Main CategoriesBuddha and BuddhismWestern Buddhism Story of Buddhism, The

Story of Buddhism, The

Product no.: 0-06-009927-5
Blending penetrating analysis with engaging storytelling, Lopez makes Buddhism accessible and compelling as he reveals the commonalities and differences among the major traditions.

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Publisher's Synopsis
Leading Buddhist scholar Donald S. Lopez, Jr. offers an engaging introduction focusing not only on the essential elements common to all schools of Buddhism, but also revealing the differences between the major traditions—Theravada, Mahayana (including Zen), and Tibetan—presenting each in clear, accessible language.

Beginning with the creation and structure of the Buddhist universe, Lopez explores the life of the Buddha, the core Buddhist tenets, and the development of the monastic life and lay practice that embody those teachings. He investigates techniques, such as meditation and devotional practices, cultivated to achieve the realization of one's true nature and freedom from suffering.

Combining brilliant scholarship with fascinating stories, Lopez's rich and absorbing book offers a fresh and expert guide to the history of Buddhism and Buddhist life.


"The clearest book we have or are likely to have on the history, variety and meaning of what we now call Buddhism."    ~Newsweek

"An indispensable guide for novice and expert alike."     ~San Francisco Chronicle


"The universe has no beginning. It is the product of karma, the law of the cause and effect of actions, according to which virtuous actions create pleasure in the future and nonvirtuous actions create pain. It is a natural law, accounting for all the happiness and suffering in the world. The beings of the universe have been reborn without beginning in six realms, as gods, demigods, humans, animals, ghosts, and hell beings. Their actions create not only their individual experiences of pleasure and pain, but also the domains in which they dwell.

The physical universe is thus the product of the individual and collective actions of the inhabitants of the universe. Buddhist practice is directed largely at performing deeds that will bring happiness in the future, avoiding deeds that will bring pain, and counteracting the future effects of misdeeds done in the past. And there are some who seek the ultimate goal of freedom from the bonds of karma and the universe it has forged."

Author Lopez Jr., Donald S.
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 275 pp.
Publisher HarperCollins 2009
Browse these categories as well: Western Buddhism, Southern Buddhism, Northern Buddhism, Eastern Buddhism and Zen Masters, Vajrayana and Crazy Wisdom Masters, Noteworthy Releases 2009

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