The Buddhist Handbook: A Complete Guide to Buddhist Schools, Teaching, Practice, and History Paperback – Mar 1 1999
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From Library Journal
This book offers a comprehensive worldwide cultural and historical view of Buddhism. The initial chapters detail its spread from India into China, Asia, Tibet, Japan, and adjacent areas. Later chapters deal with Buddhism in Europe since World War II, the history of North American Buddhism, and the influence of Buddhism on psychotherapy. The book is indexed and the appendixes contain a who's who in Buddhism; World Buddhist Festival dates; the addresses of the major North American, European, and world Buddhist societies; and bibliographies for each chapter. The only deficiency is that it's not a good guide to the practical details of meditation--the author believes meditation needs to be practiced under the direction of a teacher. Recommended for large public and college libraries.
- Del Cain, V.A. Medical Ctr. Lib., Bedford, Mass.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"An invaluable nonsectarian map to the complex terrain of Buddhist philosophy, history, and practice." (Yoga Journal)
“The perfect volume for a Western Buddhist to hand to a friend who asks, ‘What is Buddhism, anyway?’ Snelling is a fine writer: his prose is clear and readable, infused with intelligence and humor. This gives The Buddhist Handbook a significant advantage over many books about Buddhism, which can tend to be abstract and dryly scholarly.” (American Bookseller)
“A useful and valuable guide. In a concise and readable style, it provides a foundation for discriminating among the range of authentic but different teachings being presented in the West today.” (Shambhala Sun)
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Here are some quotations from the book:
"It should perhaps be noted by the way that modern Hindus do not regard the Buddha as an outsider to their tradition... The Hindu system certainly derived much from Buddha's teaching, and indeed Buddhism... also derived much from Hinduism. Buddhist Tantra, for instance, has a great deal in common with the Shiva-Shakti tradition of Hindu Tantra." (Pg. 29)
"...we cannot say with certainty of anything that there are the precise words of the Buddha. Buddhism cannot therefore be a 'book' religion in the sense that, say, Islam or Judaism claim to be. It possesses no divinely revealed and hence 'infallible' and ultimately authoritative canon." (Pg. 77)
"...the preceding kind of spiritual individualism was replaced in the Mahayana by a more altruistic orientation... The bodhisattva... seeks to maintain an enlightened quiescence amid the hurly-burly of life." (Pg. 84)
"The success of the new Japanese Nichiren societies in Britain and other parts of Europe in recent years has been striking, and parallels similar success on the other side of the Atlantic. Their lay orientation, unascetic character, and simpler approach to practice tend to widen the base of their appeal." (Pg. 219)
"(Friends of the Western Buddhist Order) writings talk much about commitment. Indeed, one of their strongest criticisms of most other Western lay Buddhist societies is what they regard as their lack of serious commitment to practice of the dharma." (Pg. 231)