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Buddha by Karen Armstrong

By Karen Armstrong

With such bestsellers as A heritage of God and Islam, Karen Armstrong has constantly introduced "penetrating, readable, and prescient" (The long island Times) works that experience lucidly engaged quite a lot of religions and spiritual matters. In Buddha she turns to a determine whose proposal continues to be reverberating through the international 2,500 years after his death.
Many recognize the Buddha merely from seeing numerous serene, iconic pictures. yet what of the guy himself and the realm he lived in? What did he truly do in his approximately 80 years in the world that spawned one of many maximum religions in global historical past? Armstrong tackles those questions and extra by means of reading the existence and occasions of the Buddha during this engrossing philosophical biography. opposed to the tumultuous cultural history of his global, she blends background, philosophy, mythology, and biography to create a compelling and illuminating portrait of a guy whose awakening maintains to motivate hundreds of thousands.

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Extra info for Buddha

Sample text

Temporal beings like us are without substance, without noumenon. All that exists is ku and impermanent. Beings exist, and our consciousness can observe them, but they are continually evolving, transforming. Their only substance is emptiness. Nothing exists in and of itself; everything is the product of interdependence. All our judgments are thus the 40 d Mushotoku Mind fruit of egotism. Various interferences create individual karmas. But there is no stable ego. The existence of all living beings is ku.

During zazen, maka hannya is the mind’s normal condition. In zazen, external stimuli are perceived more acutely than usual, but their effects on consciousness don’t last; they rapidly fade. It is the same for the feelings, emotions and thoughts that arise from the subconscious. Memories appear and disappear, quickly chased away by hishiryo consciousness, which is the mind’s original condition. Hishiryo consciousness sees everything but does not grasp at anything. It is fluid like a stream of water.

Shari woke up. And that night Shariputra was conceived. From a very early age the boy showed remarkable intelligence. By the time he was a teenager, no adult could hold an argument against him. He often took long, thoughtful walks in the surrounding mountains. One day, walking with his friend Mokuren, Shariputra heard the sounds of laughter and singing in the valley. Thinking this would dispel his gloom, he and Mokuren went down to join the revelers. Together they drank, laughed, danced, and flirted with the girls all night long.

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