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By Steve Hagen

Bestselling writer and well known Zen instructor Steve Hagen penetrates the main crucial and enduring questions on the middle of the Buddha's teachings: How do we see the realm in each one second, instead of purely as what we expect, wish, or worry it's? How will we base our activities on fact, instead of at the longing and loathing of our hearts and minds? How do we stay lives which are clever, compassionate, and in song with fact? and the way do we separate the knowledge of Buddhism from the cultural trappings and misconceptions that experience turn out to be linked to it? Drawing on down-to-earth examples from way of life and tales from Buddhist lecturers prior and current, Hagen tackles those basic inquiries along with his trademark lucid, easy prose. The newcomer to Buddhism could be encouraged through this available and provocative creation, and people extra accustomed to Buddhism will welcome this a lot wanted hands-on consultant to knowing what it really capacity to be wide awake. via being challenged to question what we take with no consideration, we come to work out the realm because it really is. Buddhism isn't really What you think that deals a profound and transparent route to a lifetime of pleasure and freedom.

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Additional info for Buddhism Is Not What You Think: Finding Freedom Beyond Beliefs (2004)

Sample text

We tend to think of evil as something distinct and separate—especially separate from us, the good folks. And we’re preoccupied with keeping it that way. As a result, we often view certain people or cultures or political systems or religions as evil. Indeed, we can decide that just about anything is evil. ) But any belief that evil is (or could ever be) separate from us leaves us struggling to keep evil ever at bay. We see ourselves as divided and separated from experience. ” And when that, out there, seems to please or protect us, we call it good.

As we gaze into our own past, the same thing happens: our own lives fade and dim. We might have vivid memories, but they’re all of a world that doesn’t exist now. The future is no different. We can speculate and wonder, dream and anticipate, or become filled with dread and fear, but it’s all still a mystery. Darkness seems to completely surround us, both in time and space. Not just figuratively but literally. As we look into the night sky, we seem to be surrounded by blackness. So here we are, living this dreamlike existence.

And what we most need to do as human beings—and what religion, in its purest form, can help us do— is quiet down and realize this. [  ] Buddhism is not what you think Shunryu Suzuki wrote in his first book, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, I have discovered that it is necessary, absolutely necessary, to believe in nothing. That is, we have to believe in something which has no form and no color—something which exists before all forms and colors appear. This is a very important point. ” Instead of putting faith in what we believe, think, explain, justify, or otherwise construct in our minds, we can learn to put our trust and confidence in immediate, direct experience, before all forms and colors appear.

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