This book offers a clear, straightforward approach to Buddhism in general and awareness in particular. It is about being awake and in touch with what’s going on here and now. When the Buddha was once asked to sum up his teaching in a single word, he said, “Awareness.” The Buddha taught how to see directly into the nature of experience. His observations and insights are plain, practical, and down-to-earth, and they deal exclusively with the present. In Buddhism Plain and Simple, Steve Hagen presents these uncluttered, original teachings in on a regular basis, accessible language unencumbered by religious ritual, tradition, or belief.
You might wish to digest this book slowly, a couple of pages at a time. Even though Zen teacher Steve Hagen has a knack for putting the philosophy of Buddhism in a “plain and simple” package, it may take a at the same time as to sink in. There is so much there. Seeing reality, realizing the wisdom of the self, breaking free of dualistic thinking–this is pretty heady stuff. Thankfully, Hagen passes it along in the form of examples from life, psychological tidbits, and stories from Buddhist teachers past and present. And when it clicks in, it may be life-transforming. Hagen explains this shift in outlook and how the fundamental way we look at the world affects everything we do. As an outline, Hagen follows the basic teachings of the Buddha, and we see that, moderately than dogmatic truths, they are reminders for us as we reconsider the life we have taken with no consideration for so long. As it turns out, Buddhism is life, plain and simple. –Brian Bruya