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Buddhism for Busy People: Finding Happiness in an Uncertain World

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  709 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
What does it take to be happy? We've all asked ourselves this question at some point, but few of us have found the path to lasting fulfillment. David Michie thought he had achieved his life's goals—the high-level job, the expensive city apartment, the luxury car, the great vacations—but a small voice was telling him he wasn't really happy. A chance remark from a naturopath ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 15th 2008 by Snow Lion (first published 2004)
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Jun 29, 2012 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism, 2012
Meditation is hard.

Sitting still and concentrating on your breathing and not thinking of anything else might not sound that hard, but it is. Try this......

Sit in an upright position (Indian style, criss cross applesauce....whatever they call it these days) someplace where you won't be disturbed Close your eyes, and as you breath through your nose concentrate on the tip of the nostrils and count each breath until you get to ten......and DON'T think of anything else, and don't fall asleep. Gettin
Robbie Blair
While not altogether terrible, this book is far from what it purports to be. Its content is:

*20% Buddhism

*20% vaguely related anecdotes (ranging from the harmless to the extreme cases that are represented as proof of dangerous beliefs, like meditation curing cancer)

*20% personal views disguised as Buddhism (beliefs in clairvoyance, past life recollection, political beliefs, etc.)

*40% autobiography

The autobiographical portion gets old fast and slows down the book substantially. The anecdotes and
Jan 13, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This quote on the book's Amazon description really sums it up: "Michie demystifies the ancient teachings of Buddha, and writes about them with easy style. -- Australia Sunday Mail

This book is a great intro to Buddhism, making it easy for the modern person to digest the main teachings of the Buddha in a light and simple way. The author uses personal experiences to describe how he came to the philosophy and how it changed his life. This book (and his other one Hurry Up and Meditate) changed my lif
Oct 20, 2013 Suhrob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm sure there is far more worse introductions to Buddhism, but there have to be a few better ones too. Basics are described decently, but relies on miraculous anecdotes to support the metaphysical points.

I've read it as an supplement to the more technical books on meditation in order to get more background on Buddhism itself. It wasn't a complete waste of time but I am sure there are better resources.

It was recommended to me but I can't endorse it.
Jul 07, 2010 Susie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2010
Started 6.21.10.
Finished 7.6.10.

This was part autobiography, part introduction to Buddhist principles and part instruction manual on how to begin incorporating some of those principles into your daily life. It sounds trite to say it changed my life, and actually, so far, it hasn't really, but it was definitely eye-opening and (dare I say?) enlightening. No pun intended. I added it to my iPod, because I think this is one of the only audiobooks that I've ever come across that I will listen to agai
Apr 30, 2014 Heidi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is everything I hoped it would be, and how often can one say that? It is a fantastic summation of Buddhism TO a Westerner, like me, from a Westerner. I had tried reading a book about Buddhism from a non-Western author, and for me, I couldn't grasp it yet. Now I feel that since I have some of the fundamentals of Buddhism explained to me in my own language, so to speak, I am now ready to delve into the deeper readings that my mind might not have been ready for prior to reading Buddhism f ...more
Jade Feng
Feb 02, 2016 Jade Feng rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting introduction to the core of the Buddhism 'belief'. Being raised Christian, it took me a while to understand that Buddhism is a way of thinking and mindfulness, rather than centered around a being and the teaching of that being.
Currently being under a lot of personal stress and doubt, this book came at an excellent time. The key takeaways I have are:
1. Meditation is extremely important in calming the mind and your thoughts and should be practised regularly. Much like an athlete
Nistha Tripathi
Mar 30, 2015 Nistha Tripathi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just what I was looking for!
Jan 28, 2014 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always been told my beliefs aligned somewhat to the practice of Buddhism, so when I stumbled on this book at my local library, I had to check it out. While there is no way to soak in all the nuances of the Buddhist philosophy by reading one book, this was a great overall overview, and a good example of how it can be applied to modern day lives. By way of outlining the Buddhist teachings, the author explains his journey and the specific ways in which he practices and how it had direct applic ...more
Jun 14, 2015 Kristen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I took a long time listening to Buddhism for Busy People. I liked much of the book but there were two pretty serious issues that compelled my rating: 1) Somebody needs to make sure that narrators pronounce words properly. I just cringed when the narrator pronounced Thich Nhat Hanh "Thich" -- unless every single Buddhist person I know is wrong the name is pronounced "Tick". 2) Although the author seems, in general, to be a fairly intelligent person I was really disturbed by his defense of literal ...more
Any Length
Mar 01, 2016 Any Length rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Michie has a great way of not only explaining Buddhist practices and terms but also the meditation techniques. He shares his own struggles with the understanding and practising of the principles and techniques and give the real hope that if he can do it so can we.
He is not out to "convert" anyone. What he does is explain it to the novice and the busy person who have limited time and possibly limited existing knowledge and thus need to be explained things at a simple, easy to get level. Dav
Apr 15, 2010 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For anyone of you who know me, you're probably scratching your head as to why I gave 4 stars to a book on Buddhism! The star rating is based on the entire presentation of the book, not on the world view that it presents. I am obviously not Buddhist, and believe that salvation is only by grace through faith in Christ.

Now, on to the book. I liked it because it is not at all esoteric. I have had virtually no exposure to Buddhism before (other than some comparative religion type overview), and I cou
I found that this was a good intro to the principles of Buddhism. I listened to it on audio, and the narration was good as well.

