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It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness
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It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  1,503 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Using delightful and deceptively powerful stories from everyday experiences, beloved Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein demystifies spirituality, charts the path to happiness through the Buddha's basic teachings, shows how to eliminate hindrances to clear seeing, and develops a realistic course toward wisdom and compassion. A wonderfully engaging guide, full of humor, memor ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published February 14th 1997 by HarperOne (first published 1995)
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If I could remember everything I read in this little book, I would be well on my way to being enlightened. But I forget so quickly. I suppose that's why we speak of spiritual "practice"-it's like exercise. I never "get" it, it's never "finished." And that's a good thing.
It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness by Sylvia Boorstein is a clear, brief guide to Buddhist practice. Boorstein's presence emanates from every page: warm, passionate, compassionate. Funny. Loving. And above
"The tendency to struggle in the mind comes from taking one's own story personally rather than seeing it as part if the great unfolding cosmic drama."

"We have two kinds of fears. One is a fear that whatever is going on is going to go on forever. It's just not true - nothing goes on forever. The other is the fear that, even if it doesn't go on forever, the pain of whatever is happening will be so terrible we won't be able to stand it."

One of those books that popped up in my life right when I need
This was one of the most delightful books I have read in a long time. Sylvia reveals the simplicity and complexity of Buddhism in everyday life. Great book...looking forward to reading her other books.
Overall I enjoyed this book. The author is very down to earth and writes in a way that is both easy to understand and educational. This would be a good book for someone interested in learning more about buddhism without getting bogged down in conceptualism. That being said, I wish more time was spent on each topic. This book only scratched the surface and was set up as a collection of short essays/thoughts about very topics, as opposed to an in depth discussion.
Title: It's Easier Than You Think
Author: Sylvia Boorstein
Genre: Spirituality, self-help, Buddhism
Reason for Reading: My parents both read this recently and it was around their house while I was visiting. I leafed through it and was pleasantly surprised by the down-to-earth, practical tone.
Finished In: It's a short book and easy to read, but it took weeks to finish, because I wanted to take the time to go slowly and think about many of the points the author raised.
Pages: 162
Copyright Date: 2011
Scout Stirling
A very informative introduction to the practice of Buddhism with personal opinions from the author's own experience. With each chapter being no more than three (with the exception of one that is still only about seven) pages long, it makes it a very easy to understand book with no confusing details.

However, as it says on the front, it generally does not stray from the 'path to happiness', so maybe if you are interested in the deepest realms of Buddhism, it might not be your cup of tea. Ideal for
Harriet Roll
Jan 23, 2014 Harriet Roll rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Buddhism and how it interacts with other systems
Recommended to Harriet by: NPR On Being
Truly enjoyed this book. Puts some unfamiliar or "hazy" concepts, right thinking, lovingkindness, etc. into actual experience. This work can/will be helpful and insightful to anyone wanting to both be happy and increase the happiness around them.
Barbara Ahlquist
Sylvia Boorstein tends to calm my spirit a bit with her own calm and insightful storytelling. This was my second reading of It's Easier Than You Think, and I did enjoy it, but I wish she had explored the actual Buddhist teachings in a little more detail. And this time, some of the stories seemed too simplistic to apply to the havoc that the world seems to have created since 1995 when she wrote it. But then, maybe the world is just making life too difficult by not paying attention to the teaching ...more
actual rating 3.5
I gratefully acknowledge the memory of my parents, both of whom taught me how to think and how to laugh.

Mindfulness, the aware, balanced acceptance of present experience is the heart of Buddhism.

Managing gracefully ~
Craving causes suffering
Decide to “have a good day”
prolonged yearning and prolonged aversion are tiring and demoralizing

what shall i do with my anger? overt expression is unnecessary

Vinaya: Buddha taught ~
Before admonishing another, one should reflect thus...
In due season will I sp
Linda Hollingsworth
This is another great book about spirituality with a very down to earth and friendly tone. Reading these short chapters is very much like sitting in the kitchen of a friend over a cup of tea and coffee cake. It is so friendly you may want to stay, and as Silvia points out, it is difficult not to want. The line between appreciating and wanting is so very difficult to negotiate, but Silvia shares stories and insights that illuminate the path and the purpose of mindfulness practice.

