With such bestsellers as A History of God and Islam, Karen Armstrong has consistently delivered 'penetrating, readable, and prescient' (The New York Times) works that have lucidly engaged a wide range of religions and religious issues. In Buddha she turns to a figure whose thought is still reverberating throughout the world 2,500 years after his death.
Many know the Buddha only from seeing countless serene, iconic images. But what of the man himself and the world he lived in? What did he actually do in his roughly eighty years on earth that spawned one of the greatest religions in world history? Armstrong tackles these questions and more by examining the life and times of the Buddha in this engrossing philosophical biography. Against the tumultuous cultural background of his world, she blends history, philosophy, mythology, and biography to create a compelling and illuminating portrait of a man whose awakening continues to inspire millions.
Though raised Catholic, in the early 1950s Jack Kerouac became fascinated with Buddhism, an interest that would have a profound impact on his ideas of spirituality and their expression in his writing from Mexico City Blues to The Dharma Bums. Published for the first time in book form, Wake Up is Kerouac’s retelling of the story of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who as a young man abandoned his wealthy family and comfortable home for a lifelong search for Enlightenment. As a compendium of the teachings of the Buddha, Wake Up is a profound meditation on the nature of life, desire, wisdom, and suffering. Distilled from a wide variety of canonical scriptures, Wake Up serves as both a concise primer on the concepts of Buddhism and as an insightful and deeply personal document of Kerouac’s evolving beliefs. It is the work of a devoted spiritual follower of the Buddha who also happened to be one of the twentieth century’s most influential novelists. Wake Up: A Life of the Buddha will be essential reading for the legions of Jack Kerouac fans and for anyone who is curious about the spiritual principles of one of the world’s great religions.
The story of the Buddha and his awakening is more than an account of the birth of a religious tradition: it is also one of the great archetypal tales of the spiritual quest, colorful in its many details and thrilling in its depiction of the world transformed by an enlightened human being. Sherab Chödzin Kohn’s retelling of the Buddha’s life is both readable and historically informed, and presents the Buddha’s teachings along with the events of his past lives to final nirvana. Library Journal called it “a splendid combination of biography and instruction.” This new edition of the book previously entitled The Awakened One has been updated to include a short history of Buddhism as well as a selection of resources for further reading.
Drawing on traditional sources--including the Lalitavistara Sutra, the Buddhacharita by Ashvaghosha, the Mahavastu, and the Pali canon of scripture--Kohn has created a simple and beautiful retelling of one of the world's great spiritual biographies for a contemporary audience.
Although a widely observed and respected practice in America, Buddhism is still difficult for many seekers to thoroughly grasp. Now, Adrienne Howley — personally ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and one of the highest ranking Buddhist nuns in the world — writes in a warm, simple, and engagingly humorous style that illustrates the life, ideas, and teachings of the Buddha and the religion and philosophy that he inspired. This charming guide demystifies Buddhism and shows how we can apply its teachings to our lives in useful and meaningful ways. Howley covers who Buddha was and how he came to formulate his philosophy, the three main Buddhist traditions, what ordinary Buddhists believe and practice today, and meditation: how and why. There are also answers to questions most commonly asked by non-Buddhists, including: How can Buddhism make me happy? How can I always practice generosity? and How can I move away from greed and hatred? The Naked Buddha is an accessible, down-to-earth introduction to this ancient Asian religion and a valuable addition to the literature on Buddhism.
In this valuable introduction, Michael Carrithers guides us through the complex and sometimes conflicting information that Buddhist texts give us about the life and teaching of the Buddha. He discusses the social and political background of India in the Buddha's time and traces the development of his thought. He also assesses the rapid and widespread assimilation of Buddhism and its contemporary relevance. Well-paced and informative, this introduction will enlighten not only those who study Buddhism and comparative religion but anyone intrigued by the remarkable philosophy of one of the greatest religious thinkers.