I liked that in addition to presenting the Buddhist principles, the author illustrated how he applied those principles to his own life. There were also instructions on how to meditate; I thought it was a fairly easy and straightforward process, but apparently there is a lot more to it than I had initially thought.

I found some "gems" of wisdom that I think may be useful.
Waco Glennon
This is a small but wonderful book. The writing is clear. The examples are well chosen. Best of all, it is written from the perspective of someone who is a fellow questioner, as opposed to a guru.

I don't agree with all of the precepts that Michie describes (e.g. hypnosis being used to delve into past lives). Having said that, he starts with the simplest ideas and takes you to a fairly distant point.

Interestingly, I always felt good reading this book. It was something I looked forward to on har
Sian Powell
I really liked the beginning of the book, where the author explains some of the basics of Buddhism and how he found out about it. The explanations of meditation and of general kindness and changing your attitude were lovely. However, I found some of the concepts towards the end of the book more difficult to follow, probably because I was listening to it and I kept forgetting what some of the Buddhist words meant. It would be easier to flick back and check if you had a hard copy of the book. Some ...more
Desilu Anne Nair
Didn't quite offer very many practical tips on self-management and a large component was dedicated to talking at length about the writer's personal life. I was looking more for a book that would give insights into why we should manage our anger, impatience, or dealing with people in general from a Buddhist perspective. This book just didn't deliver and was a disappointment for me.
Jill Frederickson
Dec 22, 2015 Jill Frederickson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio book of this. I found it very interesting to have an introduction to Buddhism from the perspective of a busy person starting from a fairly normal western lifestyle. It has some excellent meditation exercises. It tells David Michie's story of exploring Buddhism and years worth of development of a personal practice.
May 15, 2015 Jef rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
brilliant book! for someone that is only starting on their dhama journey this is a great first step.. will take you through some of the deeper questions unpacking them with the type of humility synonymous with the philosophy..

not sure I've ever given a 5 star however this is well worth it.. enjoy!
Mandy France
Apr 21, 2014 Mandy France rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very insightful book. I will be the first to admit that most books on buddhism that I have read are chocked full of information, but incredibly dry. This book is exactly what the title says--its Buddhism for busy people. A great read and I recommend to anyone who has even a tiny interest in learning about Buddhism.
Christian Biggins
This book was the first book on Buddhism I bought that had been written by a Westerner. The other books I have, while being amazing, are very hard to read and even harder to understand, they seem to have an 'assumed knowledge'. This book is different. It makes everything very easy to understand and relate to, but without being less meaningful. It gives a great beginers approach to making a change in mindframe when you feel like you need something else in life. Buddhism for me has been the answer ...more
Kresimir Mudrovcic
Maybe it is expected from the book with this name, but I expected a bit more from this book, mostly bringing Buddhism closer to the layperson. More everyday advice and examples would be great to see in this book and less usage of buddhisms :-)
Aug 01, 2014 Monica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Loved this! Now to live it...

“Buddha was once asked to describe the essence of his teachings," Rinpoche said. "Do you know what he replied? 'Abandon harmfulness. Cultivate goodness. Subdue your mind.”

Leigh Statham
I've never subscribed to the idea of reincarnation, but this book has many lovely stories about meditation changing lives. It was a good read for a self check.
Wade Brooks
I've read hundreds of books on Buddhism and this is the best I've seen on explaining all the major aspects of Buddhism in a fun and easy read.
Oct 23, 2015 Vendea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-own, rc, 2015
Tohle bylo hodně dobré. Vážně jsem si to užila... Myšlenky buddhismu mě zajímají, takže jsem si v knize našla svoje. Navíc oceňuji, že jsem se dozvěděla i něco o autorovi... Za mě hodně dobré!

Andrew Einspruch
Mar 22, 2016 Andrew Einspruch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, solid, understandable introduction to the basics of Tibetan Buddhism. Has helped encourage me to start meditating again.
Scott Templeman
Apr 05, 2015 Scott Templeman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great framing of Buddhism for the western perspective told ina conversational and personal fashion. Gave me much to reflect upon.
Randall Lewis
Oct 22, 2014 Randall Lewis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even as someone who has been (attempting) practicing for years this is a breath of fresh air. There's still a bunch of confusion these days as to what meditation actually is and how it benefits those who practice it.
This is the book I never knew I needed to read. I am blown away to learn of a philosophy and lifestyle that so perfectly aligned with my own feelings and thoughts. I feel I have always been Buddhist without realizing. And now I want to practice the Budda's teachings and learn more. I feel settled, like now it all makes sense.

This particular book about Buddhism was attractive to me because I am very impatient. But now that I feel so connected, intrigued, confident I look forward to reading, stud
Oct 01, 2015 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism, 2012-2015
A guide to practicing Buddhism in today's world. A book that should be re-read periodically.
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David Michie is the internationally best-selling author of a number of books about mindfulness, meditation and Buddhism. These include the non-fiction titles Mindfulness is Better than Chocolate, Hurry Up and Meditate and Buddhism for Busy People, as well as his popular novel series The Dalai Lama’s Cat. His books are available in 25 languages in over 30 different countries.

David has been deliveri
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“Buddha was once asked to describe the essence of his teachings," Rinpoche said. "Do you know what he replied? 'Abandon harmfulness. Cultivate goodness. Subdue your mind.” 1 likes
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