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Publisher's Summary

With a rich history stretching back over 2,500 years, Buddhism has been described both as a system of psychology and a philosophy for living. Yet most of us think of it as a religion. What is Buddhism? How is it practiced? Can it help you today?

In The Beginner's Guide to Buddhism, author and teacher Jack Kornfield immerses you in this time-honored approach to living fully and compassionately in the present moment. Join him as he illuminates Buddhism's most essential teachings, and how they make it possible to overcome the mental states that challenge us every day, such as fear, selfishness, confusion, and anger. Complete with authentic meditations to get you started.

Highlights include the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, Dharma, "the laws of life," Buddhist meditation practices, mindfulness teachings, and much more.

©2001 Jack Kornfield; (P)2001 Sounds True, All Rights Reserved

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Ivan
  • CuencaEcuador
  • 03-20-07

A good place to start

I purchased this book because Jack Kornfield was Ajahn Chah's student. This is a good place to start for anyone interested in learning something about Buddhism and its practice. The guided meditations can be quite useful.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Overview of and Introduction to Buddhism

I like Kornfield and I've listened to his Teachings on the Ten Perfections, and the much more in-depth (and longer and more expensive) Buddhism for Beginners.

I really enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) this, a shorter but very informative and comforting, book.

This book begins with a good bit of the history of Buddhism, from its inception in India with Sidhartha Guatama, to it's spread to South East Asia and the rest of the world. I always like to be reminded of the different sects, and Kormfield clearly helps provide understanding of the differences and locations of Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism (under which large umbrella falls Zen) and Vajrayahana Buddhism (Tibetan).

He then provides guided meditations, which are very peaceful and help guide the mind toward serenity (perhaps eventually to enlightenment??).

He has anecdotes and reflections, and reminders on how we cause ourselves suffering, trying to hold onto our bodies and not wanting them to age, grasping for things or ideas...

Really - I won't just keep telling you what he says - I enjoy this book and have listened to it fully twice and continue to "skim" through it while resting quietly or walking.

(PS - not much of a story to this book, but Audible wouldn't let me write a review unless I rated the story!)

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Honey
  • New Port Richey, FL, United States
  • 04-02-10

Super Awesome for Beggenars

I love this audible! This is a must have for anyone who is unfamiliar with Buddhism or is interested in learning what it is and how to apply it to your everyday life. I listen to this book at least twice a week. He makes it easy to understand and how to apply it to every day living. It is in layman terms, humorous, insightful. You walk away with a very in-depth understanding of what Buddhism is and how it can benefit your life! I just purchased another book by this author! Must have.... Money well spent.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Jes
  • Hobart, IN, United States
  • 12-27-12

Great book for beginners

This is a great book for beginners working on learning meditation. There are steps by step meditations in this book useful for beginners and advances practitioners alike. Here Jack Kornfield goes through the basics of Buddhism as well as covering all the traditions. I found the informative in this book very useful and will use it for reference in the future as well as recommend it to others.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • JMKIII58
  • Clarksville, TN, United States
  • 12-10-16

Powerful!

A simple outline to begin your journey as a Buddha. The author clearly lights a path to being. a Buddha.

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  • Story
  • Elana
  • Malahat, BC, Canada
  • 04-02-14

Worth another listen

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would review each principle clear and simply. For someone raised as a Christian I needed time to consider some principles. I found before I could absorb a principle the narrator was on to the next.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Maybe add real life experiences of the principles discussed.

What aspect of Jack Kornfield’s performance would you have changed?

it is fine

Did The Beginner's Guide to Buddhism inspire you to do anything?

I want to listen to it again and I would like to learn more of Buddism

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sojo
  • Collegeville, PA
  • 08-05-04

Beginner's Guide ot Buddhism

This did not have much substance.

11 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • Oli
  • 11-05-16

Fantastic!

everything i could have asked for in such a concise book. worth every penny. buy it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful