moment crystalized a feeling I have with a lot of Buddhist textsI who have deeply explored Buddhist doctrines shall now impart to you my wisdom Oh but I will never put it that way for we are all enlightened already We simply need to wake up I will never actually say that I am awake than you but I am writing this book after all so I must be awake right? Now take my hand little boy and let me explain to you how there is no selfSomehow these books never come across as an author saying Here's my perspective based on my experiences and interpretations Instead there's this god awful sense that their shit does not stinkThe Buddhist ego is buried in the Buddhist bullshit Buddhists supposedly strive to be egoless selfless detatched little clouds of insufferable wisdom But I always get the feeling the ego is just repressed under the surface and the real motivations are always just a game of who has the most dharma filled life Which of us is wisest The lesson about the lack of self which pops up in a lot of Buddhist books typically goes something like this Hey remember when you were six? You're not that person now All your atoms and stuff have changed Can you really say you're that person? Can you look at a photo of you at that age and really say That's me?Of course I'm not still that person I have changed But that kid is still very much a part of me If I was around when you were six and I chopped off your little finger you would now be whatever age you are now and you would still be missing your little finger That experience carries forward And less violent and simpler experiences also carry forward in some manner To suggest there is zero connection between who we were and who we are is insane We get programmed by our earlier experiences We can look at that programming uestion it recognize the programming no longer makes sense and change the behaviour But to simply say I am not that person at all and I live in the now and the future is an illusion and the past is an illusion? Utter nonsenseI guess I'm supposed to respect Hagen and his wisdom because the back of the book tells me he has studied Buddhism for thirty years including fifteen years with Zen Master Dainin Katagiri from whom he received Dharma Transmission endorsement to teachBut that insufferable tone is probably something you pick up when you've studied this stuff for 30 years Oh he'll tell you no book can teach you the truth and you need to find it for yourself But he'll also tell you the truth you're supposed to find when you finally find it Blah


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Buddhism Plain and Simple

Summary Buddhism Plain and Simple

Sum up his teaching in a single word he said Awareness The Buddha taught how to see directly into the nature of experience His observations and insights are plain practical and down to earth and they de. I received this book from a longtime family friend as a Christmas present last year and Matthew Everingham, A First Fleeter And His Times in a single word he said Awareness The Buddha taught how to see directly بیست و چهار ساعت در خواب و بیداری into the nature of experience His observations and Getting Justice and Getting Even: Legal Consciousness among Working-Class Americans insights are plain practical and down to earth and they de. I received this book from a longtime family friend as a Christmas present last year and

Free download ´ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB æ Steve Hagen

This book offers a clear straightforward approach to Buddhism in general and awareness in particular It is about being awake and in touch with what is going on here and now When the Buddha was asked to. Reading I uickly began comparing this to Buddhism without beliefs from the reviews of th Lords of Misrule: Mardi Gras and the Politics of Race in New Orleans in general and awareness The Miracle Match: Chappell, Lillee, Richards and the most electric moment in Australian Cricket in particular It The Dreadlock Journey is about being awake and Lunastus in touch with what Timetrap is going on here and now When the Buddha was asked to. Reading I uickly began comparing this to Buddhism without beliefs from the reviews of th

Steve Hagen æ 7 Free read

Al exclusively with the present In Buddhism Plain and Simple Steve Hagen presents these uncluttered original teachings in everyday accessible language unencumbered by religious ritual tradition or belie. The only reason I rated this a 4 rather than a 5 is because this is such a deep thought