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No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners: Clear Answers to Burning Questions About Core Buddhist Teachings

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  2,263 ratings  ·  250 reviews

Presented in a practical Q&A format, No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners is the most clear-cut introductory guide to understanding the essential concepts of Buddhism and how they relate to your daily life.

How is an awakening different from enlightenment? Can agnostics and atheists be Buddhist? Am I supposed to stop thinking when I meditate? In No-Nonsense Buddhism for B

Kindle Edition, 125 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Althea Press (first published 2018)
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Gary Moreau
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How do you write something new and fresh about a topic that has been analyzed down to its toenails? You have to really “get it” and Naoh Rasheta clearly does. Written in an inspired Q&A format, this book really is “No-Nonsense,” which, of course, to the Buddhist means, “It makes all the sense in the world.”

I am a proud-to-be-an-American Buddhist philosopher who lived in China for almost a decade. Which means, essentially, that I study the teachings of the Buddha, including the Four Noble Truths
Christopher Madsen
The best and clearest writing on the fundamental philosophies and concepts of buddhism.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a great book for anyone looking to learn more about a secular approach to Buddhist teachings. The question & answer format makes it easy to jump around to whatever interests you most, and it is jam-packed full of useful parables and teachings from traditional Buddhist texts. If you’re curious about integrating practical Buddhist ideas into your daily life but aren’t sure where to start, this is the book for you. Highly recommend!
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book does exactly what its title says: explains the key concepts of Buddhism to complete beginners in plain language. The format is question-answer, none longer than a page and a half, printed in large font. The concepts are illustrated with everyday examples.

I am not a total beginner as I have been practicing meditation and even joined a small local sangha (meditation group). I have read some books, too, but they each address a subtopic or just are a collection of sayings, so I was left wi
Brenda Faw
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very well explained

Rasheta provided a clear and natural flow of Buddhism concepts that made this book easy to understand and enjoyable to read.
Michael Dubakov
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I like short books in Q&A style. They usually fun to read and well organized, thus providing good mental flow about the topic. This book is a good intro into Buddhism and deserves 4.5/5 stars.
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: this is the first book I’ve ever read about Buddhism (except Siddhartha, which I didn’t realize at the time was actually about Buddhism, but is in my top ten favorite books of all time.). So what I’m saying is, I don’t know much about Buddhism, so this might be totally wrong and I wouldn’t know.

This is truly a fantastic, easy to read and understand book on the bare bones basics. I was interested in learning about Buddhism and didn’t know where to start. I tried a few other books that
Feb 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this slim, user-friendly introduction to the nuts and bolts of Buddhism. Although I studied the religion in college, this book doesn’t spent much time on the history. Instead, it serves as a guide to the practices of Buddhism and how they can be implemented in your life, regardless of your faith background. I am constantly looking for ways to be more mindful and at peace with the world around me (and my place in it). As a book designed to whet your appetite and encourage you to di ...more
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this approach of narrowing down Buddhism to answers to a few questions. Each question was answered in at most two pages of clear exposition and as far as I can tell, the answers were correct and captured the main ideas well. The exposition is accompanied sometimes also by practical examples from the author's life. I did not appreciate some of them. However, they usually served as a good illustration of the more theoretical explanation. ...more
Debbie Boucher
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is my other spiritual reading adventure for the year. I recommend it to anyone with questions about Buddhism. It was a quick, informative read that helped me understand a tradition I know little about. The format is such that you can thumb through to your "burning questions." I read this book from start to finish and found it to be an enjoyable, satisfying experience. ...more
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I've enjoy listening to Noah Rasheta's podcast Secular Buddhism since I stumbled across it last year. This book was just as enjoyable and informative. Q&A format, easy to understand and digest therefore leading to actual action. ...more
An excellent read that helped me understand Buddhism unlike any book I’ve read before.
Nicholas Finch

Written clearly and precisely, and yet not in a way that makes you feel like you’re five years old and stupid.

So for that reason, I’d highly recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about Buddhism, where, and how to start.

Great stuff I’m glad I picked up now!
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very good read for anyone looking to learn about Buddhism. Straightforward Q&A approach makes it accessible, easy to read, and easy to learn from.
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
quick read with an overview but could of gone a bit more into detail and had more of the q and a
Victor Ellison
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
A great primer to a complicated subject in an easy to digest Q&A format.
Dennis Littrell
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rasheta, Noah No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners (2018) *****
Outstanding introduction

The literature of Buddhism is vast. There are more sutras than you can shake a stick at, some of them deeply esoteric and some of them contradictory (or seemingly so). Some are anything but concrete and take themselves way too seriously, which is why we have the “correction” of Zen Buddhism.

So, it was a pleasure for me to read this clear and down-to-earth treatise for beginners.

The book is attractively presented
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this in the Humble Blood, Sweat and New Years Bundle, which I paid for.

I am not one for spiritual or religious practice, which is why when I heard the word 'Buddhism' to me it meant just another spiritual thing.

Wow I was so wrong.

