Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Introduction to Buddhism: An Explanation of the Buddhist Way of Life” as Want to Read:
Introduction to Buddhism: An Explanation of the Buddhist Way of Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Introduction to Buddhism: An Explanation of the Buddhist Way of Life

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  656 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
We all have the potential for self-transformation, and a limitless capacity for the growth of good qualities, but to fulfill this potential we need to know what to do along every stage of our spiritual journey. With this book, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso offers us step-by-step guidance on the meditation practices that will lead us to lasting inner peace and happiness. With extrao ...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 202 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Tharpa Publications (first published 1992)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Introduction to Buddhism, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Introduction to Buddhism

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Monica Casanova
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a wonderful book to begin your journey in exploring Buddhism. The author has written a multitude of books on this aspect of spirituality. The most important detail about this book is that it does not push any beliefs onto the reader. It does not make claims that this is the only way and that you MUST follow this way. It's a very open and informative way to look at Buddhism. This book begins with a brief history on Buddha and his story. Much emphasis is placed on the fact that Buddha ...more
Sep 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometime few months ago, i was intensely passionate about Buddhism, the reason: The wheel of karma, and meditation, I believed in both these arts.
My father is an avid fan of yoga and meditation, having done almost few forms of yoga and meditation such as Art of Living, a 10 day course of complete silence and solitary meditating , i went on to do the same thing and realized that all of those are a form of Buddhism, though I am not a Buddhist, I prefer following Buddhism, because of the peace it b
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
This was an important book for me, because I eventually became a student and member of this tradition, the New Kadampa Tradition of Buddhism. The author of this is the founder of this organization, adn he is a Tibetan Buddhist monk who moved to England, split from the main Gelugpa tradition, and began his own. On first encountering this dharma, I was struck by its analysis of the endless struggle of ordinary human life, and this conformed with my views. It went deeper than other religious teachi ...more
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much, it gave me a much better insight into who buddah was as well as their thoughts about what it means to be a buddhist. In this explanation of the Buddhists way I was able to understand past and future lives, along with receiving a clear idea about karma and clarity on meditation... which by the way is why I bought the book in the first place. During this read I learned about the path to enlightenment, thankfuly this also made sense to me.

This wonderful intoduction t
Nov 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read. I enjoy learning about other cultures and religions but near the end of this book it became quite hard going for someone who isn't Buddhist or religious. Glad I read it though. My past idea of Buddhism is much different to the reality from reading this.
Kevin Tuttle

Good overview of "religious" Buddhism, Lamrim, and the New Kadampa tradtiion.
Kunden Kelsang
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. It is written very clearly and simply with examples and stories. It has a gentle tone and is very inspiring. It gives us the confidence to be the best person that we can be.
Sarah Isabella
Sep 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: insight
A simple easy to read rendition, insightful as an introduction can be
Bob Shadel
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
lots of good living practices. Almost nothing as powerful as meditation.
But rebirth?? Don't think so...
Also can't get away without thinking that this practice was started in horrific conditions of poverty and is this a way to escape the world these people were in??
Tony Thomas
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a nice clear and concise introduction to Buddhism
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
I can't really call it a good book but it did explain what it should have so...
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent introduction to Buddhism for the complete beginner.
Started attending sessions at a Buddhist Center on 1.16.11 and after nit finding the book we are following (Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion & Wisdom by same author) I decided to pick this one up and give myself a crash course before my next session.

So far, (pg 85) I have mixed feelings although I am trying to absorb the good and what I understand clearly and can relate to. As for the things that I don't agree with or understand, I am making a note of them without further judgement.
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A basic primer on Buddhism. An approachable, easy read... I've come to look forward to the few peaceful moments I spend with this before bed. The gentle and service-based nature of Buddhism (I'm not sure whether to call it a philosophy or religion) is what attracted me in the first place and the fundamental concepts as presented in this book seem straightforward. I was searching for a place to start to familiarize myself and wavered between other options before choosing this. I'll be looking for ...more
Sarah Monro
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent introduction to Buddhism for anyone who is curious about the religion.
It takes you through the key ideas and philosophies quite quickly and I admit I got lost about 3/4 of the way through. In the end I skim read the remaining chapter and appendices. The glossary is especially helpful and probably best read in small chunks so key ideas can be taken on-board and digested. This is a book I will probably re-read several times.
Jul 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having already read a basic book describing the structure and principles of Buddhism (Teach Yourself Buddhism), I was much more prepared for Introduction to Buddhism. In this work, Gyatso delves into the actual philosophy and lifestyle of Buddhism in a simple explanatory manner that is most accessible. It's an excellent introduction that may as it did me, cause you to reevaluate and chep change your path.
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
- Filled with lovely quotes
- Provides prayers

I really enjoyed learning about Buddhism. This was my first read about it and I felt that this is a brilliant book to start with.

