This is a book about awareness. Not awareness of something in particular, but awareness itself--being awake, alert, in touch with what is actually happening. It's about examining and exploring the most basic questions of life. It's about relying on the immediate experience of this present moment. It's about freedom of mind. It's not about belief, formula, or tradition.
The observations and insights of the Buddha are plain, practical, and eminently down-to-earth. They deal exclusively with here and now--not with theory, speculation, or belief in some far-off time or place. Because these teachings remain focused on this very moment, they remain relevant, and of profound value, to every culture and every person who investigates them seriously. It is to these uncluttered, original insights and observations that this book returns. For people investigating Buddhism for the first time, Buddhism Plain and Simple offers a clear, straightforward look at the wisdom and guidance of an enlightened teacher who lived some 2500 years ago--yet whose teachings remain as vital and penetrating as ever.
For people already familiar with Buddhism (including long-time practitioners), this book provides a long-needed overview of Buddhism's essentials, free of the fetters and cultural trappings that have accumulated over 25 centuries. For every person with a desire to see deeply into the nature of existence, it is a call to awakening.
Buddhism Plain and Simple, Steve Hagen, Tuttle, 180 pages, $12.00
Steve Hagen, Roshi, has been a student and practitioner of Zen since 1967. For fifteen years he studied with Dainin Katagiri, Roshi, from whom he received Dharma Transmission (endorsement to teach) in 1980. He is the founder of the Dharma Field Zen Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the author of such works as Buddhism Is Not What You Think (2004), Meditation Now or Never (2007) and Why the World Doesn't Seem to Make Sense (2012).