Bestselling author and renowned Zen teacher Steve Hagen penetrates the most essential and enduring questions at the heart of the Buddha's teachings: How can we see the world in each moment, rather than merely as what we think, hope, or fear it is? How can we base our actions on reality, rather than on the longing and loathing of our hearts and minds? How can we live lives that are wise, compassionate, and in tune with reality? And how can we separate the wisdom of Buddhism from the cultural trappings and misconceptions that have come to be associated with it?
Drawing on down-to-earth examples from everyday life and stories from Buddhist teachers past and present, Hagen tackles these fundamental inquiries with his trademark lucid, straightforward prose. The newcomer to Buddhism will be inspired by this accessible and provocative introduction, and those more familiar with Buddhism will welcome this much needed hands-on guide to understanding what it truly means to be awake. By being challenged to question what we take for granted, we come to see the world as it truly is. Buddhism Is Not What You Think offers a profound and clear path to a life of joy and freedom.
“Hagen (Buddhism Plain and Simple) here presents 43 short chapters dealing with various aspects of Buddhist practice in a way that cuts to the heart of the matter. Hagen reminds us that whenever we’re grasping, aspiring, analyzing, judging, or in any way adding to the simple experience of the present moment, we are missing the point. The book will appeal to readers interested in what true Zen practice is supposed to be about beyond all the popular images and colorful stories. For practitioners it is also a book that will reward multiple readings over time.”
“This is not just another nice book about Buddhism, one telling us what we like to hear and are used to hearing. No--it is a clear and challenging showing of the fundamental truth of our lives. This is an exceptional book. Make good use of it.”
“[Hagan’s] book will appeal to readers interested in what true Zen practice is supposed to be about beyond all the popular images and colorful stories.”
—Robert M. Pirsig, New York Times bestselling author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Buddhism is Not What You Think is a clear, direct, and engaging guide to the most essential elements of spiritual inquiry: attention, intention, honesty with oneself, compassion, and the desire to awaken. A renowned Zen teacher, Steve Hagen offers a valuable hands-on guidebook in which examples from everyday life are presented alongside stories from Buddhist teachers past and present to banish misconceptions and inspire the newcomer and the knowledgeable practitioner alike. Buddhism is Not What You Think—it is both more…and less.