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Teachings of the Buddha

4.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,059 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
This treasury of essential Buddhist writings draws from the most popular Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, and Japanese sources. Among the selections are some of the earliest recorded sayings of the Buddha on the practice of freedom, passages from later Indian scriptures on the perfection of wisdom, verses from Tibetan masters on the enlightened mind, and songs in praise of medita ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 9th 2004 by Shambhala (first published 1993)
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Sep 22, 2007 Mandy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
This is just a little book, but it's probably my favorite of the Buddha's teachings. I don't know if it's Kornfield's translations (which are beautiful) or the selections, but this is the book that sits on my nightstand, or next to my computer, or on my desk to work. It is the source I go to when I need a prayer, or a lesson, or something to share with a friend. Really a beautiful little book.
There is no fire like greed. No crime like hatred.
No sorrow like separation.
No sickness like hunger of heart, And no joy like the joy of freedom. Health and contentment, and trust are your greatest possessions, and freedom your greatest joy. Look within, Be still. Free from fear and attachment, know the sweet joy of living in the way.
Aug 09, 2013 Lon rated it really liked it
A collection of sayings, parables, teachings, exhortations attributed to the Buddha. Some cryptic, some inscrutable, but Kornfield has obviously mined the scriptural canon well; each page either shines outrightly, or hints of some pearl to be sought with deeper digging.

A few favorites:

As in the ocean's midmost depth no wave is born, but all is still, so let the practitioners be still, be motionless, and nowhere should they swell.

See yourself in others.
Then whom can you hurt?
What harm ca
Bruno Martinez-Leo
Feb 03, 2013 Bruno Martinez-Leo rated it it was amazing
Great book for introduction to understanding Buddhism. Really enjoyed reading and re-reading several of its pages. It's not a book you just read but truly meditate, re-read and think over again. I do really recommend it.
Relleasy Harrison
Mar 05, 2015 Relleasy Harrison rated it liked it
i gave this book to my beloved brother Trav. He is a Buddhist and he enjoyed it. the books talks a lot about patience and controlling your anger.
G.C. Neff
Teachings of the Buddha is a nice take-along book, whether in pocket or purse. It does have a good number of quotes from the Buddha, and the messages are soothing.

However, it's difficult for me to put these teachings side by side with the daily life of those in our current society. It's more easy for me to imagine these teachings to be for the monks, not the general public. In fact, in many of these quotes, the Buddha is speaking to those around him, not people of the world outside the monastery
Apr 13, 2015 Chase rated it it was amazing
A very readable interpretation of Buddhist teachings from various sects and teachers of Buddhism from all over the world. Simply splendid.
Clark Hallman
Oct 22, 2012 Clark Hallman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
Teachings of the Buddha, edited by Jack Kornfield, presents selections of Buddhist writings from Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Tibetan bodhisattvas (awakened beings who have followed and taught the wisdom of the Buddha). Kornfield, who trained as a Buddhist monk in Southeast Asia, cofounded Insight Meditation Center in Barre, Massachusetts and Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California and has shared his knowledge of Buddhism though numerous excellent books. For this collection, Korn ...more
B. Rule
Feb 21, 2015 B. Rule rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was hugely influential for me when I was probably 14 years old, so it was interesting to revisit it. It's a great collection for such a brief volume. The quotations are bite-sized and really better suited to dipping into rather than reading straight through. Read as a whole, it gets a little repetitive and there's not a lot of technical depth to the Buddhist dogmas presented, but this is a great volume to get a flavor of Buddhism generally and to offer a focus for meditation or contemp ...more
Feb 13, 2014 Aayla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality, 2014
Buddhism is a beautiful philosophy that never ceases to help me see things differently and grow into the person I want to become. Some of the Buddha teachings are very helpful, and many are still very far over my head. This book is one of those gems that you must return to infinitely.
Jan 30, 2009 Renaissance rated it really liked it
A inspirational collection of Buddhist sayings from ancient and modern writers. Not a book to be read cover-to-cover in one sitting, but a book for reflection after each passage. The shorter passages of the ancients struck me as the most meaningful and insightful; for example, "Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work, with mastery." (from the Dhammapada)--simple, yet layered with meaning. Some of the longer passages were pedantic, due often to repetitions of the same idea with minor variat ...more
Annie Grigg
Dec 01, 2014 Annie Grigg rated it it was amazing
Picked this up at the library out of curiosity. Bought it at chapters the next day. Absolutely love it. Really fills the soul and truly is a book you can learn from and apply towards a happier life.
Trey Nowell
May 31, 2015 Trey Nowell rated it it was amazing
Excellent practices for everyday life, highly recommended for people wishing to detach from the world we live in and enjoy the present moment.
William Wood
Mar 22, 2015 William Wood rated it it was amazing
one of the most profound little books I have ever read
Ryan Daley
May 21, 2016 Ryan Daley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly enjoyable!
Travelling Sunny
I thought this was going to be something else. This is more like reading Aesop's Fables, except these are by/about the Buddha. But, without a basic understanding of Buddhist history, many of the tales didn't easily make sense to me. (I'm looking at you, Zen Master Dogen, and your 'Actualizing the Fundamental Point' section.)

