Last week I started a free trial of Audible.com. I hadn't tried it before because I've been so swamped with review requests I didn't think I'd have any use for it. Then a friend suggested I take the free trial so I could download Mike Nesmith's Infinite Tuesday for free. More on that another day.
My most interesting find on Audible was Buddhism: A Beginners Guide Book For True Self Discovery and Living a Balanced and Peaceful Life: Learn To Live In The Now and Find Peace From Within by Sam Siv. Through Amazon I was also able to download the Kindle version at a discounted price. This review is for the audio version, which I listened to at work and in my car.
Before listening to A Beginners Guide I only had knowledge of Buddhism in a general sense. It was a thing that some celebrities subscribed to and even a few people I'd known in college. Buddhism and Zen are words that get thrown around in Western culture without much understanding of their real meaning. A Beginners Guide gives a brief history of the Buddha and clearly outlines the basics of the practice. Siv also tells us how to apply the ideals of Buddhism to everyday life, which is invaluable for anyone wanting to start today.This book contains a basic overview of Buddhism, including the life of Buddha and the various kinds of Buddhism that have developed. It takes a look at all the key concepts and most important teachings, methods, and insights in a way that is easy to understand. Filled with a wealth of common sense and other worldly wisdom, the path to enlightenment is considered. Learn about meditation, mindfulness, happiness, samadhi, nirvana, and all the other important concepts that have helped shape our understanding of reality. Find out about Zen Buddhism and study all the basic elements that make the Buddha dharma so compelling to people of all walks of life.
I especially liked the author's explanation of Karma, which is another word that gets misused a lot. It does not mean, as many people believe, a supernatural form of justice. And now that I understand that I can release my mind of the worry that the guy who cut me off in the construction zone may or may not get his just desserts.
This is a great guide for anyone considering the Buddhist practice, or just looking for a way to bring peace and acceptance into everyday life. It will give you a general idea of the practice and what you can expect. By the end you'll most likely have made up your mind about whether or not Buddhism and meditation are right for you.