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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple in nature, complex in context
What an insight!
The title, "Buddhism Plain and Simple," serves a-perhaps unintended-double meaning. First the content of the book itself is, for such a difficult subject to the 'western' mind, simplifying to the nature of Buddhism. In most of the so-called western world, Buddhism is another religion a kin to Hinduism and a slew of unnamed cast based worldviews...
Published on Sept. 15 2003 by Philipp Marian Selman

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good with the basics, awful with the concepts
The introduction started off wonderfully...it captured the nature of the concerns of many people with (post)modernity. It then went through a fairly persuasive introduction of key Buddhist concepts framed for a Western mind. However, when it came to issues like denying of the self and the flow of existence, Hagen conceptually does not cover enough ground to make the...
Published on July 8 2002 by Zachary Hale


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple in nature, complex in context, Sept. 15 2003
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What an insight!
The title, "Buddhism Plain and Simple," serves a-perhaps unintended-double meaning. First the content of the book itself is, for such a difficult subject to the 'western' mind, simplifying to the nature of Buddhism. In most of the so-called western world, Buddhism is another religion a kin to Hinduism and a slew of unnamed cast based worldviews. Hagen skillfully and logically reduces the original concepts preached by the Buddha as a way of seeing the world, a philosophy of sorts, and strips off the many colorful layers of lore and culture acquired through the religion's sweep into Indo-Tibet, thus presenting the most simplified form of Buddhist teaching available. The alternate understanding of the book's title is that Buddhism itself is, by nature, the idea of life as simplicity applied. While this concept may be difficult to grasp (especially for those who have not been raised with eastern philosophy) it is, nonetheless, simple. Get it?
Anyone (really, anyone) desiring to gain an applicable understanding of "Buddhist philosophy" (for lack of a better term) should start with this book. Take the time to read it carefully, reread it, mull it, and then see how it affects you. The least you can expect to gain from Hagen's work, is a better understanding of the simplicity that life has to offer to those willing to let go.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Clear Concise Very ready and easy to understand, March 22 2014
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This review is from: Buddhism Plain and Simple (Paperback)
Loved the simplicity of this book and how it relates to everyday life.
A great way to get introduced to Buddhism.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book changed my life., Oct. 22 2013
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This review is from: Buddhism Plain and Simple (Paperback)
From the very first page of this book, to the end. Every single thing said in here, gives you a bare bones, simply put ideas and things you need to know about Buddhism all into one tiny book. Gives you a good feeling inside, makes you think about life, and helped me make some very positive changes towards my future.

Big thank you to Steve Hagen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Did a good job explaining a difficult ideology., Aug. 31 2013
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Buddism has some pretty difficult concept to try and wrap your head around. The author does better than expected in explaining these concepts in layman's terms. I think it's a good place to start for a seeker. Good luck in your journey to enlightenment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not dressed up in strange words and goes to the heart of Buddhism, July 4 2012
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This review is from: Buddhism Plain and Simple (Paperback)
Simple to follow, practical and clear. Not dressed up in strange words and goes to the heart of Buddhism . A very good clarification of Buddhism.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delivers What It Promises, June 26 2003
This review is from: Buddhism Plain and Simple (Paperback)
Delivers exactly what it promises: an introductory survey for beginners, a review with some depth for those already practicing. There is SOME history of Buddhism, SOME meditation guidance, SOME analysis of the ethical and metaphysical tenets of Buddhism. None of this is exhaustive, but neither is any of it superficial. It is just enough to spark awareness during a leisurely walk, or help center you during the drive to or from work. Includes many great parables, some of them already well-known, but also several personally from this author, an ordained Buddhist preist. A good place to start, support, or revive an interest in Buddhism.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Split my third eye open, Sept. 3 2004
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Quantum Prescience (this endless-beginningless-impermanent-reality) - See all my reviews
This was one of my first few books on buddhism and I thought it was an incredible study. It's not the type of book that you read it once and move on; it's study material. You read it once, you read it twice and you read it thrice. I found myself reading a chapter and thinking about it for days. Then I would go back and re-read it and think some more. The way that it's presented was in my opinion, very clear, conscice and precise.
He allows you to discover for yourself the art of seeing. First, you can't learn compassion from a book, first you see then you practice compasion like out of unwilled intention. You won't learn this is a book. Those who are reviewing this book saying that it missed "this" and "that" missed the whole point. The beauty of this book is that Steve allows you to see it for yourself. He doesn't serve it on a silver plater (no fast food enlightenment here - sorry folks) but he makes you work for what he points at - uninterested minds recoil now. I'm under the impression that he knows that if he tries to describe the "process" too much, conception comes in and ego's assimilation fragments the idea and then the windows are all fogged up.
He did an incredible clever job of sublety pointing to directions that lead to the path - it's a raft. He even describes that it's impossible for you to get truth from a book, you have to see it for yourself; that's why he keeps saying "see", learn to "see," just "see," etc; It's a reminder. You must do the work yourself - no one will do it for you.
This book surely helped me start to see the path. Hopefully it will help you too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books, May 30 2004
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Amazon Customer "smart reader" (Las Vegas, Nevada United States) - See all my reviews
This book cuts to the chase. Its not page after page of fluff and abstract as many Buddist books are. This book goes straight to the heart of what the Buddha taught and not all the "extras" that have been tacked on by various sects. Mr. Hagen has an excellent straight forward writing style and he doesnt complicate the teachings. I have read over 30 books on Buddism and this book is light years ahead of the rest. For those who need a lot of airy-fairy gobbly gook type stuff, this is not your book. For those who take being AWAKE seriously..you wont find a better guide.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awakening, May 20 2003
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Mesfera Alqahtani "future writer" (Fahaheel, Kuwait) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Buddhism Plain and Simple (Paperback)
i read this book with two or three misconceptions about Buddhism, but this book dealt with that problem and more.
basically, I thought buddhism is a pagan religion, and that it is indeed a religion. that the followers of Buddhism are most likely to be silent people, or wishing to live in complete solitude. But truthfully, that all is contrary to the real buddhists, and some who practice it right now are misinformed/created their own ideas about a religion even older than Christianity. a religion that is not a religion, but more of a philosophy. that makes you be here now, and not there, nor forward.
the book is brilliant for a simple and plain view, but very well written that makes you want to go into deeper reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plain and simple, but quite deep, April 30 2003
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This review is from: Buddhism Plain and Simple (Paperback)
I'm new to the teachings of the Buddha, and this is the first book I've read on the subject. One thing that attracted me to this book was the author made a point of sidestepping the "cultural trappings" of Buddhism in favor of a down-to-earth explanation of the core concepts.
As I read through this book, I kept thinking to myself... "This is too simple! Why does he keep rehashing the same basic stuff over and over again?" By the time I got to the end, I had my answer. Buddhism, at its core, is really that simple. It's all about being aware, about being here and now. I initially wondered why the author seemed to resist going into detailed explanations, but then I realized that's because no detail is necessary.
This book is refreshing and enjoyable to read. Mr. Hagen has an engaging style that he uses very effectively to drive home the basics of Buddhism. I can think of no drawbacks to this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about this intriguing religion (or simply life philosophy, depending on how far you wish to take it).
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Buddhism Plain and Simple
Buddhism Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen (Paperback - Dec 29 1998)
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