The writing style is very easy to understand with little jargon.

This introductary book has wanted me to further my studies in Buddhism.
I will more than likely look into more of Kelsang's books.
Nov 21, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book presents Buddhism as a religion where you pray to Buddhas (yes, multiple) and risk being reincarnated as a hungry spirit if you so much as slap and kill a mosquito in anger. Kind of creepy. It is a rather misleading introduction to Buddhism in my humble opinion.
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book and want to read more from Gyatso or at least more about Buddhism. It's always been interesting to me. I lean toward a lot of the beliefs within Buddhism. I'm excited to continue developing my spiritual self.
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great intro text. Told in simple, fable-like story form, so it's easy to follow. Some of the new vocabulary might be difficult to remember throughout the book, but overall, a great format for an intro text. The audio CD is read well and includes a few Very simple guided meditations at the end.
Nm Boi
Dec 27, 2009 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
just started reading this....Hopefully can get it read by the 11th when school starts again. Just interested in the concepts of this religion. Peace can never be a bad thing to have in your heart and mind.
Feb 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very well written book on Buddhism. I work slowly at reading this so that I may fully understand this particular writer. My husband loves this writer and follows the path of this particular individual in his meditation practice.
Rowan Saker
Good book though not much of an 'introduction'.
Seems too in depth on some points and vague one others for someone who is at the beginning of finding out about Buddhism.

Would recommend another book instead for beginners.
Jason Navallo
Nov 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book that really "breaks-down" the religion nicely for anyone to understand!
Jan 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book, particularly for anyone who is interested in learning about Buddhism but isn't quite sure where to start. :)
Sep 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The NKT is a cult.
this is a great easy way to begin to learn about buddhaism , I learned so much about the self and mind
Jan 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
Nice introductory book to the new kadampa tradition but it only teases the palate.
Oct 08, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I feel like this book gave me a strange impression of Buddhism. I read other buddhist books that I liked a LOT better.
Sep 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
accessible reading style.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Insight Meditation: A Step-by-step Course on How to Meditate
  • The Essential Dalai Lama: His Important Teachings
  • In Buddha's Kitchen : Cooking, Being Cooked, and Other Adventures at a Meditation Center
  • Breathe! You Are Alive: Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing
  • Buddhism for Beginners
  • Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightenment
  • Buddha or Bust: In Search of Truth, Meaning, Happiness, and the Man Who Found Them All
  • The Jewel Tree of Tibet: The Enlightenment Engine of Tibetan Buddhism
  • The Lost Art of Compassion: Discovering the Practice of Happiness in the Meeting of Buddhism and Psychology
  • Pay Attention, for Goodness' Sake: Practicing the Perfections of the Heart--The Buddhist Path of Kindness
  • Awakening the Buddhist Heart: Integrating Love, Meaning, and Connection into Every Part of Your Life
  • No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva
  • Meditation for Beginners
  • The Tibetan Yogas Of Dream And Sleep
  • Buddhist Scriptures
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
More about Geshe Kelsang Gyatso...

Nonfiction Deals

  • Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival
    $8.24 $1.99
  • A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf
    $27.00 $2.99
  • Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
    $8.99 $1.99
  • A Room of One's Own
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Ashley's War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Life in a Medieval City
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts--Becoming the Person You Want to Be
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Too Close to Me: The Middle-Aged Consequences of Revealing A Child Called "It"
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England's Most Notorious Queen
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Inside the Criminal Mind: Revised and Updated Edition
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
    $13.99 $2.99
  • How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Heart of Christianity
    $9.74 $1.99
  • Skin: Talking about Sex, Class, and Literature
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Hidden Figures
    $4.09 $1.99
  • Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
    $7.24 $1.99