This book describes the basic principles of Buddhism. Much has been written about Buddhism and how to practice it. Readers will have no difficulty finding hundreds of books on the topic. This book simply focuses on the essence of Buddhism, as expressed in the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path.
Buddhism is not a religion as such; it does not propose an external God. It does not seek to replace a person’s existing religious beliefs, only to supplement them. The Buddha, in all likelihood, would rather his followers describe themselves simply as Followers of The Way.
The great Saint-Philosopher Atisha di Pankara was Bengali scholar of noble birth who settled in Tibet in the 11th Century CE. Atisha reintroduced Buddhism to Tibet after it had gone into serious decline under King Langdharma. He is credited with establishing Tibet as a centre of profound Buddhist learning. The list below is the distillation of his great insight into the essence of Buddhism:
The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.
Buddhism: The Essence
Essential truths for a better life
Publication date: 19/04/2011
The distilled essence of Buddhism in plain English.
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