Nevertheless, I enjoyed quite a few from the Dhammapada, which makes me want that in its entirety. Some of my favorites were 'Wakefulness', 'Harmlessness', 'Virtue', and 'Joy
Andrew Vidal
Nov 03, 2013 Andrew Vidal rated it liked it
I thought this was a decent collection of the Buddha's teachings from such various sources as the Dhammapada, the Nikayas, the Sutras, as well as snippets from Tibetan and Zen texts. Due to its broad scope, I wouldn't recommend this to someone looking for in-depth instruction on the teachings, but as something to keep on the coffee table and flip through whenever one could use a reminder of the benefits attained from living a life mindfulness and contemplation.
Brian  Baker
Jan 20, 2013 Brian Baker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
I read this book fast, not because it was boring but because it's not the type of book you read, it's one that you keep on the shelf and when the moment is right you read it again, and refer to it later for inspiration in life.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about the Buddha's teachings. This is a book everyone should have, regardless of beliefs.
Jack Forge
May 30, 2011 Jack Forge rated it really liked it
An excellent sampling of the teachings of Siddhārtha Gautama! I tried books on Zen by D.T. Suzuki in my youth but did not glean more than an abiding curiosity. Since then I have been interested in knowing Buddhism. This little book makes it easy for one to understand and absorb the lessons of one of the greatest masters of human living.
Mar 19, 2012 Christal rated it liked it
Was a good read, took a while to give it justice but doesn't paint a picture of modern Buddhism. it's snippets of the general beliefs that started the religion and nothing about what has changed and not. A good start though to now if you would want to learn more (not necessarily if you wanted to convert) about the culture and religion.
Aug 21, 2010 Lori rated it it was amazing
How can you go wrong with beautiful, short, well written lessons and thoughts from the Buddha? You can't. I like to use it as a sort of divination when I am having a problem by just letting the book open randomly and reading that passage. There is always a truth or learning that can be applied to whatever I am going through.
Sep 10, 2012 Joshua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very brief explanation of the the teachings of the Buddha. It is a very small book. I bought in this book in the days before e-reading. In those days size mattered when deciding what to read on an airplane. I recommend this as a great pocket read. Something to read on an airplane, train, or bus.
Sep 11, 2008 Joe rated it it was amazing
Going through this one over and over again, which is why I can simultaneously give it five stars and still categorize the book as "currently-reading"! Great, short, quick wisdom for day-to-day life. It fits well with my pathetic attention span :)
Jul 19, 2011 Matt rated it really liked it
An excellent, well-rounded collection containing most of the Buddha's basic teachings (or teachings said to be by him). The texts are from multiple translators, and are generally very readable and easy to understand.
Steven Stark
Jul 11, 2007 Steven Stark rated it liked it
This is a great series of short teachings attributed to the Buddha, mixed with those from more recent followers. It's a great book to just open randomly and read a section, which is usually just a page or two.
Aug 28, 2008 Aaron rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Students of religion, students of buddhism
Shelves: religion, philosophy
Enlightening. The concepts contained within this volume of works could be universally applicable. It's an interesting moral framework, especially in these days of absolute extremes.
Aug 12, 2010 Jo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism
This is one of my favorite collections of Buddhist writings, and a frequent choice for early morning readings. Many thanks to Jack Kornfield for the masterful selections!
borrowed from brendan. i read this in snippets over time. some translations were more clear than others. overall, a nice collection of writings with much food for thought.
Mar 22, 2008 Floydsalerno rated it really liked it
Another in my learn about the world series.. don't worry, you won't shave your head,, just relax and learn a little about the world.
Phillip Moffitt
Nov 08, 2010 Phillip Moffitt rated it it was amazing
This collection of the Buddha’s teachings is an excellent reference and makes for good daily inspirational reading.
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Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India and Burma. He has taught meditation internationally since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. He began his training after graduating from Dartmouth College in Asian Studies in 1967. Then he joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to the Public Health Service in no ...more
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“Great Discourse on Blessings AT one time the Exalted One was living in Jeta Grove. A certain deity of astounding beauty approached the Exalted One and said: Many deities and humans have pondered on blessings. Tell me the blessings supreme. The Buddha replied: To associate not with the foolish, to be with the wise, to honor the worthy ones this is a blessing supreme. To reside in a suitable location, to have good past deeds done, to set oneself in the right direction this is a blessing supreme. To be well spoken, highly trained, well educated, skilled in handicraft, and highly disciplined, this is a blessing supreme. To be well caring of mother, of father, to look after spouse and children, to engage in a harmless occupation, this is a blessing supreme. Outstanding behavior, blameless action, open hands to all relatives and selfless giving, this is a blessing supreme. To cease and abstain from evil, to avoid intoxicants, to be diligent in virtuous practices, this is a blessing supreme. To be reverent and humble, content and grateful, to hear the Dharma at the right time, this is a blessing supreme. To be patient and obedient, to visit with spiritual people, to discuss the Dharma at the right time, this is a blessing supreme. To live austerely and purely, to see the noble truths, and to realize nirvana, this is the blessing supreme. A mind unshaken when touched by the worldly states, sorrowless, stainless, and secure, this is the blessing supreme. Those who have fulfilled all these are everywhere invincible; they find well-being everywhere, theirs is the blessing supreme. adapted from MANGALA SUTTA, translated by Gunaratana Mahathera” 0 likes
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