Buddhism as a practice might be something I really, really want to do in my life. Reaction to suffering caused so much turmoil in my life every day felt like the worst day. Halfway through this book just applying some of the things written here immediately helped.
Alex Boon
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent resource for beginners to Buddhism with a secular approach. The Q&A format is easy to read and helps find sections quickly. I only wish the answer to each question could elaborate just that bit further. I'm headed to the recommended reading list now for further exploration. Overall, this book is perfect for beginners and a great supporting resource for the podcast. ...more
Michael Ruhl
Mar 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book because I listen to the author’s podcast and I wanted to 1. Support him a little and 2. Read a basic book on Buddhism. I’ve been practicing Buddhism for about 5 years now. So I came at this being very familiar with the content and wanting a refresher and new take. I think Noah does a good job introducing the reader to Buddhism. The book hits all the things anyone would learn in their first few years of practicing.

He gives some unique perspectives on things and the format o
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What it says on the tin. I've always found Buddhism, along with other religions to be rather unreachable. I just get to a point where I get bored or my skepticism just becomes too much. But I recently discovered Rasheta's podcasts and found out he had this book. It's a question and and answer approach where the author takes the reader though the background and context of Buddhism arranged as a Q&A.

I liked it. I liked how the author wrote that one could read straight through or treat it more as a
Ana Miron
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Yeah, reading about this was pretty neat, but if it weren't I wouldn't have finished it. It was a very enjoyable book and it shifted my perspective in what I think is a good way.

The Q&A format of this book along with the way it's written makes it very accessible, which is great. Also, the "Everyday Buddhism" sections can really tie things together and they did help me better understand some concepts that can get pretty abstract at times.

Anyhow, the way this book is structured in such a way that
Douglas Day
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great for those wanting to understand what Buddhism is about...

Very down to earth breakdown of Buddhism. I have some serious anxiety, depression along with PTSD. Ive struggled with these ailments for a long time and seen counselors, been prescribed umpteen medications, all with little to no results. This book has helped me more than any mental health treatment Ive received in the Army, at the Dept of Veteran Affairs as well as Civilian doctors. I started doing mindfulness on youtube, ended up on
Nicholas Prudhomme
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it

I enjoyed the book. The layout was clear and very easy to follow. The reasoning behind the layout also makes perfect sense.

However, if you read this coming from reading a book like "Mindfulness in plain English", you'll notice that there simply isn't a very big emphasis on the practice here. This book is much more of an individuals description of what Buddhism means to them rather than a canonical and precise explanation of the reasoning behind Buddhist assertions. The section on rebirth and
Little Joshy
Mar 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great refresher on the basics of Buddhism. I feel like the basic tenets of Buddhism are basically indisputable, although I sometimes feel if you lived every moment with those truths in mind, you would be an insufferable person to be around. Come on, dude. You can be a little let down that the weather kept you from wind surfing for several days straight on a trip you took expressly to go wind surfing with your brother. That's human and healthy. Just don't wallow in it. And don't get me started on ...more
Jun 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Listened to this as an audio book, which was really short, 2 and a half hours but it was short enough to be able to listen to in one sitting. Although it was a bit difficult to listen to all in one sitting as listening to anything for that long is hard to keep interested in when you're driving, it was good overall and entertaining. Really enjoyed how simple, straight forward and to the point this book is. Really liked how it talked about the different sects and schisms (for lack of a better word ...more
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
For what it is meant to be, a super-simple introduction to Buddhism, it was perfect. It covers the main points and gives you a good sense of what Buddhism is, how people around the world relate to and practice it and its core tenets. It's a great launching point if you want to continue on and dive deeper. However, if you're looking for anything with any sort of depth, you might want to bypass this one.
It's structured in a question/answer format which also may be a turn-off for some. But, again,
Jennifer Gonzalez
May 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Such a clear, down-to-earth explanation of all the major facets of Buddhism. I have been studying Buddhism on and off for several years now through books by Thich Nhat Hanh and Pema Chodron, and I bought this to share with a friend who had questions because it seemed to offer a great overview. Before I gave it to her I read it myself and was really happy to find that Noah Rasheta's explanations were an exact match to the stuff I'd learned over the years. It helped clarify a few questions I'd had ...more
Chris Lester
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very helpful intro in plain language

If you want to know more about Buddhism, but you find yourself baffled by all the Pali and Sanskrit terminology and the theologies of the different schools, this is a great place to start. It translates the important concepts of Buddhist teaching and philosophy into plain language that a Western audience can understand. Whatever your religious background, you'll find lots of useful insights here ... and if you've ever done cognitive behavioral therapy or mindf
Joshua Nykamp
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Noah does a good introduction, I've read a few beginners books and this one was pretty easy to follow. I like the question answer format. His podcast is good too. That being said I think if you're looking at beginner books read this and move on to different books than that are geared toward the beginner the story of the beginning of Buddha is always told really similarly so they can get repetitive from what I have noticed so it seems like their would be more value getting deeper in the teachings ...more
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