Buddhism Plain and Simple
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This book offers a clear, straightforward approach to Buddhism in general and awareness in particular. It is about being awake and in touch with what is going on here and now. When the Buddha was asked to sum up his teaching in a single word, he said, "Awareness." The Buddha taught how to see directly into the nature of experience. His observations and insights are plain, practical, and down-to-earth, and they deal exclusively with the present. In Buddhism Plain and Simple, Steve Hagen presents these uncluttered, original teachings in everyday, accessible language unencumbered by religious ritual, tradition, or belief.
or imagine. In other words, there's something very odd and contradictory and unsettling about this concept of "coming into being." Nevertheless, here's Reality. Here's the world. Here's thus. This same problem occurs with anything conceivable. For example, I'm sitting here at my computer writing these words. But when did these words become a book? As I wrote them? When I finished the final edit? When I gave the manuscript to my publisher? When the printed pages were bound? When did this book
to allow teachers to finish their work if you keep bunyanizing them? You'll turn your teachers into something grandiose and vain. If you would honor a teacher, you would only need to learn from that teacher, respectfully test their teachings against your own experience, and live with a grateful heart. I remember hearing a fellow talking about the Nazi doctors on the radio. He described these people as monsters, nature. My Zen teacher used to say, "Kind speech is not always kind." Generally, of
remain aware of your breathing, noting when you breathe in and when you breathe out. If you do this even for five minutes you will probably notice that throughout that time your mind has toyed with innumerable thoughts, feelings, and fantasies. Our unobserved mind is the source of a great deal of Practice 103 confusion and suffering for us. We habitually act out of our thoughts and assumptions-most of which we're only vaguely aware of-rather than out of full engagement with the moment. To make
terrifying creature that we had feared for years existed only in our imaginations. that we attribute selfhood to human beings. Instead of seeing the thoroughgoing motion, flux, and flow of experience, we imagine a vast proliferation of innumerable, separated things. In short, we grant selfhood to whatever we find "out there." So it is with our sense of self. The issues of what a self is, how long it will last, what will happen when our bodies die and decay and our consciousness flickers off,
action will not. Willed actions-actions undertaken by our ordinary minds of longing and loathing-are based on illusions, on concepts. They're born of thinking that "this" and "that" are real, solid, and intrinsically separate-an assumption which sets the stage for the working of will. But the Whole has no will. It leans neither toward nor away. This doesn't mean that we're incapable of acting in a Interdependence 147 natural way. We all are. In fact, this is precisely how a buddha acts-out of