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Book Review: Buddha, A Beginners Guide

May 15, 2011

“Buddha, A Beginners Guide”
Written by Stephen T Asma
Published by Hampton Roads Publishing Company

I thoroughly enjoyed Stephen’s book, “Why I Am A Buddhist”, and somewhat recently I was able to interview him for PM. In case you missed it,  click here.

Needless to say, I was already a fan before reading this book. “Buddha, A Beginners Guide” is a fantastic introduction to the historical Buddha and the core teachings. What makes the book more readable, and interesting, is Stephen’s witty, and very humorous drawings.

Every time I read a book based on the Buddha, I learn something new. Or, the author’s interpretation strikes a chord. Stephen lends a story, based on the 4 Noble Truths and the 8 Fold Path, in which in certain ethical situations, the rules could be bent a little.

He creates a scenario back in the days of WW2. You are living in Nazi occupied Europe, and are hiding some Jewish folk. The SS knock on the door, asking if you are harboring Jews. You can either tell the truth, and know that you have sealed the fate of the Jews you are hiding, or lie and quite possibly, save their lives.

You don’t have to be a beginner to enjoy this book. I could get all cryptic and stuff here and say we are all beginners anyway, but I won’t… All I am saying is this, Stephen’s book is not only full of wisdom, but doused with wit and amusing anecdotes.

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