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Publisher's Summary

Buddhism is a religion and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs, and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to the Buddha. Buddhism originated in Ancient India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, from where it spread through much of Asia, whereafter it declined in India during the Middle Ages. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada ("The School of the Elders") and Mahayana ("The Great Vehicle"). Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion, with over 520 million followers or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists.

Buddhist schools vary on the exact nature of the path to liberation, the importance and canonicity of various teachings and scriptures, and especially their respective practices. Practices of Buddhism include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, study of scriptures, observance of moral precepts, renunciation of craving and attachment, the practice of meditation (including calm and insight), the cultivation of wisdom, loving-kindness and compassion, the Mahayana practice of bodhicitta and the Vajrayana practices of generation stage and completion stage.

In Theravada the ultimate goal is the cessation of the kleshas and the attainment of the sublime state of Nirvana, achieved by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path (also known as the Middle Way), thus escaping what is seen as a cycle of suffering and rebirth. Theravada has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.

Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren Buddhism, Shingon and Tiantai (Tendai), is found throughout East Asia. Rather than Nirvana, Mahayana instead aspires to Buddhahood via the bodhisattva path, a state wherein one remains in the cycle of rebirth to help other beings reach awakening.

©2017 Michael Harris (P)2017 Michael Harris

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I Loved This Audiobook" Buddhism For Beginners"

I think this was a very informative listen about Buddhism. There are a few good reasons to listen to this audiobook. 1) I feel there are those who already practice Buddhism that have interest, 2) There are also those who know someone that is Buddhist and they may not understand them and want to learn more, and 3) Perhaps there are those who are already living this life who don't even know it yet. There are many people practicing mindfulness as well as other aspects of Buddhism today and I think there's a crossover. Everyone has their own set of beliefs.

I truly enjoyed this book written by Michael Harris.

Matt Haynes was the perfect reader. He had great voice inflections and tone and made this more enjoyable. I'll listen to this one again.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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Rare glimpse into a truly empty mind

If you prefer simplistic fictions to the complexity of reality, Buddhism might just be for you. It is interesting to see an explanation and defense of such an irrational anti-philosophical system from the inside. It is effortless to show the flaws in Buddhism from the outside, but it is really helpful to see an example of someone fully convinced and totally ignorant or willfully neglectful of the gaping holes in his worldview. Super interesting!

This is a good example of an inside view, which is a helpful aid in understanding those who hold these views.

The narrator did a great job.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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I have a better understanding of Buddhism.

Though I have been interested in learning more about the teachings of Buddhism this is my first book on the subject. I requested this book in exchange for my honest review. I feel like I got good information for a beginner. It did leave me wanting to know more about this fascinating religion though. I highly recommend this book to anyone curious about the beliefs of a Buddhist.


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Great intro to buddhism

I've got to be honest, I didn't have the highest of expectations going into this. Any religion is a complex topic and 38 minutes isn't a lot of time. While no one is going to become a master theologian from this primer, it was much more thorough than I was expecting.

This book is also not purely about the religion itself. There is also some history of how and why the religion/set of religions has moved to different regions. I found this part to be valuable information too.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.