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5.0 out of 5 stars
An essential introduction to Buddhism, Sept. 19 2010
This is one of the very best books I have yet read about Buddhism.
In Basic Teachings of the Buddha, Glenn Wallis chooses 16 suttas to cut to the core of the Buddha's teachings. He not only chooses the suttas, but he translates and provides an illuminating commentary on them, based upon his understanding of the tradition.
The choice of suttas is wonderful; they not only stand on their own but segue nicely from one to the next, and ultimately provide a complete picture of the dharma (teachings).
It is an excellent and scholarly work that moves well beyond some of more superficial presentations of the Buddha's teachings. There is plenty here both for the novice and for the more advanced student of Buddhism.
It is also a work that is viewed with approval by Buddhists. A Buddhist community in Toronto, Spring Rain Sangha, is using Basic Teachings of the Buddha this year as the text for its six-month home study program.
All in all, this is must reading for those who want a thoughtful, brief and yet thorough introduction to the teachings and the way of the Buddha.