How can the Buddha's teachings help me? Here? Now? In MY life? A practical, feet-on-the-ground book answering all the questions and misconceptions that arise for people curious about the Buddha's teachings and what they offer in this modern life of ours. For those with little or no knowledge this is a secular introduction. For those already practicing it's a secular reference book for key concepts and several of the Buddha's important lists. Clear explanations of often-confusing concepts are brought alive with personal examples of the powerful impact of practicing the Buddha's wisdom - the dropping away of stress, angst and upset and the arrival of calm, clarity, energy, joy and open-heartedness. The Buddha's core teachings are made clear using Western cultural terms to understand and apply them, including characters from Sesame Street, the Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, and demonstrating ideas. Cutting through the array of orthodox Buddhisms that often confuse beginners, this book strips away the trappings of the cultures through which they came to us, helping us know the Buddha, his core teachings, how meditation and mindfulness fit in, what happened to the teachings after his death, and how to practice them now. It also answers many of the questions that often arise for newcomers like: Who was the Buddha? What is the dharma about? Is Buddhism a religion? What are the different 'schools' of Buddhism? Do I have to believe in rebirth? Is the dharma anti-pleasure? Is the dharma just meditation or mindfulness? Does the dharma teach passivity? Is the dharma anti-passion? Do I need to find a teacher or go to an Asian country to learn the dharma? Is the Dalai Lama a Buddha? Why are some Buddha statues fat? How do I start my own practice?....and more. It integrates several concepts from modern psychology - the author's background - and shares many stories from her home life, work life, and her experience as a World Champion Masters hurdler to demonstrate how the impacts show up. As the Buddha did, this book puts aside unknowable issues like rebirth which are unnecessary for fully practicing the teachings. Worse, they're a distraction from the very real and practical project at the heart of his wisdom - flourishing in this life. Here. Now. From Stephen Batchelor, author of After Buddhism - "This lucid and practical guide to the Buddha's teaching will be of value to anyone who seeks to lead a flourishing life in today's challenging and uncertain world. Lenore Lambert unpacks with great skill and wit the core ethical vision and meditation practices of Buddhism, revealing them as an art of living that is as relevant today as it ever has been."
The Buddha for Modern Minds: A Non-Religious Guide to the Buddha and His Teachings, Lenore Lambert, Flourish Press, Paperback, 247 pp, $15.00
Lenore Lambert is a psychologist, entrepreneur, Buddhist teacher, and World Champion Masters athlete.
After growing up in a large Catholic family in country Australia, Lenore found herself in the thick of big city life - director of a publicly listed company by the age of 32. She enjoyed much of corporate life, but ultimately found it unfulfilling. The rewards it offered - money, professional achievement and status - weren't as deeply satisfying as their reputations suggested.
Noticing that the corporate world had a tendency to bring out the crappy side of human nature, she started her own business in leadership development, seeing this as the way she could make a positive difference in the world. It was at this point she began her own developmental journey in earnest. She was guiding leaders through some deep personal work, and wanted to make sure she knew the territory, and the learning experience well.
She had also started to see clearly for the first time, her own demons. She could see them, but didn't know what to do with them. The next decade saw many meditation retreats, courses and an exploration of the teachings of Siddhartha Gotama (the Buddha). The freedom, peace, and delight this brought into her life was transforming. She's now a secular Buddhist teacher in her spare time.
Her leadership work made a real difference to participants, many describing it as having 'changed my life'. Despite loving this endeavour she felt that even this was limited in its power to make a difference. In the corporate world, you can only go so far with growth - as far as you can justify in terms of job performance, profitability, staff retention and productivity. There was another whole level of depth that was off-limits. That level was the one that held the most far-reaching potential for deep transformational human flourishing.
During this time she also discovered Masters Athletics and used her mindfulness practice to cultivate enjoyment of this sport. In her youth it had been stressful - tarnished by the need for parental approval and attention. Her mindful approach to dismantling these old emotional patterns, and to training and performing under pressure has brought her several world titles and Australian Records in hurdles, sprints and the Heptathlon.
Lenore's latest creation is an online personal growth business called Flourish Personal Growth. This brings together everything she's learned from the Buddha's wisdom, her professional background as a psychologist, her experience as a leadership development facilitator, elite athlete, and of course, her own growth path.