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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 listeners say about Buddhism for Beginners

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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.

21 people found this 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.

12 people found this 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.

13 people found this helpful

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Informative, but not engaging

This book is setup as question and short answer on repeat. It’s not terrible, but not what I expected and difficult to fully engage in as a story. It’s more of a reference manual. “What does Buddhism say about....?”

5 people found this helpful

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Straight forward

Easy to understand without a lot of unnecessary information perfect for beginners. Great book overall-

2 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this 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.

2 people found this helpful

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A interesting read for the curious and beginners

clear and simple explanation of Buddhist philosophy and beliefs for non practitioners and the curious!

1 person found this helpful

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Terrific introduction and explanation of Buddhism

not much to say. very informative and gives a terrific insight into the religion and what being a Buddhist actually means.

1 person found this helpful

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More religion than I was looking for

Although the book was informative, there was a lot of supernatural religious information and I’m personally interested in the self improvement and compassion aspects of Buddhism. I say that not as a criticism, but to inform those considering this book.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Kaylee
  • 04-29-21

Great.

Easy to understand. Everything is simple and calm and I have really enjoyed listening to this whilst I walked through the woods. It has sparked a keen interest to learn more about the Dharma.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-06-21

New insight

I thought this was superb: extremely interesting and well explained. Well done to everyone concerned.

1 person found this 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 person found this helpful

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  • Christopher Henry
  • 07-23-20

Brilliant

Informative and easy to listen to.
Good narration. Easy to understand and follow what was being said

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-30-20

This will put you to sleep

No enthusiasm in reading at all. It’s a good way to put you off learning about Buddhism.

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  • Bookworm
  • 05-05-20

Great for beginning

Having an interest in Buddhism but not having read anything about it before, I was worried that this book might be hard going. But I needn’t have. It was so well read and explained everything so well that I finished it and couldn’t wait to learn more.

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  • Justine Appleby
  • 05-09-19

Enlightening

A good start to get a overview of the key ideas of Buddhism through a Question and Answer method. Found it very interesting and listened to it in a single day. Although, Narration is a little monotonous as it's hard to differentiate between the Question and the response. Apart from that, I found it enjoyable and am keen to find out more.

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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

4 people found this helpful

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  • Cassandra Simm
  • 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!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-14-19

shadu shadu shadu 🙏 🌷🙏🌷🙏🌷

loved it just what I was looking for this is really helpful and insightful Om Mani Padme Hum 🙏🌷🙏🌷🙏🌷

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-07-20

Pretty much a Q&A

For what it is it is well done, and will answer many of your questions you might have to gain a basic understanding of the depth and breadth of Buddhism teachings, practice, and cultures.

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  • Geoff Burnett
  • 03-17-20

Enlightened

I have to say this is one of the first Audiobook s I have listened to all the way through. I d like to follow up on what I have learnt so far and still have many questions.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-09-19

Great read

a really enjoyable experience and knowledge of the dharma and well versed easy to listen t

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-19-19

great

Really easy to listen and understand. I would recommend this book. helped me to understand the Buddhist concepts

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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.