There have been a lot of books that have made the case for Buddhism. What makes this book fresh and exciting is Asma's iconoclasm, irreverence, and hardheaded approach to the subject. He is distressed that much of what passes for Buddhism is really little more than "New Age mush." He loudly asserts that it is time to "take the California out of Buddhism." And he presents a spiritual practice that does not require a belief in creeds or dogma.
"Buddhism for the real world"
Despite the widespread popularity of Buddhist practices (like meditation), there is little understanding of the complex philosophy behind Buddhism. The historical Buddha, Gautama, was a real person - a radical - who challenged the religious leaders of his day. Buddha for Beginners introduces the listener to the historical Buddha, to the ideas that made him change his life, and to the fascinating philosophical debates that engaged him and formed the core of Buddhism.