A good example
Jul 29, 2012 Katherine rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Katherine by: Eliana
More like 2.5 stars. I didn't love it but for the times that I just wanted to read a book that gave some insight about life lessons, it was not a bad read. This book was recommended by a friend who has always been looking for a meaning in her life. And I can say that in some ways it can help you get to some understanding that we just don't get answers in our lives about why we're here and we need to enjoy every second of our lives, because that is we hold in our present. Our past is past and the ...more
Sylvia B is awesome! Her book is just what I needed to give me some timely insights into life. The thoughts and teachings are not radically different from what I’ve learned from my parents, my teachers, my friends, and my religion. But its surface level practicality and simplicity just grabbed me, and it offers enough depth to delve into for years.

From my very initial reading, most of Buddhism seems to revolve around the fact that life is difficult, and we can’t change that. Obviously, not rock
You could characterize Sylvia Boorstein's style as "folksy." That alone may tell you how much you'll like this book. I'm not a big fan of "folksy," (not a judgment, just a statement), so that's likely the major reason I gave the book no more than a three-star rating. The other reason, I suppose, is because I found the book, generally, a little simplistic. For example, her treatment of the concept of 'emptiness' leaves a lot to be desired. That said, the book is a useful primer for someone who is ...more
This is an excellent, easy-to-understand introduction to Buddhism in story form. I have no knowledge of mindfulness or precepts of Buddhist thought, but found the authors observations relatable and inspirational.
Some great food for thought and excellent use of anecdotes. But I found this book hard to follow. I was hoping to learn more about Buddhist teachings and how to apply them to my life. Instead, I feel like she touched on the teachings and then gave a somewhat related example from her own life. There are also times where she kind of assumes the reader knows certain terms and ideas before she's explained them--for instance, she mentions Right Thought before we even learn what that is.

It was an enj
A wonderful book for both readers who want an introduction to Buddhism as well as a refresher to those who may already understand it. While Boorstein's simple writing style makes understanding the concepts easier, it does not take away the importance of the message - that in life we will always be dealt with surprises but we can learn to manage these challenges and hurdles through learning to let go of attachments, learning to observe our emotions when they arise and recognize that they are just ...more
Fantastic! Basic Buddhism told in the words of a down-to-earth fabulous woman, making it really easy to understand and apply to our lives. Please - just read it. You won't regret it.
Mary Anne
I have to return this book to the library. It was OK. Mostly the author, a Jewish Buddhist, write short bits about the Buddha.
For me she reinforces the notion that life is suffering. How many times have I read this recently and experienced this in my life.
The Buddha called the journey to happiness the four noble truths. The first truth is Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. the second truth is Clinging is suffering. In other words, let it go. Liberation from pain is possible is the t
Barbara Newhall
Anything by Sylvia Boorstein -- I recommend. She's great company and her wisdom fits right into my rather ordinary life.
Love this book: A great explanation of the principles of Buddhism and following the principles in everyday life.
Angie Gravelle
Wonderfully accessible, with everyday experiences used to illustrate Buddhist
Patti Miller
Light intro to Buddhism for those who don't want to go very far into it. Pleasant reading.
Very readable with everyday applications. Makes Buddhism understandable.
I want to take her class she is amazing! She's right its simple!
Robert Crisp
I heard Sylvia Boorstein a few years ago on the NPR show On Being and thought at the time I'd like to read her books. That was before my life was turned upside-down, and when that happened, I remembered her wise words and warm voice. Both are present in this book, which presents the practice of Buddhism in simple, compassionate examples. I look forward to reading her other books.
A different approach to understanding... I enjoyed it :)
Sep 22, 2015 Cathleen is currently reading it
Started after Metta retreat summer 2015
Quick and moderately helpful
This is the fundamental breakdown of how to incorporate Buddhism into your everyday life. i have found that while practicing certain perspective changes and other state-of-mind-alterations are addressed, the actual belief system of Buddhism is slightly more compicated and so the novel might now touch on as much as would be needed to clarify the difference in perspective of someone from western cultures and someone from the eastern cultures. An enjoyable read but not enough meat and potatoes to g ...more
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Sylvia Boorstein (born 1936) is an American writer and Buddhist spiritualist.
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“... every single act we do has the potential of causing pain, and every single thing we do has consequences that echo way beyond what we can imagine. It doesn't mean we shouldn't act. It means we should act carefully. Everything matters [p. 41].” 17 likes
“... freedom of choice is possible. Life is going to unfold however it does: pleasant or unpleasant, disappointing or thrilling, expected or unexpected, all of the above! What a relief it would be to know that whatever wave comes along, we can ride it out with grace [p. 35].” 9 likes
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