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Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, Volume 1: Sutra

( Modern Buddhism)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  2,403 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Introduction and Encouragement

This eBook Modern Buddhism – The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, in three volumes, is being distributed freely at the request of the author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (the Kindle Store sets the minimum price at 99 cents and also additional taxes are added in many countries). The author says: “Through reading and practicing the instructions given in t
Kindle Edition, 120 pages
Published April 16th 2011 by Tharpa Publications (first published October 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,403 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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Start your review of Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, Volume 1: Sutra
Sean Barrs
This is not modern Buddhism because the writer has a striking inability to speak to the modern reader.

And despite his clear authority on the subject, I consider his explanations on Buddhism to be some of the worst I have ever read. The problem is that he doesn’t address the practicalities of Buddhism in a modern world; he does not engage with the reader or attempt to teach him how to practice, learn and grow. Instead, it relays the separation between different levels of Buddhism. It’s detached
Apr 01, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Barely managed to finish skimming it. A lot of people apperently found it immensely helpful but I found it pretentious and repetitive, as though he was trying to add length.
Chapter two was just depressing, not that it made me depressed so much as annoyed to the point I needed to look at Huston Smith's World Religions to remind me why I like Buddhism and its happy compassionate nature, I mean you look at the Dalai Lama he's always smiling, but that chapter went on about suffering through life ad
Joon Ho
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book is titled "Modern Buddhism" as according to the author "presentation of Dharma
is designed especially for the people of the modern world". Book I covers "Sutra", 2 "Tantra" and 3 "Prayers for Daily Practice"
My main issues with this book are:
1. The author does cover some fundamental doctrines in Buddhism but it is not often explicitly stated so and to one new to Buddhism it is difficult to separate doctrine from the author's opinion. For example concepts like the three marks of existence
What I liked about this book was that it was free and on Buddhism. I think that's all that I liked about it. I was confused reading this the majority of the time. I couldn't even finish it. The fluidity of the book was like a hurricane. There was no water, all wind. I wish I could give some examples but since I really didn't like this book, it was hard for me to focus.

Since I am somewhat new to Buddhism, I was looking for a book that gave me a clear sense of the principles. Many of the examples
Jun 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found parts of this book tedious and some parts very enlightening. When the book got deeper into the more, let's go with supernatural, beliefs l was unable to relate with what the author was trying to say. I don't honestly believe in reincarnation or samsara, but when l got into the sections about meditation and how to achieve enlightenment, l found this book to be pretty interesting. I know l need more inner peace and l am also desperately trying to shake off my very Western materialism and l ...more
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
This is an introduction to Buddhism which outlines many of the philosophical ideas behind the religion. Whilst there is much repetition throughout the book, I think it would need to be re-read a number of times to really grasp the concepts.
Monstrous Abeer
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was ok

“Emptiness is the way things really are. It is the way things exist as opposed to the way they appear.”

I did not like this book, and I will never read it again. I merely loved the style it was written in, and the way it describes the feelings we sink into and feel.
Nov 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that needs to be read and reread to truly understand it.
Bernie Gourley
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in an overview of Tibetan Buddhism.
Shelves: wisdom
This is the first book in a three volume overview of Buddhism that is available for free (or for the minimum Kindle book price on Amazon.) The book is written by a Tibetan Buddhist scholar-monk, and, therefore, emphasizes the Mahayana approach and specifically that of the Gelug school. (I’m a neophyte, but I don’t think this book goes into so much detail as to be controversial among Tibetan Mahayana Buddhists, but if you are thinking you’ll learn about, say, Zen or Theravadan Vipassana, not so m ...more
Another freebie from Kindle. I did not read this whole book. Being at the beginning of my studies of Buddhism and mindfulness, I can already tell that the Tibetan strand is not going to be for me. Don't get me wrong: I love me some Tibetans! I admire their great emphasis on compassion, and I love how prolific their teachers are with regard to writing, websites, Buddhist centers where one can take classes, etc. Great people. But, there is just too much religion in their interpretation. Too many s ...more
May 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book makes the practicality and application of buddhism into life simple and clear. before reading this book, i thought buddhism was all about the time when you are on the cushion and meditating, but it is clear that we can bring the meditation into everything we experience with compassion, or wisdom. through putting these teachings into practice, it is clear that it is such a good way to make my life meaningful with joy and inspiration! i see a lot of reviews about the described suffering, ...more
Lisa Aguilera
Dec 02, 2011 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual-guides
I'm seeing a lot of correlation on perception and awareness between this book and Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior. Interesting how whenever you read a couple books there seems to be an underlying correlation between them. Very philosophical. ...more
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was my introduction to Buddhism…I was astonished by the powerful imagery conjured in my mind through the words of the author…this book began a journey for me, however, it served more as a catalyst for further enquiry and away from the dogmatic approach to Buddhism presented by the author, this does not diminish the fact that this book had a huge impact in the direction of my life.
Emma Georgeosn
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great introduction to Buddhist beliefs. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and found it very insightful. Although I didn't agree with all the ideas many did resonate with me and I will endeavour to use some of this wisdom is my own life. ...more
Kailan Sindelar
Jun 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: buddhism
In some ways, this is the book you would expect to read from a monk explaining the tradition of Buddhism he founded. I won't rate the book on my opinion of the New Kadampa Tradion (NKT), but rather of on the book's accessibility and situatedness. The book is extremely accessible as it is free and not too complicated. Some people have said it was repetitive, which I agree with, but it is not difficult to understand despite that and being very detailed. However, the NKT does not explain its histor ...more
Edward Kimble
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Okay, let me get this straight. My existence is an illusion (as apparently are the existences everyone else who read this book) and yet we reincarnate for many lifetimes until we finally understand that our existence is an illusion. Hmmm.

