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Basic Teachings of the Buddha

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  5 reviews
In "Basic Teachings of the Buddha," Glenn Wallis selects sixteen essential dialogues drawn from more than five thousand Pali-dialect suttas of the Buddhist canon. The result is a vibrant introductory guide to studying Buddhist thought, applying its principles to everyday life, and gaining a deeper understanding of Buddhist themes in modern literature. Focusing on the most ...more
Published May 10th 2014 by Modern Library (first published January 1st 2007)
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Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book, Glenn Wallis provides a concise overview of the history of Buddhism and its core texts, some contextualization for his own views, and his translation of and commentaries on 16 suttas that he feels encapsulate the core teachings of Siddhartha Gotama. Wallis's selections and commentary are rather explicitly geared towards modern Western readers, specifically those who were likely raised with theistic ways of thinking, and at least one of his selections (the Tevijja Sutta) is, he ackn ...more
Siddhartha Dey
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From the intricate web of interpretations and analyses of the several schools of Buddhism, each of whom claim themselves to be authentic, Wallis tries to extricate the sutras in their pristine form, so that the reader may find out their significances for himself. The chapters are arranged in form of a workbook encouraging the reader to place himself in the position of Siddhartha and to think and discover on his own, an art the Buddha relentlessly championed...
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Sep 07, 2020 rated it liked it
I was expecting this book to be more introductory. While very I depth on 16 scriptures (suttas), the guides provided on how to read the text were a little too academic for where I am currently at. I would have preferred something with more plain language. The academic writing is a bit opaque at times; which does not pair well with the opaque suttas for the uninitiated. Once having a more intermediate understanding Buddhist teachings this would be a great book.
Sep 09, 2019 added it
A scholar/believer's guide to core Buddhist teachings through a selection of 16 (out of 5000+) teachings attributed to the Buddha, copiously end-noted so as to provide additional key contexts and explanations. It's a manageable and satisfying introduction to Buddhist thought and practice that is sincere and earnest without being heavy-handed (though the author's impatience with anthropomorphic concepts of divinity is intermittently evident). ...more
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May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This book cherry-picks the suttas that best define Buddha's core teachings (a formidable task as there are thousands of them). A good starting point. ...more
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