indigozeal (indigozeal) wrote in 50bookchallenge,


The Heart of the Buddhas TeachingAs its name suggests, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching was written by Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh as a survey of and an introduction to Buddhist principles.  It's organized primarily by lists  -  the Eightfold Path, the six Paramitas, etc.  It's a bit much at once, particularly for a primer; the book is deceptively dense.  (The experienced Buddhist leading the discussion group noted that he always found something new in it every time he read it.)  Hanh, though, writes with considerable compassion and earthiness, illustrating the principles at hand with incidents from his own daily life, his interactions with friends and children; he makes the material approachable and common-sensical.  The scope of what he tackles is somewhat daunting, and an experienced guide might be necessary to get all you can out of it; you might be better off starting your journey with another, more tightly-focused book of Hanh's.  You can't fault Hanh for the attempt here, though, and I wish more faith-based authors wrote with this degree of humanity.
Tags: religion, religious studies

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