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Publisher's Summary

This user’s guide to Buddhist basics takes the most commonly asked questions - beginning with “What is the essence of the Buddha’s teachings?” - and provides simple answers in plain English. Thubten Chodron’s responses to the questions that always seem to arise among people approaching Buddhism make this an exceptionally complete and accessible introduction - as well as a manual for living a more peaceful, mindful, and satisfying Life. Buddhism for Beginners is an ideal first book on the subject for anyone, but it’s also a wonderful resource for seasoned students, since the question-and-answer format makes it easy to find just the topic you’re looking for, such as:

  • What is the goal of the Buddhist path?
  • What is karma?
  • If all phenomena are empty, does that mean nothing exists?
  • How can we deal with fear?
  • How do I establish a regular meditation practice?
  • What are the qualities I should look for in a teacher?
  • What is Buddha-nature?
  • Why can't we remember our past lives?

©2001 Thubten Chodron (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Amazing introduction to Buddhism

The book is in a question answer format and covers all I would ask on my own. I've never learned so much about a religion so fast.

If you're interested in learning about Buddhism and want a no-nonsense description, I'd highly recommend this.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Logical and well paced.

I felt like this book had just the right amount of detail and the author worked hard to make the subject approachable. The narrator was pleasant as well.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Great insight into buddhist concepts and rituals

I'm a novice at Buddhism and this book clarified lots of questions I had about mantras, shrines and rituals. This book also covers the basic buddhist concepts of karma, etc. I say or is a good beginners book and one that I'll keep listening over and over.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Beginner

Having gained interest in the practice of buddhism and dharma, this was a great start. A wonderful base that has helped answer questions I may have had myself, or questions I hadn’t even considered. This is a book I plan to listen to several times over, as there is so much information and I am sure different chapters will have more meaning at different times in my life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Really explains things well. Loved it!

This really was an easy listen and very informative. I will listen to it a few more times. Thank you.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I really enjoyed this book

lt was good exposure for me, but I think I need to read a beginner's book to learn the concepts discussed in detail in this book. I did not have the basic knowledge to truly appreciate the questions asked and answered.

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Great place to start (& put on repeat!)

Informative. I liked the question answer format. Narrorater was a little monotone but also relaxing.

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Excellent introduction to Buddhist philosophy.

This was a good introduction for a lay person. Easy to follow and a pleasant performance.

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A good introduction.

This book is a good introduction with a few details and answers to common questions for beginners.

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A unique experience

A wonderful experience listening to a book being read to you. But one worth trying at least once. I will be back for more. Thank you for the experience.

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  • sd71
  • 05-18-15

Thorough introduction to Tibetan Buddhism

I must admit I overlooked this book on more than one occasion imagining it would be a little lightweight, it isn't. It covers a lot of material and answers a lot of questions I have and repays multiple listens.
The narrator had a beautiful voice too which helped and I found it matched the content very well. I look forward to my next Thubten Chodron audiobook now and hope Audible can get more of them. Enjoy.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Bernie
  • 07-19-16

Learnt a lot

A very good summary that touches on a myriad of interesting topics and ideas. A relaxing and inspirational listen that is not preachy; much like its subject matter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • slipperychimp
  • 11-29-18

Bit of a weird one

This isn’t really a introduction to Buddhism as such, it is a question and answer works which I’m sorry to say I found quite uninteresting. Firstly I didn’t really like the Q&A format, putting that aside, I still feel an opportunity was missed to raise discussion on the essential teachings, say the Four Noble Truths, The Eight Fold Path, etc. This book contains questions more along the lines of “do Buddhists eat meat?” ; “should Buddhists use antidepressants?”; "why do Buddhists wear different colour robes?".

I also found it quite preachy in parts, (such as the part on raising children) and while some parts had an explanation behind the reasoning, for example the meat question as mentioned above, others I found lacked any real depth, overall this made the book feel quite 'empty' (bad Buddhist pun intended).

I think I also struggled with this one because of the narrator, the work is delivered in quite a dull and monotonous tone, I had to really concentrate to absorb what she was saying and often found her voice faded in to the background.

May be worth a listen if you've just discovered Buddhism but don't expect too much.

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  • Diane
  • 10-04-15

The Narrater was the problem

I'm sure the contents were fine but the Narrater made or boring. There was no feeling in her voice and I felt it was a complete waste of money. No stars but I had to give one to submit. Don't waste your money on this Narrater

3 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-17-18

Calming narrator.

Voice of narrator is very calming and perfectly fits the theme of this book.
I found this book informative yet easy to understand. I will be sure to listen to it more than once!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Colin Webber
  • 06-18-18

informative

This book covers a wide varity of subjects and the Buddhist views on them. It answeref many of my queztipns about Buddhism.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-12-17

Must listen AAA +++

All you need to know and more absolutely fantastic book. Just about all you can think of about Buddhism is asked in this book . What a awesome way of life to live and I will be following Buddhism. I am only half way through listening to this book it's like gold thank you for putting this together much appreciated.

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  • Leecia Bamford
  • 09-09-17

Enlighting

Never have l had so many questions answered in one book, l truly feel l have been on this path already,

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-19-16

Wonderful

What a wonderful book. Buddhism resonates so much with my beliefs. Thats a great book for those who want to understand more about Buddhism.

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  • waterwench
  • 08-09-16

Beautiful 🙏🏻

This was amazing. Explained in a way that was not bewildering for someone curious about faith. 🙏🏻🌟