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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

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  4,031 ratings  ·  142 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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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  4,031 ratings  ·  142 reviews


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Ellie
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
...more
Bruce Smith
Boorstein provides a good introduction to Buddhism and the key concepts. The book is about her journey, and she is providing a pathway for others, but her path doesn't work for me. Maybe it will work for others. ...more
Anne-Marie
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
"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
...more
Debra
Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
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.
Mia
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: spiritual
A simple, easy-to-read book that outlines basic tenets of Buddhism, including the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. The author applies these concepts to her personal experiences to explain them more fully to the reader.
Kristine
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Unless you never rate your books here, or are a pretty picky reviewer, you probably know that as you select the five-star rating, you get a brief glimpse of the phrase "it was amazing". When I saw it this time, it struck me that while this book gets an easy five stars from me, I wouldn't call it 'amazing', because that's not the point. Sometimes, you don't want AMAZING, and when I want to ponder something like The Buddhist Way to Happiness, I appreciate that Sylvia's writing is something even be
...more
Marshall
This is a gentle introduction to Buddhism, discussing the basics in the context of many anecdotes of the author and people she knows. The stories were intended to be inspiring, but I didn't feel all that inspired by them. Really what I appreciate about the book is the attitude that spiritual living is really pretty plain. Many people can be teachers who know nothing about Buddhism.

The point of Buddhism, according to the Buddha himself, is the end of suffering. I think this sounds too ambitious (
...more
Rick
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent insight into basic Buddhist principles for beginners and the dim-witted.
Cheryl
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful little book. Hope I can remember some of it so I can apply the learnings to my own life and its ups and downs. Boorstein is very relatable and doesn't claim to be the perfect Buddhist. ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
I've found a new writer on happiness, and that's a happy thing. Sylvia Boorstein shows us how to take a step back from our thoughts and reflect on our reflections before we jump into anger or frustration or annoyance. And it really is easier than I thought. ...more
Janet
Aug 05, 2018 added it
Loved it. Had to buy it to have on hand to re-read.
Bill Krieger
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
 

Hrmph. Not a good read. I starting reading It's Easier Than You Think with a very strong bias... a bias in favor of the book's premise. I meditate. And I appreciate some Buddhist notions. Most importantly, I firmly believe that things like happiness and control are easier than they are presented a lot of times.

Which leads to my main problem with the book: its contents are the opposite of the title. The author presents a very long, convoluted 150 page path to happiness. We learn there are 4 n
...more
Linda Hollingsworth
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
lynn
Feb 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 roc
...more
Scout Stirling
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
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
...more
Laila (BigReadingLife)
Mar 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people in need of spiritual comfort
What a find! I learned of Boorstein through Dani Shapiro's awesome book, Devotion. I think it was fate! In an engaging, relatable manner (lots of personal stories about her own mental struggles) she lays out Buddhist ideas about happiness - obstacles and how we can change our way of thinking to move closer to experiencing it. I really don't think you have to identify yourself as a Buddhist to benefit from this book (I don't.) I came away from this wanting Sylvia Boorstein to adopt me as a grandd ...more
Carrie
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
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.
Natalie
Mar 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A phenominal primer on the beauty of freeing your mind from itself and finding or creating peace in your life. No, you don't have to be Buddhist to enjoy this, or even to benefit from Boorstein's teachings. ...more
Ruhegeist
Mar 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In depth, not at all. Interesting insights and new ways to see basic Buddhist concepts, definitely. Still really enjoy Boorstein's voice. Her willingness to admit to still learning and practice is helpful and hopeful. ...more
Harriet Roll
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  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.
...more
Codii
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The most wholesome book to ever grace my soul. The type of book you pick up, read a page, put down and then ponder on the teachings for half a day before picking it back up and starting all over again. A true gem of an introduction in to Buddhism from a lovely lady.
Laura Siegel
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love reading Sylvia Boorstein's uplifting essays of practical and personal wisdom gleaned from Buddhist teachings. Read one a day. Or two. Each one is a special treat. ...more
Beth
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm a clinical psychologist, yoga instructor, and self-described "budding Buddhist." My yoga practice led me to Buddhism, and I have read various books in this topic over the past several years. I particularly like to read books that take a simple, secular approach. I discovered this little paperback at a used book sale some time back, and I am so glad I picked it up. It was published over 20 years ago now, but the message is timeless.

Author Sylvia Boorstein is both a meditation teacher and a p
...more
Andrea Nestor
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health
If you are under a lot of stress in your everyday life, this is the right book for you! Ms. Boorstein approaches the art of meditation from both a practical and a health standpoint. She teaches you how to meditate in clean, easy-to-understand language that makes learning to apply it in your everyday life simple.

Ms. Boorstein gives specific examples of events in her own life that lead her to her current place in life, and it helps you feel connected to her, which also helps you trust her, and th
...more
Nicole
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Life is an ongoing series of adjustments in search of comfort."

Thoroughly enjoyed this from start to finish. Buddhism has always appealed to me, and the way Boorstein lays it out is concise and relatable. It's about the concepts of Buddhism, along with her personal take and experiences.

Great perspective. Helpful reminders. I saved so many snippets to the Notes app in my phone and underlined even more in the book. It's definitely one that I will look back on and re-read.

Would recommend to anyone
...more
Rob
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second time I have read this book.

Ms Boorstein presents many aspects of the Buddhist perspective in a very personable
way which also allows the reader to relate more easily to what the Buddha's teachings
are about.

This is a very good book about the possibilities found through Buddhist practice.

I don't recommend many books, but I do this one.




...more
Serena Long ﺕ
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
This is the third book that I read by Sylvia Boorstein. Enjoy reading Boorstein’s meditation experience, hilarious. Boorstein’s presence emanates from every page, compassionate, funny, loving, passionate. Wonderful book. I hope I can remember every single little thing so that I can apply the learnings to my own daily life.
Kelly Brill
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it


I loved this book and would like to own a copy of it. I found it a very accessible primer to Buddhist philosophy, and especially to how that philosophy can be experienced and practiced in daily life. Boorstein describes the Buddha’s basic teachings in conversational language and intersperses stories and examples from her life. She writes with humor and humility.
Harley
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love the personal stories that Boorstein shared in this book to illustrate key Buddhist concepts. Her strength is her ability to make the complex easy to understand. I would recommend this short book to anyone interested in learning more about Buddhism.
Tina Romanelli
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed listening to the author’s experiences and appreciated her honesty in terms of facing the difficulties of quieting the mind . I would have enjoyed a bit more history, but I think that’s just my way of understanding things.
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Sylvia Boorstein (born 1936) is an American writer and Buddhist spiritualist.

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While all Goodreads members love books (or so we assume, otherwise this would be a weird way to spend your time!), there's a dedicated subset...
118 likes · 11 comments
“... 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].” 21 likes
“Pain is inevitable; lives come with pain. Suffering is not inevitable. If suffering is what happens when we struggle with our experience because of our inability to accept it, then suffering is an optional extra [p. 19].” 13 likes
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