Based on interviews with Buddhists living in both the West and the East, this is an innovative introduction to an ancient but continually expending religion. Together with an accessible overview of the history, beliefs, practices and rituals of the tradition, this title offers a reservoir of personal insights, both scholarly and non-scholarly. Covering everything from the life of the Buddha to meditation, the book also provides commentary on a host of relevant contemporary issues, including ecological awareness and the role of women in Buddhism. Providing a perspective on what it means to be a Buddhist today, this book should be a source of inspiration for anyone interested in the Buddhist tradition and in the commitment and vision of its practitioners.
"I warmly recommend this book" * Foundations * "An accessible introduction to the history, beliefs, practices, and traditional rituals of Buddhism" * Theological Book Review *
Preface vii Introduction 1 1 The Buddha: Teacher of Gods and Humans 8 2 What the Buddha Taught 35 3 Meditation: The Way to Enlightenment 65 4 Buddhism and Social Engagement 99 5 Women in Buddhism 131 6 Challenging and Reinforcing Culture 159 Appendix: A Brief Guide to the Pali and Sanskrit Buddhist Textual Tradition 199 The Contributors 201 Glossary 205 Further Reading 209 Index 213