In logic, if an assumption is incorrect, the conclusion will be incorrect. Garbage in, garbage out. The mechanical deconstruction of self into (non-existent, mind you) components of body and mind leaves out a few essentials, such a life and DNA. So I'm not (yet
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
It started really well, but the book lost sight of what it was trying to achieve - relevance to the modern day. I would've liked to see less focus on the fairy stories, and more on the actual moral teachings of Buddhism that can actually be applied to modern day life. Didn't finish so maybe that would've come later. ...more
Richard Raw
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great summary of modern Buddhism

This is a very good summary of modern Buddhism from a Tibetan perspective. A very good and useful read. I'd recommended this as a basic introduction.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it liked it
For beginners like me, it was a heavy read regarding buddhism. But overall, if you get to absorb the message, it could be life-changing. I guess you really need to apply the meditations to appreciate the teachings. I'm curious for the next book though :) ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
I love Buddhism and there are so many wonderful books that help make it accessible and meaningful for every day life. Like other reviewers, I had trouble even skimming through for it was absent of inspiration for me.
Ed Barton
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Stepping In

A brief read on the principles of Buddhism, including meditations, sutras and concepts of renunciation and illusion. Written to be very easy to read and implement, this first in a three book series gives you a good foundation for exploration.
The Great Asπ e
Dec 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: religious, 2020, buddhism
I don't think I understand Gyatso's writing style, he tends to repeat himself a lot and I don't know if that is because he's really trying to drive the point home or if he had to write a certain amount of pages for his book deal. ...more
Aggie Chu
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great words!

This book is very practical to apply to our daily lives!
It might be a long read but it's worth it.
Erik Dabel
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kind of rambled at times, but some parts were very interesting and informative. Awareness, mindfulness, and peace of mind are things we should all strive for.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great guide

This book explains to the modern reader the concept of emptiness. It explains how this understanding can be of great benefit to all living beings. A great book.
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
I’ve now established I am not a Buddhist
Simone Peterson
Apr 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
Definitely not a good book for beginners.
Clint the Cool Guy
Jul 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: could-not-finish
Ridiculously repetitive and filled with circular logic. I could tell after about ten pages that there was nothing further that I wanted from this book. Do yourself a favor and don’t bother.
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great introduction into Buddhism with a modern applicable ways to approach the practice of "emptiness." I like how the author approached the idea that everything in this world is a mere phenomenon so we should not invest our attention any deeper then the attention we put into the things we see in our dreams. ...more
Dec 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to give a mediocre rating to a free book on Buddhism but three stars seems appropriate. I've had a passing interest in Buddhism for years and this book served as an acceptable refresher. As some other reviews have noted, Modern Buddhism spent an inordinate amount of time focusing on suffering and went into historical lore tangents that were hard to piece together into a cohesive story. Nonetheless, there are positive aspects to Gyatso's book.

Buddhism seems to focus on inner peace and b
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Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche is a fully accomplished meditation Master and internationally renowned Teacher of Buddhism who has pioneered the introduction of modern Buddhism into contemporary society. Presenting Buddha’s teachings in a way that is relevant and suitable for modern people with busy lives, he shows how these teachings can be used by anyone, Buddhist or non-Buddhist, to sol ...more

Other books in the series

Modern Buddhism (3 books)
  • Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, Volume 2: Tantra
  • Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, Volume 3: Prayers for Daily Practice

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