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The Naked Buddha: A Practical Guide to the Buddha's Life and Teachings
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The Naked Buddha: A Practical Guide to the Buddha's Life and Teachings

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  192 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Although a widely observed and respected practice in America, Buddhism is still difficult for many seekers to thoroughly grasp. Now, Adrienne Howley — personally ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and one of the highest ranking Buddhist nuns in the world — writes in a warm, simple, and engagingly humorous style that illustrates the life, ideas, and teachings of the Bu ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 30th 2003 by Da Capo Press
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Sep 15, 2012 Alex rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
A lovely primer to Buddhism. From The Naked Buddha, I've taken away a few key wisdoms, the most essential being that Buddhism is about never trusting blindly what another professes to be truth, and to always experience life for oneself before coming to any conclusions about it. Howley gives a remarkably humble introduction to the tenets and history of Buddhism, which was a pleasant surprise - my jaded expectation was that a Westerner might seem pedantic in such an introduction. Ironically, of co ...more
This is an excellent, basic book on the basics of Buddhism, presented in a real, down to earth and clear way. I listened to the audiobook. However, I recommend reading it over the audio version. This is a book I would have liked to read slowly...a bedside table book. This way, I could have ruminated n the message, rather than be pushed along with the audio format. I felt like I missed some good bits with the audio (I tend to multi-task when listening). The narrator is very good and has a lovely ...more
This was an audiobook I listened to on the way to and from work. I highly recommend it. There is tons of good information in it - and yet it all seems so common sense. Then again, often that is the nature of buddhism.

In this audiobook, the narration was great. In fact, as I hadn't looked closely, it wasn't until partway through that I realized it wasn't the author talking. The downside to the audio is that it's a little harder to go back and reflect on things. The upside comes through in parts
Christoph Hewett
A very enjoyable read (listen) and perfect starting point for any person curious to know more about Buddhism. I've been on the fringes of Buddhism for a number of years and whilst I knew most of the principles of Buddhist philosophy I lack the whole picture (without the doctrinal overlay). The Venerable Adrienne Howley uses her knowledge of the cultural context of Buddhist cultures to explain many of the environmental influences on Buddhist thinking, both at the time of Buddha and since.

What res
If I were to recommend one book that describes my interpretation of Buddhism, this would be it. This book leaves the various practices and religious overtones to someone else and concentrates on the teachings of the Buddha only. A good explanation of underlying concepts such as interconnectedness, impermanence, no soul, no god, no thing.

Far from nihilism, it is a recognition of the impermanence and always changing and eternal progression of everything not to mention the existence of a thing bei
Wish I'd read this book years ago, when I first started studying Buddhism. Howley strips away the various cultural accretions that make most strains of Buddhism confusing/contradictory to a novice, thereby laying bare the essence of true and original Buddhism. This review is very short, but all you need to know is this. If you want a simple (not simplistic) explanation of Buddhism, then this is the volume for you.
I really enjoyed this book. I didn't know much about Buddha or Buddhism prior to reading this book. It was an excellent introduction to the history that led to Buddhism, what Buddhism is about, and the general tenets of Buddhism. If you're looking for a nice introduction to Buddhism, this is really a great book to get started, and includes references for other books at the end.
Matt Robinson
This was quite a nice book on Buddhism, although I kept falling asleep to it and not remembering where I had left off. I feel like 3 stars is almost like a bad rating, but I really did like it. I still occasionally go back and reread parts of it, mostly because it's a great reminder of how to live calmly and compassionately and not worry about all the stresses of life - which is why it really helps me fall asleep, and not in a "man this book is boring" kinda of way. It's almost worth an extra st ...more
Chris Walker
A good introduction to the teachings of the Buddha without any cultural trappings or religious overtones. Difficult ideas to aspire to as a way of finding spiritual peace: everything interconnected but constantly changing; no permanency; no constant; no soul; no god; no "thing" except in relation to every other thing and all changing and impacting on everything else every nanosecond; taking comfort (?) from the universality of suffering; and needing to find personal responsibility for right mind ...more
Chris Brown
Great Introductory book to Buddhism. Written in layman's language.
One of the best ways I have heard these ideas presented.
Avoid reading
Interesting. Perfect reading along with my world religion class. I feels like I have a firm grasp on the basics on Buddhism. Good writing style by a knowledgable writer. In some cases, it felt a bit repetitive, but it never became annoying. I rather enjoyed different elements introduced in many ways that made it easier to remember and understand. A recommended read for someone interested in learning about Buddhism for the perspective of a practicing Western Buddhist.
Sam Motes
The Naked Buddha is a very approachable introduction to the history and philosophies of the Buddha. I found the discussion of the non-permanence to be a very interesting perspective. I had heard the saying that you never step into the same river twice but this book explained all the changing events beyond our perception that ensure a constant flux to our reality. The author does a good job of explaining the virtues of meditation as well. Very worthwhile read!
There was nothing wrong with this book, in fact I enjoyed what I read, but I kind of felt like I’d gotten out of it what I wanted to and decided to focus my energies on the many other books I had on my shelf instead – like the ones I’m reading for a review and the fiction books that I’m really enjoying.
"I loved this book"

This is a book that you read... and then you read it again. If your new to the subject and interested in a great overview, this is the book for you. The narrator (on the audiobook) is great in this one also, stop wasting time and get this book!
I borrowed this book from a library and lost it, then years later it popped up again. A basic, no nonsense review of Buddha's teachings stripped of cultural and religious interpretations. That's why it's called 'naked'. Nothing kinky.
I loved the practical, no non-sense quality of this book. It was exactly what I was looking for in regard to explanations without the religious mythology attached to Buddhism. Awesome read.
Brian Little
A very good philosophical overview of Buddhism from a Buddhist nun. For someone just beginning practice, I'd call this an invaluable introduction.
Zack Czengoldi
Refreshing, well-written and instructive. Removes the baggage that has gathered around this subject over the last couple thousand years, or so.
Robert Ketterlinus
Very easy to understand, practical introduction to Buddha and related teachings. Debunked myths and offers practical use of his teachings.
Nathan Cobb
A pretty good high level book. Some interesting ideas. A bit too much reincarnation for my taste. But all in all a pretty good primer.
I loved this book as a stripped down look at the fundamentals of Buddhist principles. Really good read.
Wilma Rebstock
* * * * * Marvelous book, beautifully written. This is a book I will revisit many times.
Well written and understandable for the layperson. Will have to reread several times to absorb!
A very informative book about Buddha and the origins of the Buddhist philosophy. Intriguing.
The most concise, practical introduction to Buddhism that I have ever read...
Good reference and well-written. This stays in my library!
Good overview of the fundamental aspects of Buddhism.
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